Sustainable innovations & products

Management Approach

Material topic:

[GRI 3-3]

Sustainability acts as a guiding principle for Lenzing’s innovation and product development, which is driving systematic change across the textile and nonwoven industries. The continual improvement of existing product and production technologies builds business resilience and reputation, as well as facilitating the supply of products to value chain partners that contribute to the eco-credentials of their own portfolios. Moving from linear to circular ways of working presents many opportunities for Lenzing to provide customers with a variety of environmental-friendlier solutions, such as biodegradable fibers for the manufacturing of agricultural and hygiene products.

Actual and potential negative and positive impacts


  • Meeting market and stakeholder expectations
  • Differentiating factor
  • Being prepared for new challenges
  • Being a pioneering company
  • Building new cooperation and networks
  • Challenge the status quo


Own activities:

  • Loss of leadership in innovation carries potential regulatory, financial, market and corporate reputational risks

Policies and commitments

  • Better Growth strategy
  • “Naturally positive” sustainability strategy with “Sustainable innovations” focus area
  • Life cycle thinking
  • Net-benefit concept
  • Project Zukunft sichern (save the future)
  • Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)
  • PRO2project management system (product & application innovation and process & technology innovation) as part of Lenzing business processes
  • Management review (ISO 9001:2015)

Actions taken

  • Every idea is evaluated regarding its sustainability impact and CO2-emissions – R&D projects are only started if the assessment shows an improvement compared to the current solution
  • Close cooperation between innovation centers and other internal departments
  • Numerous R&D partnerships with customers, companies, universities, and institutes (national and international)
  • New fiber types launched for denim applications
  • Cooperation between Södra and Lenzing in the field of textile recycling
  • Lenzing and Renewcell signed a large-scale supply agreement further closing the loop in fashion (chemical textile recycling)
  • Lenzing is a partner in the Horizon Europe Circular and Sustainable Textiles and Clothing (CISUTAC) project
  • FFG-funded Reducing Energy and Waste using AI (REWAI) project together with Pro2Future, University of Linz and Graz University of Technology Fusion of LENZING™aid process for new sustainable and low carbon emission products
  • Advancing the renewable carbon concept as a member of the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI)
  • Fusion of LENZING™ Web Technology with a pulp wetlaid process for new sustainable and low carbon emission products
  • 1,754 patents and patent applications filed across 182 patent families and 53 countries

Sustainability targets, measures and progress

For more information, please see the “Sustainability targets, measures and progress” chapter.


  • Regular exchange and joint developments with customers to develop sustainable products
  • Exchange with regulatory bodies (national, European, international) and input to policy framework
  • Close cooperation with NGOs active in the field of (textile) sustainability such as Canopy
  • Active contributor in several associations and networks such as Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI), European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE) and The European Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (Textile ETP)
  • Membership in technical and standardization committees
  • Regular exchange with funding authorities (e.g. annual talk with FFG) and internal alignment on this topic as well
  • Joint projects are carried out within the framework of the PRO2 process for project management
  • Joint project structure in cooperation with Södra

For more information, please see the “Stakeholder engagement” chapter.


  • CEO
  • VP Research & Development


  • Global Business Management Nonwovens and Textiles
  • Global Strategy and M&A
  • Performance.Improvement.Technology
  • Digital Innovation
  • Global Engineering
  • Operations & Technology Pulp
  • Operations
  • Corporate Sustainability

Sustainable innovations represent one of the strategic focus areas of Lenzing’s “Naturally positive” sustainability strategy. Lenzing is committed to bringing cellulose based solutions to the market that offer consumers more sustainable alternatives without compromising on quality and performance. Sustainable innovations include substantial efficiency improvements in existing technologies and technological breakthroughs that lead to net-benefit products. Lenzing innovation also includes driving systemic change through forward-looking solutions, future-proof business models, and a multitude of collaborative activities. Another increasing activity is the implementation of digital tools and solutions to achieve even more transparent processes and products. For more information, please see the “Digitalization & cyber security” chapter.

The central hub and innovation center at Lenzing is the Research and Development (R&D) department at the company’s headquarters in Lenzing (Austria). At the end of the reporting year, 218 staff (2021: 222; 2020: 212) were working here on various innovation projects, in most cases in close cooperation with other departments. Noteworthy examples include the newly formed Digital Innovation department and the Performance, Improvement & Technology department. This interconnectedness is also reflected by the fact that staff from R&D regularly transfer to other departments and often follow the R&D projects to their conclusion. Another distinctive feature is the extensive infrastructure. The center includes pilot plants and laboratories that use small-scale processes to better understand the landscape of the subsequent value chain.

R&D expenditures, calculated according to the Frascati method (minus funding received), accounted for EUR 34.8 mn in 2022 (2021: EUR 31.6 mn, 2020: EUR 34.8 mn). The 1,574 patents and patent applications (in 182 patent families) that Lenzing holds in 53 countries worldwide are another indication of the Lenzing Group’s innovativeness. The focus for new patents is clearly on sustainable innovations such as the forward-looking solutions of LENZING™ Web Technology and TENCEL™ Luxe or textile recycling.

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