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LENZING: FIBERS FROM NATURE, BACK TO NATURE

SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION / END-OF-LIFE SOLUTIONS

Austria-based manufacturer Lenzing has been creating fibers from natural materials for more than 80 years. The company is taking their sustainability efforts even further with the introduction of the industry’s first carbon neutral VEOCEL™ branded fibers.

This new offering will support the reduction of climate impact through the use of Lyocell fibers with a net-zero footprint – and a recent study proved its high level of degradability in natural sea conditions.

Emission from raw materials is often the biggest part of a product or corporate footprint. To reduce these indirect emissions, a company can either avoid such a material or depend on its value chain to deliver new, climate-friendly solutions. With our new offer of carbon neutral VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers, we can certainly help our partners and customers reduce their emission impact..
Jürgen Eizinger, Senior Commercial Director, Lenzing

Conducted by the Institute for Oceanography at the University of Southern California, the study furnished proof that the wood-based cellulosic VEOCEL™ fibers are completely biodegradable not only in the laboratory but also in the sea.

The SCRIPPS study of the series of tests, which was published in October 2021, shows that the wood-based cellulosic fibers biodegrade in sea water in a short period of time and thus clearly represent a better alternative to fossil-based fibers like polyester.

The experiment tested more than 45 different material and fleece samples, from cotton to polyester to VEOCEL™ cellulosic fibers. Samples were placed in small nets on the surface of the water, and at a depth of approximately 10 meters under water.

These samples were then analyzed in detail. The results showed that while polyester fibers revealed practically no changes after 200 days, the VEOCEL™ cellulosic fiber had practically completely decomposed after 28 days.

As of June 2021, VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers are available as certified CarbonNeutral® products with a carbon footprint reduced to net-zero, according to The CarbonNeutral Protocol. Achieving certified carbon neutrality was the result of Lenzing’s carbon reduction efforts over the last years and the collaboration with Natural Capital Partners, a global leader in the design, development and delivery of corporate climate action programs.

It was possible to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero through a mix of higher production efficiencies, the use of renewable energy sources, low-carbon materials and the dedicated support of an external nature-based carbon removal project.

VEOCEL™ carbon neutral fibers are made through a closed loop Lyocell production process of low environmental impact that recycles water and reuses the solvent at a recovery rate of more than 99%. Through a verified natural carbon removal project, the manufacturer can absorb the remaining equivalent carbon emissions of sustainable reforestation of barren lands.

Lenzing is committed to reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to become net-zero by 2050, offering its partners a solution to help achieve a carbon reduction of scope 3 targets. The company’s commitment to carbon reduction is approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, meeting U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (specifically, 7, 12,13,15 and 17).

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