The Lenzing Group, a world-leading provider of wood-based specialty fibers, is expanding its global clean electricity portfolio and transitioning its production site in Purwakarta to green electricity. The Indonesian subsidiary PT. South Pacific Viscose (SPV) has been using electricity generated solely from renewable sources since July this year, which will reduce its specific carbon emissions by 75,000 tonnes annually.
In 2019, Lenzing became the first fiber producer to set a target of halving its carbon emissions by 2030 and becoming climate neutral by 2050. This carbon reduction target has been recognized by the Science Based Targets Initiative. In Purwakarta, Lenzing is currently investing in the reduction of carbon emissions, as well as air and water emissions. Thanks to its EUR 100 million investment in this area, Lenzing is gradually transitioning its existing capacities for standard viscose to LENZING™ ECOVERO™ and VEOCEL™ branded specialty viscose.
“Demand for our wood-based, biodegradable specialty fibers is constantly rising. We see enormous growth potential, especially in Asia. The switch to green, renewable electricity marks a huge step forward in converting our Indonesian site into a specialty fiber supplier. This makes us better positioned to meet the growing demand for sustainably produced fibers,” comments Robert van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer for Fiber at Lenzing.
Boosting growth in specialty fibers
Man-made climate change is one of the most pressing problems of our time. The fashion industry has an extremely negative impact on the environment due to its fast fashion business model and the growing consumption of fossil resources in textile production. LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibers (for textiles) and specialty viscose fibers under the VEOCEL™ brand with Eco Care technology (for nonwovens) generate 50 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution compared to standard viscose.
Specialty fibers are Lenzing’s key strength. The company aims to generate more than 75 percent of its fiber revenue from the wood-based, biodegradable specialty fibers business under the TENCEL™, LENZING™ ECOVERO™ and VEOCEL™ brands by 2024. With the launch of the lyocell plant in Thailand in March 2022 and the investments in existing production sites in Indonesia and China, the share of specialty fibers in Lenzing’s fiber revenue is set to exceed the 75 percent target by a significant margin as early as 2023.
1 Higg MSI: This figure was calculated using the Higg Material Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) tools of The Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The Higg MSI tools assess the impact of materials according to the cradle to gate method for finished material (e.g. material that is ready to be integrated into a product). However, the results only reflect the impact of manufacturing up to fiber production.