Together for Sustainability (TfS)
Together for Sustainability (TfS) is an initiative consisting of and driven by chemical procurement specialists, which has the goal of collectively building more sustainable chemical supply chains. Lenzing has been a member of this initiative since 2022. All TfS members have full access to global network of assessed and audited suppliers, which will result in higher efficiencies in sustainable procurement through this shared database. Performance progress based on common principles is shared throughout the TfS community and brings more transparency and unity. This will benefit chemical companies as well as their suppliers.
Lenzing cooperates with the NGO Canopy and maintains a continuous dialog with members of the CanopyStyle initiative to ensure responsible wood sourcing and protect the world’s ancient and endangered forests from ending up in textiles and fibers.
Canopy publishes the Hot Button Report, an annual ranking of all derived raw material wood cellulosic fiber manufacturers based on their wood and pulp sourcing performance, transparency and innovation. Today, more than 500 global brands with combined annual revenues of over USD 850 billion are looking to source from “green shirt” producers1. In recent years, Lenzing has shown continuous improvement in all of these criteria: Lenzing’s Wood and Pulp Policy has been aligned with the CanopyStyle initiative for years, and since 2020, the geographical locations of pulp suppliers have been publicly disclosed in more detail. Regarding alternative (“next generation”) cellulose sources, Lenzing is the first company to produce and market lyocell fibers on a commercial scale using pre-consumer cotton scraps and post-consumer garments with Lenzing’s patented REFIBRA™ technology.
In Canopy’s latest Hot Button Report, published in October 2022, Lenzing received a dark green shirt for the third time and topped the overall ranking.
Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals initiative (ZDHC)
For more information about Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals initiative, please see the “Sustainable innovation, products and water stewardship” subchapter.
Greenhouse Gas Protocol
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol has launched a process to develop new standards or guidance on how companies should account for the following activities in their greenhouse gas inventories: carbon removal and sequestration, land use, land use change and bioenergy. One starting point for the initiative is the criticism of carbon neutrality for bioenergy and emissions from biogenic sources. In Lenzing’s view, sustainably managed forests and plantations are key elements for climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration in the forest, harvested wood products, and the replacement of fossil-based materials that have high carbon footprints. Moreover, sustainably managed semi-natural forests constitute the most successful way of protecting biodiversity and enabling people to enjoy the benefits of forests in the form of recreation or micro-climate benefits (“ecosystem services”), for example.
The outcome of these ongoing considerations will have a decisive impact not only on the cellulose-based fiber industry, but on the entire cellulose-based bioeconomy. Lenzing participated in the review group to comment on the draft guidance in 2022, and started a pilot for the guidance test. The pilot phase will end in February 2023.
Forest Europe, European and national forest strategies
The Forest Europe political process was initiated in 1990 by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, which comprises 46 states, to promote sustainable forest management in Europe. A set of indicators grouped into six different criteria was developed to measure the sustainability performance of European forests and set targets for improvement2. Current efforts focus on climate change adaption3, water protection, and biodiversity4. As a major buyer of wood in Europe, the Lenzing Group supports these targets, which aim to ensure the continued and improved function of forests in their ecosystems while maintaining the long-term availability of wood as a raw material.
The Austrian Bioeconomy Strategy
The Austrian Bioeconomy Strategy was published in 20195. The current phase calls for the development of an action plan. Lenzing is represented in the bioeconomy platform and provided input on the strategy and the development of the action plan from 2019 to 2021 through workshops and an online consultation. The action plan aims to balance the need for mobilizing timber as a raw material for the bioeconomy with assuring and improving the vitality and resilience of forests through adequate forest management. The strategy is prominently placed in the government working program and its implementation is assured.
The underlying studies have shown a gap between increasing demand for renewable resources for materials and energy on the one hand, and the possible supply on the other hand, which is mainly limited by the available land area. Thus, one area of the action plan of particular relevance to Lenzing is the continued development of the biobased circular economy involving the recycling of biobased materials, to which Lenzing will contribute accordingly.
In 2021, the development process of the Bioeconomy Strategy was linked to the Circular Economy Strategy. The catalogue of actions has been published in 2022.
1 https://hotbutton.canopyplanet.org/ [Accessed 31 January 2022]
2 Madrid Ministerial Declaration. 25 years together promoting Sustainable Forest
Management in Europe, 7th Forest Europe Ministerial Conference, Madrid 2015. Available at: https://foresteurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/III.-ELM_
7MC_2_2015_MinisterialDeclaration_adopted-2.pdf [Accessed 15 February 2021]
3 FOREST EUROPE 2020. Adaptation to Climate Change in Sustainable Forest
Management in Europe, Liaison Unit Bratislava, Zvolen, 2020
4 https://forestbiodiversity.eu/ [Accessed 15 February 2021]
5 https://www.bmbwf.gv.at/Themen/HS-Uni/Hochschulgovernance/Leitthemen/Nachhaltigkeit/Bio%C3%B6konomiestrategie.html [Accessed 15 February 2021]