Lenzing’s net-benefit products offer positive impacts and benefits to the environment, society, and value chain partners to a greater extent than most competing alternatives in the market. Net-benefit products take a life cycle perspective and thus include both upstream and downstream value chain processes. Customers can replace resource-intensive products with Lenzing’s alternatives, thereby improving their product footprint and reducing supply chain risks.
The three strategic principles of the “Naturally positive” sustainability strategy and the underlying focus areas are combined in the net-benefit concept.
Products and technologies with a net-benefit
Carbon-zero TENCEL™ and VEOCEL™ branded fibers
Lenzing launched new carbon-zero TENCEL™ branded lyocell and modal fibers for application in the textile industry and added its first nonwoven carbon-neutral lyocell fibers under the VEOCEL™ brand in 2021. The new fibers are certified by ClimatePartner in accordance with the ClimatePartner Protocol , the leading global framework for measuring greenhouse gas emissions.
The fibers help to lower carbon emissions across the supply chain. Four key levers – energy reduction, use of renewable energy, new technology innovation, and supplier engagement – are deployed to achieve Lenzing’s carbon net-zero target for the long term. The three pillars of “Reduce”, “Engage”, and “Offset” actively contribute to lowering the product’s carbon footprint by reducing emissions as far as the current technological and economic conditions allow. These products have the lowest carbon footprint in respective fiber categories and can therefore contribute to the further reduce the customers’ upstream emissions. For more information, please see the “Climate & energy” chapter.
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibers and VEOCEL™ specialty viscose fiber with Eco Care technology
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded viscose (for textiles) and VEOCEL™ specialty viscose fiber with Eco Care technology (nonwovens) show a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and water impact compared to generic viscose (according to Higg-MSI1).
TENCEL™ Modal with Eco Color technology and TENCEL™ Modal with Indigo Color technology
Fibers with this technologies incorporate pigments during fiber production and thus help avoid downstream and energy-intensive conventional dyeing processes. A fabric made from these fibers has 60 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally dyed fabrics2.
First launched in 2021, TENCEL™ Modal with Eco Color technology has been established as the solution to address the demand for eco-responsible fiber alternatives among denim brands and -retailers. The technology incorporates indigo pigment directly into TENCEL™ branded modal fibers using a one-step, spun-dyeing process. Such process delivers superior color fastness relative to conventional indigo dyeing. Compared with traditional rope-dyed indigo yarns, the production of TENCEL™ Modal fiber with Indigo Color technology saves around 99 percent of the water and electricity, 80 percent of the chemicals and even 100 percent of the heat energy in the dyeing and finishing of fabrics, and thus significantly reducing the ecological footprint of denim products. In 2022, TENCEL™ Modal fiber with Indigo Color technology won the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) Award for Sustainability and Innovation.
Lenzing fibers with recycled content – REFIBRA™ or Eco Cycle Technology
In line with Lenzing’s circular economy vision, “We give waste a new life. Every day”, the current generation of innovative fibers, manufactured on a commercial large scale, use pre-consumer cotton scraps, post-consumer garments, and wood from sustainably managed forests as a raw material. The cotton material is recycled into pulp which is blended in a ratio of up to 30 percent with 70 percent of dissolving wood pulp to produce high-quality lyocell fibers for textile and nonwovens applications. This technology diverts tons of cotton scraps and post-consumer garments from entering landfills or incineration. The fibers are subsequently produced with high levels of resource efficiency in a closed-loop production process. For more information, please see the “Circularity & resources” chapter.
TENCEL™ Luxe filaments
The TENCEL™ Luxe branded lyocell filament aims to become a key milestone for eco-couture fabrics in the premium luxury market. The closed-loop lyocell production process ensures low environmental impact due to low process water and energy use and raw materials consumption and state of the art recovery systems. TENCEL™ Luxe branded filaments produced with the Eco Filament technology avoid conventional yarn spinning, which is energy-intensive and predominantly based in regions that rely heavily on fossil-based electricity. For example, at the industry level, yarn spinning processes contribute to 28 percent of the total GHG emissions of the textile value chain (excluding use phase)3.
LENZING™ Web Technology
The LENZING™ Web Technology is an innovative R&D development technology platform that allows a wide range of novel sustainable nonwoven materials to be produced from the raw material wood. The patented nonwoven web formation process – Lenzing holds more than 25 patent applications – starts with dissolving wood pulp and produces a directly formed cellulosic nonwoven fabric made of 100 percent continuous lyocell filament. This technology enables fiber and nonwoven production in only one step and sets new standards for the efficiency, circularity, and ecological sustainability of cellulose nonwoven fabrics. The flexibility of this technology and possible integration with other nonwoven technologies will enable the development of a wider range of new cellulosic materials and composite structures for highly engineered end use applications.
Dissolving wood pulp is the raw material for Lenzing’s fibers and predominantly produced in the company’s own biorefineries4. Lenzing’s biorefinery process ensures that 100 percent of the wood is used to produce dissolving wood pulp for fiber production, biorefinery products, and bioenergy. All the pulp produced at Lenzing pulp production sites is totally chlorine-free. For more information, please see the “Raw material security” chapter.
Lyocell fibers from Lenzing are derived from the renewable raw material wood and produced in a closed-loop process, which transforms wood pulp into cellulosic fibers with high resource efficiency and low ecological impact. This solvent-spinning process recycles process water and reuses the solvent at a recovery rate of more than 99.8 percent. Lenzing’s lyocell fibers show around 50 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than generic lyocell (according to Higg-MSI5).
At the Lenzing site Modal fibers are produced using an integrated production process in which the raw material pulp is manufactured at the same site as the fiber itself. Raw material from beechwood and spruce is converted into cellulose and other biorefinery products. Beech forests grow naturally without the use of chemical fertilizers or artificial irrigation. Pulp production is energetically self-sufficient while supplying a significant amount of bioenergy for the entire fiber production process at the production site. Lenzing’s modal fibers therefore generate around 80 percent less greenhouse gas in production than generic modal fibers (according to Higg-MSI).
LENZING™ Acetic Acid Biobased
Lenzing’s biorefinery technology converts wood into pulp, energy, and biobased biorefinery products. One of the biobased biorefinery products is LENZING™ Acetic Acid Biobased, which will be also available as carbon-neutral alternative to conventional fossil-based acetic acid, substantiated by a study conducted by an independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) consultant.
1 Based on Higg MSI database v3.5 (Dec 2022).
2 Terinte, N., Manda, B.M.K., Taylor, J., Schuster, K.C. and Patel, M. (2014). Environmental assessment of coloured fabrics and opportunities for value creation: spin-dyeing versus conventional dyeing. In: Journal of Cleaner Production 72, pp. 127–138
3 2018 Quantis Report “Measuring Fashion”
4 In addition to its own dissolving wood pulp production, Lenzing procures dissolving wood pulp in the global market.
5 Based on Higg MSI database v3.5 (Dec. 2022)