The Lenzing Group, an Austria-based leading global supplier of sustainably produced specialty fibres, has presented its sustainability report 2020 on April 22, 2021, World Earth Day. Featuring the title “Stand up for future generations”, Lenzing once again emphasised its commitment to taking responsibility beyond the products it makes. The non-financial report, prepared in accordance with the reporting standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Austrian Sustainability and Diversity Improvement Act (NaDiVeG) and reviewed by KPMG Austria GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft, illustrates how the company is responding to the global challenges of our time. The 2020 financial year of the Lenzing Group was largely dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Lenzing took short-term measures to safeguard its business operations and mitigate the effects of fibre prices and fibre demand which came under increasing pressure. The priority was to protect employees and strengthen long-term partnerships with suppliers and customers. Following the current fight against the coronavirus and its consequences, the company continues to move ahead determinedly to achieve its sustainability targets, also against the backdrop of such a difficult market environment. “Even in times when fighting the coronavirus pandemic is the top priority, Lenzing focuses on pressing ahead with climate neutrality and sustainability. These will remain the dominant issues for humanity in the long term. At Lenzing, we consider it to be an integral part of our strategic principles and our responsibility to future generations to effectively deal with pressing ecological challenges such as climate protection, resource efficiency and biodiversity,” Stefan Doboczky, chief executive officer of the Lenzing Group, said in a press release. “Strategically, we remain fully on track and the implementation of our key projects in Brazil and Thailand continues to proceed according to plan. With our corporate priorities, we are consistently pursuing a major goal, namely to make a zero-carbon future come true”, Doboczky added. With the implementation of its science-based targets, the Lenzing Group actively contributes to mastering the problems caused by climate change. In 2019, Lenzing made a strategic commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent per ton of product by 2030. The overriding target is to be climate-neutral by 2050. The implementation of the two key projects in Brazil and Thailand represents an important milestone on this journey. Thanks to its excellent infrastructure, the production plant in Thailand conceived as a CO2-neutral site can be supplied with sustainable biogenic energy. The plant in Brazil will feed more than 50 per cent of the electricity generated into the public grid as renewable energy and feature a positive net CO2 balance. The launch of the first carbon-zero Tencel fibres certified as CarbonNeutral products in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol – the leading global framework for carbon neutrality – represents another important milestone from the reporting year. As of June 2021, Lenzing will also market the first Veocel branded lyocell fibres as certified CarbonNeutral products. The establishment of the Renewable Carbon Initiative with the aimof speeding up the transition to renewable carbon serves as a further example of the successful path that Lenzing and its partners are taking towards a zero-carbon future. Lenzing also sets standards for the entire fibre, textile and clothing industry with respect to the circular economy which is of such crucial importance in climate and resource protection. In order to enhance resource efficiency and offer a solution for the global problem of textile waste, the company developed the Refibra recycling technology. Refibra is the only technology in the world enabling the production of new lyocell fibres on a commercial scale from cotton scraps derived from manufacturing cotton clothing as well as from used garments. In this way, an important contribution is made to promoting circularity in the textile industry. In line with the vision, “We give waste a new life. Every day”, Lenzing strives to make textile waste recycling a commonplace and standard process, just like paper recycling. Lenzing set a new sustainability goal for itself in 2020 and implemented measures to turn this vision into reality. The company aims to manufacture staple fibres on an industrial scale containing up to 50 per cent recycled material by the year 2025. “It is our declared goal to give new life to waste generated in all aspects of our core business and to develop recycling solutions as a means of closing production cycles whenever possible in collaboration with potential partners within and outside of the current supply chain,” Stefan Doboczky, CEO at Lenzing said. In addition to environmental protection, the issue of transparency along the supply chain poses a major challenge to the textile industry. Working in cooperation with TextileGenesis, Lenzing offers an innovative solution to ensure greater transparency on the basis of blockchain technology. Following several successful pilot projects with renowned fashion brands, this digital platform was ultimately launched in 2020 to enable the traceability of textiles, from the fibre to all stages of production and distribution. Thanks to the innovative Fibrecoin technology of the TextileGenesis platform, Lenzing and its partners are able to issue so-called “blockchain assets” in direct proportion to the physical fibre deliveries of the brands Tencel and Lenzing Ecovero. These digital assets function like a “fingerprint” and thus prevent adulteration. More than 100 customs and partners along the textile supply chain were able to successfully conclude the onboarding process by the end of the 2020 financial year.