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Lenzing –Lenzing has been recognised for its sustainability work by ratings agency MSCI, with the manufacturer of Tencel branded lyocell and modal fibres improving its grade from A to AA.

It places Lenzing among the world’s top six per cent in the industry, with the firm’s efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions and circularity earning it high praise.

“The issue of sustainability has been firmly anchored in our strategy for many years and is fundamental to our commercial success. Lenzing is an absolute pioneer in this field and we will continue to be a role model in future,” said Thomas Obendrauf, Lenzing Group’s chief financial officer.

MSCI’s rating adjustment comes amidst a flurry of activity from Lenzing, which has established timebound targets of halving carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

This summer, the fibre producer also teamed up with Swedish pulp supplier Södra in a bid to pool their expertise and divert textiles from landfill.

The two companies signed a joint agreement to scale up the production of pulp from post-consumer waste to make Lenzing’s Tencel Refibra fibre, which involves upcycling cotton scraps from garment production and transforming them into cotton pulp. The cotton pulp is then added to sustainably sourced wood pulp to produce virgin Tencel Lyocell fibres.

The goal is to process 25,000 tonnes of textile waste per year by 2025, which would equate to 50,000 tonnes of pulp containing 50 per cent wood and 50 per cent post-consumer waste.

The upgrade to the MSCI ESG rating will also lead to a reduction in Lenzing’s interest expense. Lenzing placed a bonded loan worth €500 million (US$577m) in November 2019, which is linked to its sustainability performance.

In accordance with its commitment under the bonded loan placement, the company will donate the full amount of the interest expense saved thanks to the rating revision to a project it supports.

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