The Lenzing Group, a provider of wood-based specialty fibers, is expanding its global clean electricity portfolio and transitioning its production site in Purwakarta, Indonesia, to green electricity.
Starting last month, the Indonesian subsidiary PT South Pacific Viscose (SPV) has been using electricity generated solely from renewable sources, which the company said will reduce its specific carbon emissions by 75,000 tons annually.
In 2019, Lenzing set a target of cutting its carbon emissions in half by 2030 and becoming climate neutral by 2050. The carbon reduction target has been recognized by the Science Based Targets Initiative.
In Purwakarta, Lenzing is investing in the reduction of carbon emissions, as well as air and water emissions. Thanks to its 100 million euro ($100 million) investment in this area, Lenzing is gradually transitioning its existing capacities for standard viscose to Lenzing Ecovero and Veocl branded specialty viscose.
“Demand for our wood-based, biodegradable specialty fibers is constantly rising,” Robert van de Kerkhof, chief commercial officer for fiber at Lenzing, said. “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.”
The company noted that man-made climate change is one of the most pressing problems of today, with the fashion industry having a 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, according to the fiber manufacturer.
Lenzing aims to generate more than 75 percent of its fiber revenue from the wood-based, biodegradable specialty fibers business under the Tencel, Ecovero and Veocel brands by 2024. With the launch of a lyocell plant in Thailand in March 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.