Photo courtesy of Södra
Lenzing continues advance toward sustainability goals
Posted June 3, 2021
LENZING, Austria – Lenzing Group, a leading provider of sustainably produced specialty fibers for the global textile and nonwoven industries, announced two initiatives in the realm of sustainability.
Lenzing reaches a milestone
Lenzing said it is continuing to make great strides toward achieving carbon neutrality across its group. The successful completion and commissioning of an air purification and sulfur recovery plant at the Lenzing facility marks another milestone in the group’s ambitious strategy. Lenzing has invested some EUR 40M in this project since construction began in 2019.
Using state-of-the-art technology, the plant will enable carbon emissions to be reduced by 15,000 metric tons at the facility. This will also make the group more self-sufficient in securing vital raw materials for processing, which will bolster the site’s competitive standing in terms of sustainability.
“As a result of this investment, Lenzing has made further progress towards implementing its climate targets while achieving much greater autonomy with regard to one of its core raw materials,” said Christian Skilich, a member of the Managing Board at Lenzing Group.
In 2019, Lenzing set the strategic target of halving its group-wide greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product by 2030. Its goal for 2050 is to achieve climate neutrality.
Lenzing, Södra join forces
Lenzing also announced that the company and Södra, a world-class producer of pulp, signed a cooperation agreement this week with the objective of making a decisive contribution to addressing the enormous textile waste challenges of the industry and the society.
The cooperation involves the transfer of knowledge between the two companies, which have been proactively driving the circular economy issue for many years, and a joint process development followed by a capacity expansion for pulp from post-consumer waste. The goal is to process 25,000 tons of textile waste per year by 2025.
The fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world. Millions of tons of textile waste are created each year, most of it ends up in landfills. In the spirit of the circular economy transition, both Lenzing and Södra have independently addressed the issue and developed appropriate solution options so far. Both companies are experts in their respective fields with many years of large-scale industrial experience.
Together, they give textile recycling a huge boost by developing technologies further towards a broader, industrial-scale use of post-consumer cellulosic waste. The jointly developed pulp OnceMore® will subsequently also be used as a raw material for the production of Lenzing’s TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ branded specialty fibers.
“The cooperation with Södra is a major milestone towards achieving our ambitious climate and sustainability goals. We are proud to be able to go this way with a competent partner. One company alone cannot solve the pressing issue of textile waste. It is proactive partnerships like this that enable us to move forward and bring about real systemic change,” Skilich said.
Added Lotta Lyrå, president and CEO of Södra: “With OnceMore® pulp, Södra has created a globally unique solution to base textile on a recycled source. By joining forces with Lenzing, we now taking the next step on our journey and will bring world-class recycling to the textile value chain. Through a new investment, we will also 10-fold our production capacity of OnceMore® pulp during 2022 and have a higher level of recycled textile content. These are important steps towards our long-term target to create a circular textile industry.”
“In this turn around decade for our planet, making forest-based fabrics from recycled textiles is critical to protect biodiversity, alleviate pressure on forests and address the growing climate crisis. Canopy is excited to see these two major producers join forces to bring vital Next Generation Solutions to the fashion industry. We look forward to seeing greater commercial volumes come to market,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s founder and executive director.
In line with its circular economy vision, “We give waste a new life. Every day,” Lenzing drives the industry towards a fully-fledged circular economy by striving to give waste a new life in all aspects of its core business and by co-developing circular solutions with potential partners in and outside the current value chain.
Lenzing has extensive knowledge in developing cutting-edge innovations in recycling such as its REFIBRA™ and Eco Cycle technologies. Besides virgin dissolving wood pulp, these technologies allow the processing of a substantial proportion of recycled materials based on pre-consumer cottons scraps and post-consumer garments.
OnceMore® by Södra is the world’s first process for industrial-scale recycling of textile waste of blended fibers, and it’s the forest who makes that possible. The process combines wood cellulose with textile waste to create a pure, high-quality dissolving pulp which can be used to produce new clothing and other textile products.
During 2022, a new investment will increase 10-fold the production capacity of OnceMore® pulp and reach a higher level of recycled textile content. The goal for 2025 is to process 25,000 tons of textile and offer a OnceMore® pulp based on our wood material and 50 percent recycled textile material.