Brands, retailers and producers of manmade cellulosic fibres (MMCF) are yet to pull up their socks on NextGen materials. Goals for NextGen production, expressed as a percentage of their total production, remain very low.
- This is one of the findings of CanopyStyle's Hot Button Report: Detailed Matrix of Viscose Producer Performance.
Findings on NextGen Production: Almost all participating producers reported NextGen R&D activities and testing and trialing NextGen inputs, and indicated an interest in eventually integrating more NextGen pulp when it is available on the market, or manufacturing their own, once testing indicates that it is ready for production.
- Only "a few producers" are aiming to have approximately 10-15% NextGen content by 2025 or 2030, while "another few" are aiming for 20–30% of production to be NextGen by 2025 or 2030.
- Just "one very large and one very small producer" have intentions to reach 60–100%.
- Even, amounts of NextGen viscose/lyocell staple fibre and filament yarn being made or trialed in 2022 are currently insignificant: <1% of production by any of the producers.
- A mere two producers are ready to build 5,000–15,000 tonne NextGen fibre pilot lines in late 2022 early 2023.
- Two producers have maintained public commitments to greater production within four years (Aditya Birla to 100,000T of 50% NextGen content by 2024 and Lenzing to 100,000 T of 100% NextGen content by 2026), <10% current production volumes.
The Silver Lining: NextGen numbers, however, could change for next year’s Hot Button, with more market pulp from Renewcell now coming online.
There are now seven established commercial lines of Next Gen, three more than last year.
- Budgets for Next Gen R&D have increased for some of the producers, with an average of about 10% of companies’ budgets.
The Hot Button Project: The 2022 Hot Button Ranking of viscose producers was conducted using the consistent application of the tools and standards of the CanopyStyle initiative, including the CanopyStyle Audit.
- The audit used a risk-based approach and requires verifiable evidence that wood and pulp used by viscose producers meets the requirements of a robust verification framework.
- The audit standard and process were developed by Canopy, in partnership with Preferred by Nature, and is supported by the CanopyStyle Leaders for Forest Conservation and brands, retailers, and designers looking to implement their sourcing policies for man-made cellulosic textiles.
- The percentage of global fibre production from producers earning green shirts has risen, from 50% in 2021 to 53% in 2022.
- However, there is a widening in the gap between producers that are engaged and taking action to improve, and the few remaining red shirts.
- Eleven producers improved their ranking by at least one shirt colour this year, and three jumped a full two shirt colours ahead.
- The number of producers earning dark green shirts increased from two last year to six this year: Lenzing (top score, at 32 buttons), Aditya Birla (31.5), and tied at 30 buttons each were Tangshan Sanyou, Eastman, Jilin, and Xinxiang Chemical Fiber Co Ltd. (Bailu Group).