Birla Cellulose receives industry-leading results in their first-ever independent verification by the Rainforest Alliance of raw material sourcing and forest conservation for viscose fabrics made by Aditya Birla
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Mumbai, New York and Vancouver – June 21th, 2017
Today, environmental not-for-profit Canopy and the Rainforest Alliance released results of the first independent verification of the fibre sourcing for viscose producer, Birla Cellulose of the Aditya Birla’s Group. The audit uses a risk-based approach and requires verifiable evidence that wood and pulp used by Birla Cellulose for the production of Birla Viscose, Birla Modal, Birla Spunshades and Birla Excel fulfills a robust verification framework and audit process that was developed by Canopy. The audit will form a key performance indicator of Canopy’s overall assessment of viscose producers’ progress on their CanopyStyle commitments coming soon.
Birla Cellulose of The Aditya Birla Group is one of the first viscose staple fibre producers to complete the audit conducted by the Rainforest Alliance. This audit of Birla Cellulose’s current supply chains confirms that the risk of sourcing wood from ancient and endangered forests or other controversial sources is low risk, which is an industry leading result.*
“Congratulations to Birla Cellulose, who today has taken a significant step forward in fulfilling the company’s CanopyStyle commitments with the release of these industry-leading audit results,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s Executive Director. “These audits are a key milestone on the CanopyStyle path to ending the use of endangered forests in fabric and a critical tool for Canopy and our 100 brand partners in assessing risk and tracking innovation within the rayon – viscose supply chain.”
In recent years, fashion has emerged as a rapidly growing sector using forests for fabrics such as viscose, modal, lyocell and other trademarked textiles. Vibrant forest ecosystems are critical for maintaining species diversity, a stable climate and freshwater systems. Progressing conservation solutions that benefit local communities, species, the world’s climate and intact forests are drivers behind the work of Canopy and the Rainforest Alliance with Aditya Birla.
“Birla Cellulose announced our wood sourcing policy with Canopy just over two years ago to reinforce our company’s long standing commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing. The verification audit confirms the sustainability and transparency of our certified wood and pulp sourcing,” said Mr. Dilip Gaur, Business Director, Aditya Birla Group, Pulp and Fibre. “We welcome the CanopyStyle Audit assessment and look forward to further strengthening our performance. We will continue to invest in new technology to support our long term focus of reducing our environmental footprint, and continuing transparency to our customers.”
Key findings of Birla Cellulose’s audit include:
- Current Birla Cellulose fibre supply chains are confirmed as low risk for sourcing from ancient and endangered forests or other controversial sources.
- A comprehensive understanding of their supply chain structure and the geography of all dissolving wood pulp manufacturers.
- A strong commitment to the company policy to avoid sourcing from ancient and endangered forests.
Moving forward, the company intends to further improve sustainability from Forest to Fashion by undertaking steps including:
- Continue to advance research and development on new technologies of recycled and alternate fibres.
- Support conservation solutions in the world’s ancient and endangered forests.
- Ensure all Birla Cellulose owned mills and its wood suppliers continue to maintain their own independent 3rd party certification systems.
- Build on Birla Cellulose’s existing chain of custody systems and certified material sources.
“Rainforest Alliance is proud to participate in this important initiative,” stated Richard Donovan, Rainforest Alliance Senior Vice President Forestry. “Our role includes serving as the trusted auditor, helping drive the sustainable use of non-timber forest elements in fashion and independently evaluating Birla Cellulose’s progress. We conduct field evaluations, analyze and report on the progress required, and deliver audit results that are a snapshot in time, highlighting commitments met and areas for improvements.”
These audits are a key tool to support improved performance on these commitments and will be conducted annually. Audit findings will contribute to CanopyStyle’s Hot Button Issue Report, which assesses viscose producers’ overall performance on forest conservation, advancements on developing fabrics made from recycled fabrics and alternative fibres, and sourcing transparency.
The audit results from all audit evaluations of Birla Cellulose’s global operations are available for download here:
*Any change in supply chains would require a re-evaluation
For more Information:
Laura Repas, Canopy
Brittany Wienke, Rainforest Alliance
Manohar Samuel, Aditya Birla
+ 91 97020 47283
Birla Cellulose commenced operations in 1954, a vision of The Aditya Birla Group to provide natural based raw material to the Textile Industry. It gives us a great sense of pride to say that we, Birla Cellulose, are amongst the largest producers of viscose staple fibre in the world. Today, our seven plants, four in India, one each in Thailand, Indonesia and China have a total production capacity of nearly one million tons a year.
Canopy is an international not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting our forests, species and climate. Canopy collaborates with more than 750 companies to develop innovative solutions, to make their supply chains more sustainable, and to help protect our world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Canopy’s partners include H&M, Sprint, Penguin Random House, Zara, TC Transcontinental, The Globe and Mail, and Scholastic. Canopy’s work relies on the support of individual donors who share our passion for the planet. www.canopyplanet.org
The Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017, is an international non- profit organization that works around the world to conserve forests and natural resources while advancing sustainable livelihoods through a focus on transforming land use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior. This CanopyStyle Audit was conducted by auditors from the Rainforest Alliance certification division, which since 1989 has provided expert certification in farm and forestry sectors, as well as assurance services. To learn more about the Rainforest Alliance, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.