From the Sector

Reset
84 results
IHKIB: Green Transformation Journey of the Turkish Apparel Industry (c) Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB)
TIM and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe
05.02.2024

IHKIB: Green Transformation Journey of the Turkish Apparel Industry

The fashion industry, which has strategic importance for the Turkish economy with its value-added production, employment, and exports, came together with representatives of global brands and Laison offices at the 'Green transformation' summit. At the meeting hosted by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB), the studies carried out in the process of adaptation to the Green Deal were put under the spotlight, and the expectations of the Turkish fashion industry from the stakeholders were also expressed.

The opening of the meeting, attended by representatives of relevant ministries and foreign representations, national and international fund providers, as well as brands and buying groups were brought together, was made by Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM) and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe. In his speech, Gültepe underlined Türkiye's importance in the global apparel industry, by realizing approximately 3.5 percent of world apparel exports. Gültepe continued as follows:

The fashion industry, which has strategic importance for the Turkish economy with its value-added production, employment, and exports, came together with representatives of global brands and Laison offices at the 'Green transformation' summit. At the meeting hosted by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB), the studies carried out in the process of adaptation to the Green Deal were put under the spotlight, and the expectations of the Turkish fashion industry from the stakeholders were also expressed.

The opening of the meeting, attended by representatives of relevant ministries and foreign representations, national and international fund providers, as well as brands and buying groups were brought together, was made by Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM) and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe. In his speech, Gültepe underlined Türkiye's importance in the global apparel industry, by realizing approximately 3.5 percent of world apparel exports. Gültepe continued as follows:

"As IHKIB, we aim to increase our current annual exports, which are around $20 billion, to $40 billion. The road to the goal goes through Europe and America because the European Union is our largest market in apparel. We export 60 percent of our total apparel exports to EU countries. When we add other European countries and the USA, the ratio approaches 75 percent. While working on alternatives for the $40 billion in exports, we need to focus more on the European and U.S. markets because, as the data shows, the path to $40 billion in apparel exports goes through Europe and the U.S. We already have long-standing collaborations with brands centered in Europe and America. With our knowledge, speed, production quality, design power, and geographical proximity to Europe, we distinguish ourselves from competitors. We took a very important step in the transformation process exactly one year ago. We shared our action plan, which is a road map for our fashion industry's compliance with the Green Deal, with the public on January 30, 2023."

After Mustafa Gültepe's opening speech, Euratex Director General Dirk Vantyghem, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Trade Bahar Güçlü, and Deputy Secretary General of ITKIB Özlem Güneş made presentations regarding the ongoing efforts in the Green Deal process.

Dirk Vantyghem discussed the sustainability strategy of the textile and apparel industry and the expectations from the EU administration, while Bahar Güçlü provided information about the reflections of legal regulations related to the Green Deal on Türkiye.

Deputy Secretary General of ITKIB Özlem Güneş emphasized the significant opportunity that the Green Deal represents for the Turkish apparel industry, providing comprehensive insights into the efforts conducted by IHKIB regarding the Green Deal adaptation process.

Source:

Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB)

05.02.2024

ECHA: Strategic goals for 2024-2028

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published its Strategy Statement 2024-2028. The strategy details the agency’s goals and priorities over the next five years to protect health and the environment through its work for chemical safety.

Main elements of the Strategy – Goals and Priorities

Be a trusted chemicals agency – ECHA aims to achieve this by delivering its legal mandate using independent expertise and robust data. The Agency, to support this, will:

  • Deliver transparent, independent, and high-quality scientific advice, opinions, and decisions;
  • Enhance decision and policy making through optimal use of data, knowledge, and competence; and
  • Facilitate the prioritisation and co-ordination of regulatory actions on substances and groups of substances with the European Commission (EC), EU agencies and Member State Authorities.

 
Respond to emerging challenges and changes in their legal landscape – ECHA will prepare for new tasks and inform EU chemical and environmental policy. To support this goal, it will focus on the following priorities:

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published its Strategy Statement 2024-2028. The strategy details the agency’s goals and priorities over the next five years to protect health and the environment through its work for chemical safety.

Main elements of the Strategy – Goals and Priorities

Be a trusted chemicals agency – ECHA aims to achieve this by delivering its legal mandate using independent expertise and robust data. The Agency, to support this, will:

  • Deliver transparent, independent, and high-quality scientific advice, opinions, and decisions;
  • Enhance decision and policy making through optimal use of data, knowledge, and competence; and
  • Facilitate the prioritisation and co-ordination of regulatory actions on substances and groups of substances with the European Commission (EC), EU agencies and Member State Authorities.

 
Respond to emerging challenges and changes in their legal landscape – ECHA will prepare for new tasks and inform EU chemical and environmental policy. To support this goal, it will focus on the following priorities:

  • Implement new legal requirements using existing and new synergies and experience;
  • Work with relevant EU agencies and bodies to deliver Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) actions and objectives; and
  • Provide scientific and technical advice on chemicals to EU policy makers.

 
Communicate and Engage – by collaborating with stakeholders and partners, ECHA will strengthen public confidence in chemicals regulation. In support of this goal, the Agency will:

  • Deepen their network of engagement with EU institutions and agencies and Member States;
  • Collaborate and provide tools, advice, and support to industry; and
  • Promote awareness and understanding of ECHA's work to stakeholders representing workers, the public and the environment.

 
Lead on chemical knowledge and expertise – the Agency will advance knowledge and understanding on chemical safety. To achieve this, it will:

  • Contribute proactively to expanding scientific and technical competence and knowledge on chemical safety;
  • Promote the development and use of alternative methods for the assessment of hazards and risks of chemicals; and
  • Support the EC to enhance engagement and synergies at international level.

 
Invest in people and organisational excellence – ECHA is committed to working together to achieve their vision. In order to achieve this they will:

  • Develop and empower their people for success;
  • Create optimal ways of working for the Agency, its bodies, its people, and the environment; and
  • Adopt an IT delivery model that is cost-effective, streamlined, modular, interoperable, cloud based and centralised.
Source:

European Chemicals Agency

22.01.2024

Adient again ranked as Top Employer

Adient, a leader in automotive seating, has been certified for the second time by the Top Employers Institute as a European Top Employer for several of its EMEA locations.
 
23 of the automotive supplier’s locations in the Czech Republic, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Serbia underwent an extensive assessment by the institute and were evaluated in categories such as People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Diversity & Inclusion, Wellbeing and more. All six assessed markets obtained the certification, having already done so in last year’s edition.
 
While the organization’s overall score improved by 4.5% compared to 2023, Adient stands out the most from its competitors in the areas of People Strategy and DE&I practices, at 11% and 7%, respectively.

The Top Employers Certification Program has been created to provide guidance on people practices of employers in a wide range of industries. It evaluates companies worldwide and provides feedback on their working culture based on a best practice survey.

Adient, a leader in automotive seating, has been certified for the second time by the Top Employers Institute as a European Top Employer for several of its EMEA locations.
 
23 of the automotive supplier’s locations in the Czech Republic, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Serbia underwent an extensive assessment by the institute and were evaluated in categories such as People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Diversity & Inclusion, Wellbeing and more. All six assessed markets obtained the certification, having already done so in last year’s edition.
 
While the organization’s overall score improved by 4.5% compared to 2023, Adient stands out the most from its competitors in the areas of People Strategy and DE&I practices, at 11% and 7%, respectively.

The Top Employers Certification Program has been created to provide guidance on people practices of employers in a wide range of industries. It evaluates companies worldwide and provides feedback on their working culture based on a best practice survey.

19.12.2023

Euratex Manifesto: 15 requests for competitiveness and resilience

2024 is a turning point for the European textiles and clothing industry: From 6 to 9 June 2024, European citizens will vote for a new European Parliament and, based on the results, a new European Commission will be formed. In view of this important election, EURATEX publishes a Manifesto, presenting 15 requests which will help to ensure a competitive European textiles and clothing industry.

The textile and apparel industry is making a substantial contribution to European wealth, jobs and growth. Europe counts 192,000 companies employing 1.3 million workers with a turnover of €167 billion and over €67 billion of exports. Entrepreneurship should be recognised as the foundation for a competitive textile industry, offering high quality and sustainable products, based on innovation, creativity and design. European policy makers should recognise such role to textiles and apparel companies and have an open dialogue to create better framework conditions to operate in the internal and global markets.

2024 is a turning point for the European textiles and clothing industry: From 6 to 9 June 2024, European citizens will vote for a new European Parliament and, based on the results, a new European Commission will be formed. In view of this important election, EURATEX publishes a Manifesto, presenting 15 requests which will help to ensure a competitive European textiles and clothing industry.

The textile and apparel industry is making a substantial contribution to European wealth, jobs and growth. Europe counts 192,000 companies employing 1.3 million workers with a turnover of €167 billion and over €67 billion of exports. Entrepreneurship should be recognised as the foundation for a competitive textile industry, offering high quality and sustainable products, based on innovation, creativity and design. European policy makers should recognise such role to textiles and apparel companies and have an open dialogue to create better framework conditions to operate in the internal and global markets.

To realise that vision, the industry and policy makers need to work together on a mix of policy measures and initiatives, which are coherent and offer a transparent and predictable framework for our companies, and make them more resilient and competitive.

These policies should focus around four points:

Develop and implement a “smart” EU industrial policy
Europe should create policies which enhance competitiveness, instead of creating administrative burdens. To EURATEX, each new piece of legislation should undergo a “competitiveness test” to critically look at the impact of the new rules. Europe should also create a favourable environment to promote education and jobs in the industry. The EU textile industry currently employees 1,3 million people, 30% of which is above 50 years old. A critical bottleneck for the textile industry is to attract (young) people and make sure these people have the right set of skills, to operate in a changing textile ecosystem. EURATEX also asks the EU to invest in innovation and digitalisation as they are key to the European competitive advantage. Not only, as the last years have proved, Europe should provide companies with access to sustainable energy at lower prices.

No sustainability without competitiveness
The EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles is pushing our sector towards new business models with a lower environmental footprint. To realise that ambition, no less than 16 regulatory proposals are on the table, each of them with a different timetable, managed by different departments of the European Commission. EURATEX is committed to sustainability, but asks for economic realism. This set of new regulations needs to be coherent, enforceable, feasible and applicable for SMEs, and not push textile companies out of the market. Moreover, some member states are moving forward faster and some legislations will be decided at national level, creating fragmentation of the market. Such scenarios will hamper Europe and its possibilities to grow.

Ensure free and fair trade
With $224 billion in sold merchandise, Europe is the second major world exporters of textiles and clothes after China ($321 billion). It is therefore important that the global market should be open, free and fair for our industry to continue to thrive. Besides the support to FTAs in general, EURATEX wants to emphasise that all trade agreements should offer effective market access for EU companies and a level playing field in these markets. A free and open market should go hand in hand also with protection against free riders. The EU must always consider enforcement and enforceability when making new laws; it should also take action together with the member states for a better coordination with harmonised criteria for action among Customs Authorities.

Incentivise the Demand for sustainable textiles
Sustainable textile products typically come at a premium price, making it difficult for many consumers and buyers to purchase such products. Many surveys across Europe confirm that around 50% of interviewees do not purchase sustainable fashion products and the main reason is price. EURATEX believes that, to create a demand and help consumers to buy a (genuine) sustainable textile product, there should be standard requirements and fiscal incentives. Public authorities should also implement green public procurements, by increasing the importance of sustainability criteria in their evaluation grids.

Priyam Patel at Pixabay
12.12.2023

Select Committee: Reset Economic Relationship with The People's Republic of China

The House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, led by Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), adopted nearly 150 policy recommendations in a bipartisan report that outlines a strategy to fundamentally reset the United States' economic and technological competition with the People's Republic of China.

The House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, led by Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), adopted nearly 150 policy recommendations in a bipartisan report that outlines a strategy to fundamentally reset the United States' economic and technological competition with the People's Republic of China.

After the adoption of the policy recommendations on an bipartisan basis, Chairman Gallagher and Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi said, “With this report, the Select Committee has shown that the bipartisan will exists to meet the call of history. It embraces the clear reality that our current economic relationship with the People's Republic of China needs to be reset in order to serve the economic and national security interests of the United States, while offering nearly 150 bipartisan recommendations for Congress to legislate. Collectively, these recommendations will reset the terms of our relationship with the PRC, prevent the flow of American capital and technology from supporting its military advances and human rights abuses, and build collective economic resilience in concert with our allies and partners while ensuring American leadership for decades to come."

Members of the Select Committee spent the past year investigating the CCP's decades-long campaign of economic and technological warfare. The members define three key pillars that inform each recommendation and the United States' path to correct 30 years of misguided policy:

  • RESET: Reset the Terms of Our Economic Relationship with the People's Republic of China.
  • PREVENT: Stem the Flow of U.S. Capital and Technology Fueling the People's Republic of China's Military Modernization and Human Rights Abuses
  • BUILD: Invest in Technological Leadership and Build Collective Economic Resilience in Concert with Allies
More information:
China USA
Source:

NCTO / The Select Committee on the CCP

Santoni finalizes Acquisition of Terrot (c) Santoni / Terrot
22.11.2023

Santoni finalizes Acquisition of Terrot

Santoni Shanghai Knitting Machinery Co., Ltd. announces that it has received regulatory approval from Chinese authorities for its proposed acquisition of Terrot GmbH, a manufacturer of circular knitting machines in Germany.

The acquisition represents a pivotal step in Santoni's strategy to advance the circular knitting machine industry. The integration of Terrot into the Santoni ecosystem is projected to increase Santoni's production capacity and boost its market share, and in conjunction with other strategic objectives, firmly solidify Santoni's position as the leading manufacturer in the industry, with unrivaled scale, depth of innovation and expertise.

Santoni Shanghai Knitting Machinery Co., Ltd. announces that it has received regulatory approval from Chinese authorities for its proposed acquisition of Terrot GmbH, a manufacturer of circular knitting machines in Germany.

The acquisition represents a pivotal step in Santoni's strategy to advance the circular knitting machine industry. The integration of Terrot into the Santoni ecosystem is projected to increase Santoni's production capacity and boost its market share, and in conjunction with other strategic objectives, firmly solidify Santoni's position as the leading manufacturer in the industry, with unrivaled scale, depth of innovation and expertise.

Seeking to meet rising demand for high-end circular knitting products, Santoni has pursued an Ecosystem Strategy in recent years, aiming to unify a highly fragmented industry and enhance innovation, sustainability and digitalization to more effectively meet market needs. The deployment of both parties' latest innovation practices, textile automation offerings, integrated enterprise services, C2M solutions, and a platform for designers "Materialliance", will allow Santoni Shanghai and Terrot to connect and bridge demand and offer of circular knitted products.

By incorporating Terrot's offerings, particularly in the double jersey and jacquard sector, Santoni stands to gain a competitive edge in offering machines known for their performance, low maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. Highlighting this shift is Terrot's UCC 572-T, a transfer jacquard machine for sports and leisurewear.

Following the acquisition, Terrot will continue to operate under the leadership of managing directors Robert W. Czajkowski and Dirk Lange. Santoni plans to maintain Terrot’s headquarters in Chemnitz, Germany, along with its facilities, brands, and practices.

Source:

Terrot GmbH

08.11.2023

adidas: Revenue increase in third quarter

Developments:

Developments:

  • Currency-neutral revenues up 1% driven by growth in all regions except North America
  • Top-line development reflects focus on conservative sell-in and full-price business
  • Gross margin up 0.2pp to 49.3% driven by reduced freight costs, a more favorable business mix, and lower inventory allowances; discounting levels continue to improve  
  • Operating profit of € 409 million includes extraordinary expenses of around € 110 million
  • Conservative sell-in strategy paying off as inventory position improves substantially versus Q2 level to € 4.8 billion; now down 23% year-over-year

Outlook
adidas expects revenues to decline at a low-single-digit rate
On October 17, adidas had adjusted its full year financial guidance to reflect both the positive impact of the second drop of some of its Yeezy inventory and the better-than-expected development of the underlying business. At the same time, macroeconomic challenges and geopolitical tensions persist. Elevated recession risks in North America and Europe as well as uncertainty around the recovery in Greater China continue to exist. In addition, the company’s revenue development will continue to be impacted by the initiatives to significantly reduce high inventory levels in North America and the company’s focus on full-price sales across its own channels. As a result, adidas now expects currency-neutral revenues to decline at a low-single-digit rate in 2023 (previously: decline at a mid-single-digit rate).

Underlying operating profit anticipated to reach a level of around € 100 million
The company’s underlying operating profit – excluding any one-offs related to Yeezy and the ongoing strategic review – is now anticipated to reach a level of around € 100 million in 2023 (previously: around break-even level). Including the positive impact from the two Yeezy drops in Q2 and Q3 of around € 300 million (previously: € 150 million), the potential write-off of the remaining Yeezy inventory of now around € 300 million (previously: € 400 million) and one-off costs related to the strategic review of up to € 200 million (unchanged), adidas now expects a reported operating loss of around € 100 million in 2023 (previously: loss of € 450 million).

Source:

adidas AG

03.11.2023

Solvay announces Board of Directors for standalone SYENSQO

Solvay announced the future Board of Directors of SYENSQO, effective upon completion of the planned separation of Solvay into two companies – SOLVAY and SYENSQO – which is on track to be completed in December 2023.

SYENSQO’s Board will be composed of 10 members, including 6 independent members, 3 members representing the reference shareholder, Solvac, and the company CEO. They have deep expertise in specialty industries, international business operations, risk management, corporate governance, finance and clean technology.

Solvay announced the future Board of Directors of SYENSQO, effective upon completion of the planned separation of Solvay into two companies – SOLVAY and SYENSQO – which is on track to be completed in December 2023.

SYENSQO’s Board will be composed of 10 members, including 6 independent members, 3 members representing the reference shareholder, Solvac, and the company CEO. They have deep expertise in specialty industries, international business operations, risk management, corporate governance, finance and clean technology.

The following individuals will serve on the SYENSQO Board of Directors:
Rosemary Thorne will serve as independent Director and Chair of the SYENSQO Board, as well as Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee. She is currently an Independent Director on the Solvay Board of Directors, appointed in 2014, and Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee. She is also an Independent Director on the Board of Merrill Lynch International (UK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of America, serving as Chair of the Audit Committee. Ms. Thorne has decades of financial leadership experience across a wide range of industries. She previously served as Chief Financial Officer at J. Sainsbury, the UK’s largest supermarket chain at the time; Bradford & Bingley; and Ladbrokes. Ms. Thorne previously sat as an Independent Director on the Boards of Royal Mail Group, Cadbury Schweppes, Santander UK, First Global Trust Bank and Smurfit Kappa Group.

Dr. Ilham Kadri will serve as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of SYENSQO. She is currently CEO and President of the Executive Committee at Solvay. Ms. Kadri has successfully led the turnaround of Solvay, delivering double-digit EBITDA growth and 18 consecutive quarters of positive free cash flow, deleveraging the balance sheet and promoting superior people engagement. She is an independent Board member at A.O. Smith and L’Oréal. She is active in non-profit organizations, as Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), member of the steering committee of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) as well as a permanent member of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council (WEF). Ms. Kadri has extensive leadership experience across a variety of industries in four continents and with leading industrial multinationals, including Shell, UCB, Huntsman, Dow, Sealed Air. Prior to Solvay, she was CEO and President of Diversey in the USA, led the company’s return to profitability and resulting spin off and divestiture to Bain Capital. She founded two non-Profit foundations: the Solvay Solidarity Fund in Belgium in 2020 which supported more than 7000 families affected by Covid-19 and natural disasters; and founded the ISSA Hygieia Network in 2015 in the USA, to help women in the cleaning industry. She received two Doctor Honoris Clausa from EWHA University in Korea and Université de Namur in Belgium.

Julian Waldron will serve as independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee. He currently serves as Deputy Executive Chairman of privately-held Albea Group, a global beauty and personal care packaging company which operates 35 facilities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Mr. Waldron has held senior leadership roles at several leading listed companies in the industrial, technology and services sectors and brings a wealth of expertise in finance and business operations. Prior to joining Albea in 2022, he was Chief Financial Officer of Suez for three years after serving as Chief Financial Officer and subsequently Chief Operating Officer of Technip. He started his career at UBS Warburg where he spent 14 years. Mr. Waldron also served as an independent Board member and Chairman of finance, risk and investments at Carbon Clean, a privately-owned carbon capture company dedicated to achieving net zero.

Heike Van de Kerkhof will serve as independent Director and Chair of the Nomination Committee. She currently sits on the Board of OCI N.V.. Ms. Van de Kerkhof brings more than 30 years of experience in the chemicals, oil & gas and materials industries, having served in numerous leadership roles around the globe. From 2020 to 2023, she was Chief Executive Officer of Archroma Management, a global specialty chemicals company. During her tenure, she successfully completed the transformational acquisition of Huntsman’s Textile Effects business. Prior to her role at Archroma, Ms. Van de Kerkhof served as Vice President of Lubricants, Western Hemisphere at BP, and held positions at Castrol, The Chemours Company, and Neste Corporation. She also held many leading roles within DuPont over 18 years.

Matti Lievonen will serve as independent Director and Chair of the Compensation Committee. He is currently an independent director on the Solvay Board, appointed in 2017. Mr. Lievonen is a proven executive in the energy, forestry, power and automation industries with an extensive track record of leading businesses through climate transition. For over ten years until 2018, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neste Corporation, a global leader in next-generation renewable fuels and chemicals. During his time at Neste, Mr. Lievonen successfully promoted the development of clean fuels as well as Finland’s bioeconomy strategy in advancing renewable transportation fuels. He has also been involved with organizations such as Fortum Board, SSAB, Nynäs AB, Ilmarinen, and the HE Finnish Fair Foundation. Until 2021, Mr. Lievonen was also Chairman of the Board of Directors at Fortum. He has been recognized for his admirable leadership and expertise, and in 2016 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by the Aalto University Schools of Technology.

Dr. Françoise de Viron will serve as non-independent Director, Chair of the ESG Committee and Vice-Chair of the Board. She is currently a director of the Solvay Board, appointed in 2013. Ms. de Viron is a regarded academic leader and has extensive experience in innovation, R&D and qualitative research. She is a Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences and Louvain School of Management at UCLouvain in Belgium where she has been an Academic Member of various groups at UCLouvain. Ms. de Viron previously served as the president of AISBL EUCEN – the European Universities Continuing Education Network. Prior to her university position, from 1985 to 2000, she was in charge of developing Artificial Intelligence applications at Tractebel S.A. (now Tractebel-Engie).

Roeland Baan will serve as independent Director. He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Topsoe, a privately-held leading provider of clean energy and petrochemical technologies. He is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SBM Offshore NV. Roeland Baan has extensive experience in supply chain management, M&A, business development and operations management. Prior to joining Topsoe in 2020, he was President and CEO of Outokumpu and has held several executive roles at global organizations such as Aleris International, ArcelorMittal and SHV NV. He spent over 16 years in various roles across the globe at Shell, living in South America, in Africa and in the United Kingdom.

Edouard Janssen will serve as non-independent Director. He is currently a Director on the Solvay Board, appointed in 2021. Earlier this year, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer of D’Ieteren Group, a European leader in automotive distribution services. Mr. Janssen is also a Board member of privately-held Financière de Tubize and Union Financière Boël, as well as Co-Founder and Chair of Trusted Family. Mr. Janssen is active in academics, as Vice-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and on the advisory board of the INSEAD HGIBS. He brings expertise in finance, strategy, entrepreneurship, business management, planning and marketing. He has served as Solvay’s Vice President in strategy and M&A between 2019 and 2021, and prior to that, he was the US-based General Manager for North- and Latin America at Solvay’s Aroma Performance Global Business Unit.
 
Dr. Mary Meaney will serve as non-independent Director. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors and of the Audit Committee of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA. She also sits on the Board of Directors and the Remuneration Committee of Beamery, the privately-held talent management company. She is a member of the Board of Directors and of the Finance Committee of Imperial College, London.Dr. Meaney will bring expertise in Strategy, M&A, and change management, which she acquired over a 24-year career at McKinsey. She was a Senior Partner, served on the McKinsey Shareholders Council and led McKinsey’s global Organization practice.

Nadine Leslie will serve as independent Director and is based in the United States of America. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Provident Financial Services , as well as a Non-Executive Director of Seven Seas Water Corporation, a water and wastewater treatment multinational company. She also sits on the Board of Trustees of Hackensack Meridian Health Network and is active as strategic consultant for civil engineering firm T&M Associates. Over a 22-year career at Suez, Ms. Leslie held several leadership positions, the last one being Chief Executive Officer of Suez North America, until 2022. Previously she served as Executive Vice President Health & Safety.

More information:
Solvay Board of Directors
Source:

Solvay

03.11.2023

Lenzing implements performance program in response to lack of market recovery

  • Revenue of EUR 1.87 bn and EBITDA of EUR 219.1 mn in the first three quarters of 2023
  • Positive free cash flow of EUR 27.3 mn in the third quarter
  • Implementation of performance program focusing on positive free cash flow, strengthened sales and margin growth and sustainable cost excellence
  • Modernization and conversion of Indonesian site successfully completed – EU Ecolabel received

The anticipated recovery in markets relevant for the Lenzing Group has to date failed to materialize. The continued sharp increase in raw material and energy costs on the one hand and very subdued demand on the other had a negative impact on Lenzing’s business trends as well as on industry as a whole during the reporting period.

  • Revenue of EUR 1.87 bn and EBITDA of EUR 219.1 mn in the first three quarters of 2023
  • Positive free cash flow of EUR 27.3 mn in the third quarter
  • Implementation of performance program focusing on positive free cash flow, strengthened sales and margin growth and sustainable cost excellence
  • Modernization and conversion of Indonesian site successfully completed – EU Ecolabel received

The anticipated recovery in markets relevant for the Lenzing Group has to date failed to materialize. The continued sharp increase in raw material and energy costs on the one hand and very subdued demand on the other had a negative impact on Lenzing’s business trends as well as on industry as a whole during the reporting period.

Revenue in the first three quarters of 2023 decreased by 5.3 percent year-on-year to EUR 1.87 bn. This reduction was primarily due to lower fiber revenues, while pulp revenues were up. The earnings trend was mainly influenced by the market environment. As a consequence, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the reporting period decreased by 16.7 percent year-on-year to EUR 219.1 mn. The net result after tax amounted to minus EUR 96.7 mn (compared with EUR 74.9 mn in the first three quarters of 2022), while earnings per share amounted to minus EUR 4.90 (compared with EUR 2.16 in the first three quarters of 2022).

Outlook
According to the IMF, a full return of the global economy to pre-pandemic growth rates appears increasingly out of reach in the coming quarters. In addition to the consequences of the pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, growth is also being influenced by restrictive monetary policy and extreme weather events. The consequences of the renewed military confrontation in the Middle East are not yet foreseeable. Overall, the IMF warns of greater risks to global financial stability, and expects the growth rate to decrease to 3 percent this year and to 2.9 percent next year.

The currency environment is expected to remain volatile in the regions of relevance to Lenzing.

The general market environment is continuing to weigh on the consumer climate and on sentiment in the industries relevant to Lenzing.

In the trend-setting market for cotton, the current 2023/24 crop season is emerging as a further 1.7 mn tonnes of inventory build-up, following 1.8 mn tonnes of inventory build-up in the previous season.

Earnings visibility remains severely limited overall.

Lenzing is fully on track with the implementation of the reorganization and cost reduction program and on this basis is implementing a comprehensive performance program focused on positive free cash flow, strengthened sales and margin growth as well as sustainable cost excellence. The overarching goal is to position Lenzing even more strongly and to further increase its crisis resilience.

In structural terms, Lenzing continues to anticipate growth in demand for environmentally responsible fibers for the textile and clothing industry as well as the hygiene and medical sectors. As a consequence, Lenzing is very well positioned with its “Better Growth” strategy and plans to continue driving growth with specialty fibers as well as its sustainability goals, including the trans-formation from a linear to a circular economy model.

The successful implementation of the key projects in Thailand and Brazil as well as the investment projects in China and Indonesia will further strengthen Lenzing’s positioning in this respect.

Taking the aforementioned factors into consideration, the Lenzing Group continues to expect that EBITDA for the 2023 financial year will lie in a range between EUR 270 mn and EUR 330 mn.

Source:

Lenzing AG

DITF: Lignin coating for Geotextiles Photo: DITF
Coating process of a cellulose-based nonwoven with the lignin compound using thermoplastic processing methods on a continuous coating line.
27.10.2023

DITF: Lignin coating for Geotextiles

Textiles are a given in civil engineering: they stabilize water protection dams, prevent runoff containing pollutants from landfills, facilitate the revegetation of slopes at risk of erosion, and even make asphalt layers of roads thinner. Until now, textiles made of highly resistant synthetic fibers have been used for this purpose, which have a very long lifetime. For some applications, however, it would not only be sufficient but even desirable for the auxiliary textile to degrade in the soil when it has done its job. Environmentally friendly natural fibers, on the other hand, often decompose too quickly. The German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF) are developing a bio-based protective coating that extends their service life.

Textiles are a given in civil engineering: they stabilize water protection dams, prevent runoff containing pollutants from landfills, facilitate the revegetation of slopes at risk of erosion, and even make asphalt layers of roads thinner. Until now, textiles made of highly resistant synthetic fibers have been used for this purpose, which have a very long lifetime. For some applications, however, it would not only be sufficient but even desirable for the auxiliary textile to degrade in the soil when it has done its job. Environmentally friendly natural fibers, on the other hand, often decompose too quickly. The German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF) are developing a bio-based protective coating that extends their service life.

Depending on humidity and temperature, natural fiber materials can degrade in the soil in a matter of months or even a few days. In order to significantly extend the degradation time and make them suitable for geotextiles, the Denkendorf team researches a protective coating. This coating, based on lignin, is itself biodegradable and does not generate microplastics in the soil. Lignin is indeed biodegradable, but this degradation takes a very long time in nature.

Together with cellulose, Lignin forms the building materials for wood and is the "glue" in wood that holds this composite material together. In paper production, usually only the cellulose is used, so lignin is produced in large quantities as a waste material. So-called kraft lignin remains as a fusible material. Textile production can deal well with thermoplastic materials. All in all, this is a good prerequisite for taking a closer look at lignin as a protective coating for geotextiles.

Lignin is brittle by nature. Therefore, it is necessary to blend the kraft lignin with softer biomaterials. These new biopolymer compounds of brittle kraft lignin and softer biopolymers were applied to yarns and textile surfaces in the research project via adapted coating systems. For this purpose, for example, cotton yarns were coated with lignin at different application rates and evaluated. Biodegradation testing was carried out using soil burial tests both in a climatic chamber with temperature and humidity defined precisely according to the standard and outdoors under real environmental conditions. With positive results: the service life of textiles made of natural fibers can be extended by many factors with a lignin coating: The thicker the protective coating, the longer the protection lasts. In the outdoor tests, the lignin coating was still completely intact even after about 160 days of burial.

Textile materials coated with lignin enable sustainable applications. For example, they have an adjustable and sufficiently long service life for certain geotextile applications. In addition, they are still biodegradable and can replace previously used synthetic materials in some applications, such as revegetation of trench and stream banks.

Thus, lignin-coated textiles have the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint: They reduce dependence on petroleum-based products and avoid the formation of microplastics in the soil.

Further research is needed to establish lignin, which was previously a waste material, as a new valuable material in industrial manufacturing processes in the textile industry.

The research work was supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Food, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection as part of the Baden-Württemberg State Strategy for a Sustainable Bioeconomy.

Source:

Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf (DITF)

Santoni Shanghai acquires German circular knitting machinery maker Terrot (c) Santoni / Terrot
13.09.2023

Santoni Shanghai acquires German circular knitting machinery maker Terrot

Santoni Shanghai Knitting Machinery Co., Ltd. announced the strategic acquisition of Terrot GmbH, a manufacturer of circular knitting machines based in Chemnitz, Germany. The move comes as the latest development in Santoni Shanghai’s long-term vision to build an ecosystem that aims to reshape and consolidate the circular knitting industry. The transaction will be finalized pending approval from Chinese regulatory authorities.

The global circular knitting machine market is expected to see significant growth in the coming years, with a July 2023 report from Consegic Business Intelligence forecasting a 5.7% CAGR from 2023 to 2030, propelled by an increasing consumer preference for breathable and comfortable knitted fabrics as well as increasingly diversification of demand for knitted apparel. To seize this market opportunity, Santoni Shanghai has developed an ambitious strategic plan centered around innovation, sustainability and digitalization. The new partnership with Terrot aims to further this strategy by enhancing Santoni’s integrated and scaled-up ecosystem, while also driving the sustainable development of the global knitting machinery industry.

Santoni Shanghai Knitting Machinery Co., Ltd. announced the strategic acquisition of Terrot GmbH, a manufacturer of circular knitting machines based in Chemnitz, Germany. The move comes as the latest development in Santoni Shanghai’s long-term vision to build an ecosystem that aims to reshape and consolidate the circular knitting industry. The transaction will be finalized pending approval from Chinese regulatory authorities.

The global circular knitting machine market is expected to see significant growth in the coming years, with a July 2023 report from Consegic Business Intelligence forecasting a 5.7% CAGR from 2023 to 2030, propelled by an increasing consumer preference for breathable and comfortable knitted fabrics as well as increasingly diversification of demand for knitted apparel. To seize this market opportunity, Santoni Shanghai has developed an ambitious strategic plan centered around innovation, sustainability and digitalization. The new partnership with Terrot aims to further this strategy by enhancing Santoni’s integrated and scaled-up ecosystem, while also driving the sustainable development of the global knitting machinery industry.

“With the strategic investment of Santoni, we aim to strengthen our position as the preferred solution provider to many of the world’s leading textile manufacturers and top brands as well as continue working with industry talents as we provide valuable and essential know-how to drive premium ‘Made in Germany’ textile machinery.” said Robert Czajkowski, Managing Director of Terrot GmbH. "We have found a strong, globally active partner with clear dedication to quality, performance and excellent expertise in all circular knitting segments, who understands the unique value proposition and potentials of our portfolio and with whom we can realize our growth objectives” he added.

Source:

Terrot GmbH

02.08.2023

Lenzing: Business Performance in the first half of 2023

  • Revenue of EUR 1.25 bn and EBITDA of EUR 136.5 mn in the first half of 2023
  • EBITDA and net result for the period significantly improved compared with the first quarter of 2023
  • Cost-cutting program and measures to strengthen sales activities being implemented as planned
  • Liquidity position strengthened by successful capital increase and extension of credit terms
  • Production of TENCEL™ brand modal fibers successfully launched in China

The business performance of the Lenzing Group, a leading global supplier of specialty fibers for the textile and nonwoven industries, largely reflected the subdued market trends in the first half of 2023. After the market environment deteriorated significantly in the second half of 2022, signs of recovery were evident during the first and second quarters of 2023 in terms of both raw material and energy costs as well as demand. Textile fibers recorded improving demand, and business with nonwoven fibers and with dissolving wood pulp proved to be very stable.

  • Revenue of EUR 1.25 bn and EBITDA of EUR 136.5 mn in the first half of 2023
  • EBITDA and net result for the period significantly improved compared with the first quarter of 2023
  • Cost-cutting program and measures to strengthen sales activities being implemented as planned
  • Liquidity position strengthened by successful capital increase and extension of credit terms
  • Production of TENCEL™ brand modal fibers successfully launched in China

The business performance of the Lenzing Group, a leading global supplier of specialty fibers for the textile and nonwoven industries, largely reflected the subdued market trends in the first half of 2023. After the market environment deteriorated significantly in the second half of 2022, signs of recovery were evident during the first and second quarters of 2023 in terms of both raw material and energy costs as well as demand. Textile fibers recorded improving demand, and business with nonwoven fibers and with dissolving wood pulp proved to be very stable.

Outlook
The war in Ukraine and the more restrictive monetary policy pursued by many central banks in order to combat inflation are expected to continue to influence global economic activity. The IMF warns that risks remain elevated overall and forecasts growth of 3 percent for both 2023 and 2024. The currency environment is expected to remain volatile in the regions of relevance to Lenzing.

This market environment continues to weigh on the consumer climate and on sentiment in the industries relevant to Lenzing. Recently, however, the outlook brightened somewhat according to a global survey by the ITMF.*

In the trend-setting market for cotton, signs are emerging of a further buildup of stocks in the current 2022/23 crop season. Initial forecasts also see a further buildup of stocks in 2023/24, albeit to a lesser extent.

However, despite signs of recovery in both demand and raw material and energy costs, earnings visibility remains limited overall.

Lenzing is fully on track with the implementation of its reorganization and cost-cutting program. These and further measures are aimed at positioning Lenzing in the best possible way for the expected market recovery.

In structural terms, Lenzing continues to anticipate growth in demand for environmentally responsible fibers for the textile and clothing industry as well as the hygiene and medical sectors. As a consequence, Lenzing is very well positioned with its “Better Growth” strategy and plans to continue driving growth with specialty fibers as well as its sustainability goals, including the transformation from a linear to a circular economy model.

The successful implementation of the key projects in Thailand and Brazil as well as the investment projects in China and Indonesia will further strengthen Lenzing’s positioning in this respect.

Taking into consideration the aforementioned factors and assuming a further market recovery in the current financial year, the Lenzing Group continues to expect EBITDA in a range between EUR 320 mn and EUR 420 mn for 2023.

 

*Source: ITMF, 21st Global Textile Industry Survey, July 2023

Source:

Lenzing AG

24.07.2023

Indorama Ventures and SMBC: Thailand’s first sustainability-linked Trade Finance facility

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) signed Thailand’s first sustainability-linked Trade Finance facility of US$50 million to support Indorama Ventures’ contributions to its ambitious sustainability commitment. This new facility reflects Indorama Ventures’ leadership in leveraging sustainable financing in Thailand.

The new facility is short-term working capital finance linked to the company’s sustainability performance targets, including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 10% by 2025 (from a 2020 base), increasing post-consumer PET bale input for recycling to 750,000 tons by 2025, and boosting renewable electricity consumption to 25% by 2030.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) signed Thailand’s first sustainability-linked Trade Finance facility of US$50 million to support Indorama Ventures’ contributions to its ambitious sustainability commitment. This new facility reflects Indorama Ventures’ leadership in leveraging sustainable financing in Thailand.

The new facility is short-term working capital finance linked to the company’s sustainability performance targets, including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 10% by 2025 (from a 2020 base), increasing post-consumer PET bale input for recycling to 750,000 tons by 2025, and boosting renewable electricity consumption to 25% by 2030.

Indorama Ventures has secured a total US$2.4 billion in long-term sustainable financing from various national and international financial institutions between 2018–2022. The funds are supporting the company’s expansion and sustainability projects in line with its strategy under Vision 2030 as a purposeful company with ESG at its core.

Source:

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited 

30.06.2023

RadiciGroup closes 2022 with positive results

With total sales of EUR 1,543 million, generated by over 30 production and sales units in Europe, Asia, and America, Radici Group closed its 2022 financial year with slight growth over 2021. EBITDA reached EUR 157 million in 2022, and net income for the year was EUR 80 million.

With total sales of EUR 1,543 million, generated by over 30 production and sales units in Europe, Asia, and America, Radici Group closed its 2022 financial year with slight growth over 2021. EBITDA reached EUR 157 million in 2022, and net income for the year was EUR 80 million.

“We are moderately pleased with the 2022 figures,” Angelo Radici, president of RadiciGroup, commented. “Despite an unpredictable and challenging year, we were able to achieve positive results. Although the rise in energy costs began to be felt in January, we managed to maintain our position in the first three months of the year due to a significant increase in demand. From the second quarter onwards, the European market experienced a significant slowdown due to the outbreak of war in Ukraine, which exacerbated the already soaring costs of energy and raw materials. The situation was completely out of hand and made worse by the fact that some raw materials were not available. This created significant challenges for us, especially in the chemical sector. We even had to stop operations at our Novara plant in the latter part of the year. Products similar to ours in the nylon supply chain from China and the US were being sold at a price lower than our variable cost.”

The president continues: “At Group level, our internationalisation strategy helped us mitigate geopolitical risks in various countries. As a result, we were able to offset the challenges in the European chemicals and textile markets by leveraging our global presence in High Performance Polymers, where our numbers have held strong. As we began 2023, we regained our footing. However, the global economic and industrial scenario for the rest of the year remains highly uncertain, and forecasts are notably cautious.”

Even in these difficult times, the Group has continued to invest. In 2022, the High Performance Polymers Business Area completed the acquisition in India of the engineering plastics branch of Ester Industries Ltd, a listed company. Additionally, it began installing two new production lines in Mexico and Brazil, and confirmed plans to install a new extrusion line at the Villa d’Ogna production site in the province of Bergamo. These choices align with the Group’s goal of enhancing its worldwide presence and boosting competitiveness in high-potential growth markets. In a year where energy and raw material costs were certainly problematic, operating in geographically diverse markets and with varied applications proved to be an important tool in addressing the challenges. In this vein, a new production site spanning over 36,000 square metres has recently been inaugurated in China. The move is aimed at doubling the production capacity in line with the market’s growth expectations.

Extending the time horizon to 2018-2022, the Group has invested over EUR 277 million to enhance the competitiveness of its companies, implement Best Available Techniques, improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and conduct research and development activities aimed at introducing sustainable processes and solutions. These efforts include the research and development activities of Radici InNova, which are heavily focused on the circular economy.

More information:
RadiciGroup financial year 2022
Source:

RadiciGroup

30.06.2023

ROICA™ expands its innovation and partnerships

The ROICA™ by Asahi Kasei team knows that value creation is the foundation of contemporary business. Its team is ready to take ROICA™ to the next level, responding to market demand innovations, whilst sharing its latest responsible production system with a new generation of consumer.

For this reason, the ROICA™ strategy is based on two key elements:
First, a focus on responsible innovation, able to respond to new market needs and desires without harming the environment or society at large. Thanks to the certified and eco-high tech ROICA Eco-Smart™ family, Asahi Kasei is able to meet responsible business needs and contemporary consumers’ desire for a modern wardrobe that represents a new generation of values.

Second, the dawn of ROICA™ has fueled a consolidation of partnerships along the whole supply chain through conversations and collaborations with companies sharing ROICA™’s values, including: Artistic Milliners, CIFRA, Dresdner Spitzen, Iluna Group, Innova Fabrics, Maglificio Ripa, Penn Italia - Penn Textile Solutions GmbH, Sitip S.p.A. and Tessitura Colombo.

The ROICA™ by Asahi Kasei team knows that value creation is the foundation of contemporary business. Its team is ready to take ROICA™ to the next level, responding to market demand innovations, whilst sharing its latest responsible production system with a new generation of consumer.

For this reason, the ROICA™ strategy is based on two key elements:
First, a focus on responsible innovation, able to respond to new market needs and desires without harming the environment or society at large. Thanks to the certified and eco-high tech ROICA Eco-Smart™ family, Asahi Kasei is able to meet responsible business needs and contemporary consumers’ desire for a modern wardrobe that represents a new generation of values.

Second, the dawn of ROICA™ has fueled a consolidation of partnerships along the whole supply chain through conversations and collaborations with companies sharing ROICA™’s values, including: Artistic Milliners, CIFRA, Dresdner Spitzen, Iluna Group, Innova Fabrics, Maglificio Ripa, Penn Italia - Penn Textile Solutions GmbH, Sitip S.p.A. and Tessitura Colombo.

Source:

ROICA™ by Asahi Kasei

(c) PrimaLoft, Inc.
16.06.2023

PrimaLoft, Inc. appoints new Sales Leadership in Europe and reorganizes Territories

PrimaLoft Inc., a leader in advanced material technology, announced the reorganization of its European sales management team. Effective June 1st, Leonardo Loro has promoted to the position of Sales Leader, Europe. Additionally, the company welcomes Mario Vlietinck as the new Territory Manager for France, Benelux & Denmark.

To further streamline operations and maximize opportunities, PrimaLoft is also implementing a territory reorganization to better align existing sales talent with market opportunities. These moves will strengthen the company’s sales strategy in the region.

PrimaLoft Inc., a leader in advanced material technology, announced the reorganization of its European sales management team. Effective June 1st, Leonardo Loro has promoted to the position of Sales Leader, Europe. Additionally, the company welcomes Mario Vlietinck as the new Territory Manager for France, Benelux & Denmark.

To further streamline operations and maximize opportunities, PrimaLoft is also implementing a territory reorganization to better align existing sales talent with market opportunities. These moves will strengthen the company’s sales strategy in the region.

Leonardo Loro will lead the European sales team and report directly to Chris Humphris, SVP, Global Sales. "With over a decade of experience as the sales and marketing manager for the southern European market, including France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, Leonardo has demonstrated exceptional skills in building customer relationships and identifying new business opportunities. His invaluable contributions to our sales efforts make him the ideal candidate to lead and elevate our business in Europe", said Humphris. In his new leadership role, Loro will continue to manage brands in Italy and Spain, as well as military sales efforts in Europe.

Mario Vlietinck joins the PrimaLoft team and will be responsible for managing and developing business relationships with PrimaLoft brand partners in France, Benelux & Denmark. Vlietinck brings a wealth of knowledge in sales and the outdoor industry, previously serving as the head of Apparel & Footwear for Katoen Natie, as well as working for brands such as Reebok, Merrell, and Vannese. "Mario’s background in product development, business development, and international sales positions him as a great asset to our company goals,” said Humphris. Vlietinck will report to Leonardo Loro.

Sales Territory Reorganization
Wim Neels, VP of business development for fashion and lifestyle, will be responsible for all Fashion & Lifestyle brands across Europe, with the exception of Italy & Spain, which remain the responsibility of Leonardo Loro.

Bartosz Lassak will expand his territory responsibility to include outdoor performance brands in the United Kingdom, in addition to Eastern Europe and Turkey. He will also handle any opportunities from North Africa, as well as any brands located outside of other European coverage.

Valerie Raths Goesel will oversee the management of all outdoor performance brands in the Germany, Austria, and Switzerland region.

Mats Jengard will remain the territory manager for Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland & Iceland), focusing outdoor performance brands.

Source:

PrimaLoft, Inc.

(c) TNO/Fraunhofer UMSICHT
02.06.2023

Fraunhofer: New guide to the future of plastics

How does a future-proof, circular and sustainable plastics economy look like? The answer is a balance ranging from plastics reduction to a sustainable use of recyclable plastics. After all, the increasing demand for plastics in high-value applications such as food packaging, car parts or synthetic textiles requires a holistic change. With four strategic approaches, researchers from the German institute Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the Dutch institute TNO now provide insights into how this future scenario could look like in their recently published white paper "From #plasticfree to future-proof plastics". Both organizations also start a hands-on platform for plastics in a circular economy: European Circular Plastics Platform – CPP aimed at removing existing barriers and sharing of promising solutions.

How does a future-proof, circular and sustainable plastics economy look like? The answer is a balance ranging from plastics reduction to a sustainable use of recyclable plastics. After all, the increasing demand for plastics in high-value applications such as food packaging, car parts or synthetic textiles requires a holistic change. With four strategic approaches, researchers from the German institute Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the Dutch institute TNO now provide insights into how this future scenario could look like in their recently published white paper "From #plasticfree to future-proof plastics". Both organizations also start a hands-on platform for plastics in a circular economy: European Circular Plastics Platform – CPP aimed at removing existing barriers and sharing of promising solutions.

Versatile and inexpensive materials with low weight and very good barrier properties: That's what plastics are. In addition to their practical benefits, however, the materials are also associated with a significant share of mankind's greenhouse gas emissions. The production and use of plastics cause environmental pollution and microplastics, deplete fossil resources and lead to import dependencies. At the same time, alternatives - such as glass packaging - could cause even more environmental burden or have poorer product properties.

Researchers from TNO and Fraunhofer UMSICHT have elaborated a white paper that provides a basis for the transformation of plastics production and use. They consider the integration of the perspectives of all stakeholders and their values and the potential of current and future technologies. In addition, the functional properties of the target product, the comparison with alternative products without plastics, and their impact in a variety of environmental, social and economic categories over the entire life cycle are crucial. In this way, a systematic assessment and ultimately a systematic decision as to where we can use, reject or replace plastics can be realized.

Strategies for the Circular Economy
As a result, the researchers describe four strategic approaches for transforming today's largely linear plastics economy into a fully circular future: Narrowing the Loop, Operating the Loop, Slowing the Loop, and Closing the Loop. By Narrowing the Loop, the researchers recommend, as a first step, to reduce the amount of materials mobilized in a circular economy. Operating the Loop refers to using renewable energy, minimizing material losses, and sourcing raw materials sustainably. For Slowing the Loop, measures are needed to extend the useful lifetime of materials and products. Finally, for Closing the Loop, plastics must be collected, sorted and recycled to high standards.

Individual strategies fall under each of the four approaches. While the ones under Operating the Loop (O strategies) should be applied in parallel and as completely as possible. According to the researchers, the decision for the strategies in the other fields (R strategies) requires a complex process: “Usually, more than one R-strategy can be considered for a given product or service. These must be carefully compared in terms of their feasibility and impact in the context of the status quo and expected changes”, explains Jürgen Bertling from Fraunhofer UMSICHT. The project partners have therefore developed a guiding principle for prioritization based on the idea of the waste hierarchy.

A holistic change, as we envision it, can only succeed if science, industry, politics and citizens work together across sectors. “This implies several, partly quite drastic changes at 4 levels: legislation and policy, circular chain collaboration, design and development, and education and information. For instance, innovations in design and development include redesign of polymers to more oxygen rich ones based on biomass and CO2 utilisation. Current recycling technologies have to be improved for high quantity and quality recycling,” explains Jan Harm Urbanus from TNO.

Hands-on platform for cross-sector collaboration
“Therefore, in a next step, TNO and Fraunhofer UMSICHT are building a hands-on platform for plastics in a circular economy: European Circular Plastics Platform – CPP," explains Esther van den Beuken, Principal Consultant from TNO. It will give companies, associations and non-governmental organizations the opportunity to work together on existing barriers and promising solutions for a Circular Plastics Economy. The platform will also offer its members regular hands-on workshops on plastics topics, roundtable discussions on current issues, and participation in multi-client studies on pressing technical challenges. Regular meetings will be held in the cross-border region of Germany and the Netherlands as well as online. The goal is to bring change to the public and industry.

Source:

Fraunhofer UMSICHT

01.06.2023

Euratex criticizes European Parliament: No balance between sustainability and competitiveness

June 1, the European Parliament has adopted its Report on an EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Report wants to step up the EU’s ambition towards sustainability and circularity even further, but it has failed to recognise the strategic role of the European textile industry to scale up sustainability, nor to appreciate the global competitive threat which our companies are facing.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented on the MEP Report: “We welcome the strong interest of the European Parliament in the textile and fashion industry, but encourage MEPs to develop a balanced vision which reconciles sustainability and competitiveness. Developing a new business model for our industry requires carefully crafted legislation at global level, and an open dialogue between the industry, the brands and the consumer.”

June 1, the European Parliament has adopted its Report on an EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Report wants to step up the EU’s ambition towards sustainability and circularity even further, but it has failed to recognise the strategic role of the European textile industry to scale up sustainability, nor to appreciate the global competitive threat which our companies are facing.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented on the MEP Report: “We welcome the strong interest of the European Parliament in the textile and fashion industry, but encourage MEPs to develop a balanced vision which reconciles sustainability and competitiveness. Developing a new business model for our industry requires carefully crafted legislation at global level, and an open dialogue between the industry, the brands and the consumer.”

EURATEX supports the EU Textile Strategy, as it was presented over a year ago by the European Commission. The 160.000 European textile companies are committed to invest in sustainability, develop new circular business models and produce high quality textile products – not just in fashion, but also in home and medical textiles, construction, agriculture or cars. To do so, indeed a new regulatory framework is needed, with clear definitions, coherent rules and effective controls. But also, the companies should be able to comply with these rules and remain globally competitive.

The EP Report has failed to respect that balance between sustainability and competitiveness. Instead, it suggests even more rules and restrictions, totally disregarding the current economic challenges caused by high energy prices, loss in consumer confidence and assertive trade partners. Putting the bar even higher will simply mean that the European textile industry will be pushed out of the market, resulting in a bigger environmental footprint and increased dependency on foreign supplies. Quite the opposite of what the EU wants to achieve with its open strategic autonomy plans.

The Report also fails to differentiate between textile products. There is a mix up between fashion and technical textiles, between products made in Europe and outside, between high quality and durable products and low-quality items. It is regretful that the European Parliament did not make that distinction and simply refers to “textiles” as a general cause of concern, without acknowledging e.g. the high quality products, made by European textile and fashion companies.

The Report puts a strong responsibility on the supply side – the industry and the brands – and does not sufficiently address the role of the consumer. Initiatives therefore are essential to create a stronger demand for sustainable textiles, which includes better communication and transparency (avoid greenwashing), fiscal measures, green public procurement and better control of online marketplaces.

On a positive note, the EP Report does recognise the importance to invest in research and innovation, to support reskilling and upskilling, the need of scaling up circular economy and pay attention to the needs of SMEs. EURATEX has always insisted that such massive transition can only be successful if accompanied by significant and dedicated support programmes. The EU Textiles Transition Pathway should offer a clear perspective in this regard.

Source:

Euratex

EU Trade Highlights (c) Euratex
17.05.2023

European textile industry increasingly exposed to global pressure

"Policy makers need to consider that global dimension."
 
EURATEX released its 2023 Spring Report, which analyses latest trade flows for textiles and clothing products.

In 2022, EU trade in textiles and clothing has exceeded, for the first time in history, the €200 billion mark. This record growth of total trade is mainly due to a sharp increase of clothing imports (+36,6% in value), especially from China and Bangladesh, which outweighs Europe’s positive export performance. As a result, the EU’s trade deficit in textiles and clothing has increased to €70 billion, which is 48% higher than the year before.

Such a growing deficit is a cause for concern; the objective of the EU’s Industrial Strategy to strengthen resilience and “strategic autonomy” is not happening. Instead, the dependency has increased, and becomes critical in certain raw materials and fibres.

"Policy makers need to consider that global dimension."
 
EURATEX released its 2023 Spring Report, which analyses latest trade flows for textiles and clothing products.

In 2022, EU trade in textiles and clothing has exceeded, for the first time in history, the €200 billion mark. This record growth of total trade is mainly due to a sharp increase of clothing imports (+36,6% in value), especially from China and Bangladesh, which outweighs Europe’s positive export performance. As a result, the EU’s trade deficit in textiles and clothing has increased to €70 billion, which is 48% higher than the year before.

Such a growing deficit is a cause for concern; the objective of the EU’s Industrial Strategy to strengthen resilience and “strategic autonomy” is not happening. Instead, the dependency has increased, and becomes critical in certain raw materials and fibres.

It also challenges the Commission’s ambition is to promote – and prevail – high quality and sustainable textile products on the Single Market – regardless where they have been produced. With imports now reaching €140 billion, it will be a challenge to effectively control the quality and compliance over these imports. Market surveillance will need to be stepped up massively, without becoming a barrier to trade.

The efforts on the EU’s export performance need to be strengthened, so as to rebalance the European trade relations with the rest of the world. EU companies are world leader in high end fashion products and in technical textiles. More needs to be done to support their activities in established markets but also emerging economies. For instance, the ongoing FTA negotiations with India should focus on improving market access and ensure “fair” competition with local companies.

The EURATEX Spring Report highlights significant differences between trade in value and in volume. EU’s export of textile products has increased by 13% in value, but actually dropped by nearly 7% in volume. This obviously reflects the very high inflation figures from last year, caused initially by the rising energy prices and changing central bank policies. This in turn leads to uncertainty with the consumer, resulting in low demand and gloomy prospects for the entire value chain.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented on these latest figures: “This report confirms once again that “textiles” is one of the most globalised sectors of the European economy, and hence the importance of taking that global dimension into account, when designing EU and national policies. Failing to do so may have a devastating effect on the global competitiveness of the European textile industry.

Looking forward, he added: “It is essential to stabilise inflation, restore consumer confidence and ensure a level playing field for all operators in the textile industry. On that basis, European companies can prosper and offer quality jobs to 1.3 million workers”.

More information:
Euratex China Import
Source:

Euratex

03.05.2023

Lenzing: Outlook for 2023

  • Revenue grows to EUR 623.1 mn – fiber sales recovered over the course of the quarter
  • EBITDA and net result for the period down compared with the first quarter of 2022
  • Cost reduction program of more than EUR 70 mn being implemented according to plan
  • Production of TENCEL™ brand modal fibers successfully launched in China
  • Lenzing confirms guidance for 2023

The business performance of the Lenzing Group during the first quarter of 2023 largely reflected market trends. However, after the market environment had deteriorated significantly in the third and fourth quarters of the previous year, signs of recovery emerged during the first quarter in terms of demand as well as raw material and energy costs. Textile fibers recorded moderate but steadily improving demand. Business with fibers for nonwovens and with dissolving wood pulp performed better than expected. Raw material and energy costs were still at an elevated albeit decreasing level.

  • Revenue grows to EUR 623.1 mn – fiber sales recovered over the course of the quarter
  • EBITDA and net result for the period down compared with the first quarter of 2022
  • Cost reduction program of more than EUR 70 mn being implemented according to plan
  • Production of TENCEL™ brand modal fibers successfully launched in China
  • Lenzing confirms guidance for 2023

The business performance of the Lenzing Group during the first quarter of 2023 largely reflected market trends. However, after the market environment had deteriorated significantly in the third and fourth quarters of the previous year, signs of recovery emerged during the first quarter in terms of demand as well as raw material and energy costs. Textile fibers recorded moderate but steadily improving demand. Business with fibers for nonwovens and with dissolving wood pulp performed better than expected. Raw material and energy costs were still at an elevated albeit decreasing level.

Outlook
The war in Ukraine and the more restrictive monetary policy pursued by many central banks in order to combat inflation are expected to continue to influence global economic activity. The IMF warns that risks remain elevated overall and forecasts growth of 2.8 and 3 percent for 2023 and 2024 respectively. The currency environment is expected to remain volatile in the regions relevant to Lenzing.

This market environment continues to weigh on the consumer climate and on sentiment in the industries relevant to Lenzing. However, the outlook has brightened somewhat recently.

Demand picked up tangibly after the Chinese New Year. As a consequence, capacity utilization improved and stocks were further reduced both at viscose producers and at downstream stages of the value chain.

In the trend-setting market for cotton, signs are emerging of a further buildup of stocks in the current 2022/23 crop season. Initial forecasts for 2023/24 anticipate a more balanced relationship between supply and demand.

However, despite signs of recovery in both demand and raw material and energy costs, earnings visibility remains limited overall.

Lenzing is fully on track with the implementation of the reorganization and cost reduction program. These and other measures are aimed at positioning Lenzing in the best possible way for the expected market recovery.

Structurally, Lenzing continues to anticipate growth in demand for environmentally responsible fibers for the textile and clothing industry as well as for the hygiene and medical sectors. As a consequence, Lenzing is very well positioned with its “Better Growth” strategy and plans to continue driving growth with specialty fibers as well as its sustainability goals, including the transformation from a linear to a circular economy model.

The successful implementation of the key projects in Thailand and Brazil as well as the investment projects in China and Indonesia will further strengthen Lenzing’s positioning in this respect.

Taking into account the aforementioned factors and assuming a further market recovery in the current financial year, the Lenzing Group continues to expect EBITDA in a range between EUR 320 mn and EUR 420 mn for 2023.

Source:

Lenzing AG