Canopy’s 2018 Hot Button Ranking of Global Viscose Producers

Leading brands track environmental progress, innovation and controversial sourcing

Vancouver, Canada. December 9, 2018. Leading brands are looking to the Hot Button Report, published today by environmental not-for-profit Canopy, to inform their viscose/rayon purchasing decisions. Lenzing, Birla Cellulose and ENKA lead the sector with light green shirt rankings – and almost a third of global viscose supply is now verified as low risk of coming from Ancient and Endangered Forests.

Over 160 CanopyStyle partner brands, designers and retailers and countless others in the clothing sector rely on this yearly assessment of the performance of viscose and rayon producers to make responsible sourcing decisions, inform their engagement of suppliers, and reach their sustainability goals.

“Since 2018 and onwards, all products containing man-made cellulosic fibres that are delivered to C&A stores in Europe and China are sourced from producers that have completed the CanopyStyle verification audit with low risk findings,” stated Jeff Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer C&A. “This verification gives us confidence that our supply chain partners have the right practices in place to prevent wood pulp from Ancient or Endangered Forests from entering our products.”

Highlights of producer performance in 2018 include:

  • Three major producers, Lenzing, Birla Cellulose, and filament yarn producer ENKA, representing 28% of global viscose supply, attained ‘light green shirt’ rankings;
  • Yibin Grace, the world’s fifth largest by volume, is highlighted for proactively engaging with Canopy this year, and for quickly finalizing their policy and embarking on the CanopyStyle audit;
  • Sanyou has risen to fourth place in the Hot Button rankings, earning a ‘yellow/green shirt’ indicating continuous progress;
  • Sateri, a subsidiary of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), earned the ten ‘buttons’ needed to technically receive a yellow shirt, but was awarded a ‘yellow/red shirt’ due to confirmed high risk and sources of controversial fibre;
  • Three producers have ‘red shirts, which indicates they do not meet the minimum requirement for compliance;
  • Three Chinese producers, Sateri, Sanyou, and Fulida, and German producer ENKA completed and published their CanopyStyle Audits in 2018;
  • Increasingly, viscose producers are taking action and playing an advocacy role to support the conservation of critical forest landscapes.

“With brands and retailers having clear purchasing guidelines to source only from Hot Button green-shirt producers from 2020 onwards, it is no longer an option for producers to ignore their forest impacts,” says Nicole Rycroft, Canopy Founder and Executive Director. “It is a clear sign that sustainable sourcing is imperative and that next generation solutions for the textile industry are on its way.”

The 2018 Hot Button edition encompasses a much deeper level of information and data to help brands avoid sourcing from the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests. As such, the report:

  • Features for the first time a comprehensive list of 31 producers;
  • Introduces a white shirt category for newly engaged producers that are yet to be fully assessed, as well as a market flag to highlight areas where caution and attention is required by the marketplace;
  • Can be accessed online via a new interactive platform.

The CanopyStyle initiative, launched in 2013, has gained incredible momentum. Today, viscose producers representing close to 75% of the entire global capacity of viscose production have policies in place and 54% of global supply has been audited through the CanopyStyle initiative. In addition, the recently released ForestMapper, supported by more than 100 companies, is used in the audit process, to identify risk level of sourcing from Ancient and Endangered Forests.

With projections for viscose use showing strong and continued growth, alternatives to forest-derived viscose are imperative. Catalyzing rapid and broad adoption of these next generation technologies and ‘disruptive’ innovation is a priority for Canopy and will feature prominently in our work with fashion brands and textiles producers over the coming years.

About Canopy: Canopy is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting forests, species and climate. Canopy has collaborated with more than 750 companies to develop innovative solutions, make their supply chains more sustainable and help protect our world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Canopy’s partners include H&M, Sprint, Penguin Random House, Zara, TC Transcontinental, The Guardian and Scholastic. Canopy’s work relies on the support of individual donors who share our passion for the planet.