Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tencel in Lenzing Annual Reports (2007)

More paragraphs extracted from the Lenzing annual reports...

There's no mention of Tencel in the section on "Business Unit Textile Fibres" or in the section on R&D. However under "Business Unit Nonwovens" we read:

The success of products based on TENCEL® nonwovens was remarkable. The convenience product sector grew considerably. Wipes for a broad range of applications – from hygiene and cleaning to medical applications – were much in demand. Sales of Lenzing fibers for technical applications increased as well. The unique properties of cellulose fibers, in particular TENCEL® enabled the implementation in new market segments such as the automotive industry, filtration technology and medical technology.  (see also Tencel Product development 1985-94)

In "Competition Rulings in Favour of Lenzing"...
The European Court of Justice, as court of last resort, ruled in favor of Lenzing...and that Lenzing had not received unjustified subsidies for its [Lyocell] production site at Heiligenkreuz (Austria)

Also, in "The evaluation of fiber sustainability" we read of a study showing Lenzing's viscose and modal to have less environmental impact than Tencel, all being better than cotton:

A comprehensive evaluation of fiber sustainability with regard to consumption of non-renewable resources, emission of greenhouse gases, impact on human well-being and impairment of ecosystems requires a holistic approach, in other words the compilation of a life cycle assessment. Using standardized methodology, a life cycle assessment for Lenzing Viscose®, Lenzing Modal® and TENCEL® in direct comparison with cotton, polyester and propylene fibers was carried out in collaboration with Martin Patel and Li Shen of the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht

The evaluation of environmental impact was conducted according to the CML* method, developed at Leiden University considering the following indicators:

GWP (global warming potential)
Abiotic depletion (consumption of non-renewable resources,
minerals, fossil fuels)
Human toxicity (impact on human health)
Fresh water ecotoxicity (water pollution)
Terrestrial ecotoxicity (soil pollution)
Photochemical oxidation (air pollution, summer smog)
Acidification (air, water and soil)

Viscose and modal fibers produced at the Lenzing site were found to be particularly sustainable. This is a result of the integrated production of pulp, energy and fibers at the Lenzing site and represents the best available technology for the whole fiber industry. The framework conditions for viscose fiber production in Asia are less favorable but still significantly superior to those of cotton.

The good result of TENCEL® is due to the lyocell process which has received multiple awards for its ecological soundness. The current 2007 value for TENCEL® 2007 is based on a 30% biomass share in energy production and will be reduced by half again in 2012 by the planned changeover to thermal waste utilization. The study shows that the impact of Lenzing fibers on the environment is many times lower than that of cotton. 

The common opinion that the natural fiber cotton is more ecological than industrially produced cellulose fibers is not supported by scientific evidence.

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