ESPOO, Finland, Nov. 9, 2021 (Press Release) -Metsä Group’s Kuura textile fibre has achieved a major recognition in Canopy’s sustainability assessment. The annual Hot Button Ranking, coordinated by not-for-profit environmental organisation Canopy, is a well-established tool used in the global textile and fashion industry to assess the sustainability of wood-based textile fibre supply chains.
As a result of the Canopy assessment, the Kuura textile fibre, made out of pulp from the Äänekoski bioproduct mill, has now been awarded a ‘green shirt’ rating, the requirements of which are a risk-free, transparent supply chain and traceable raw materials. The ‘green shirt’ is the highest possible rating level.
“The wood that is used as raw material for Kuura comes from certified, sustainably managed forests close to the Äänekoski bioproduct mill in Finland. The positive results from the environmental assessment will steer the development of the Kuura fibre and foster interest in it on the global market,” says Niklas von Weymarn, CEO of Metsä Spring, Metsä Group’s innovation company.
Kuura is produced at a demo plant jointly owned by Metsä Group and ITOCHU Corporation.
“It’s rare to receive a ‘green shirt’ rating in the first audit. This is proof of the sustainable origins of Kuura,” says Ryoma Omuro, General Manager, Fashion Apparel Department of ITOCHU Textile Company.
Earlier this year, the CARTIF research centre carried out a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of the Kuura concept, focusing on the environmental impact of producing Kuura. In terms of mitigating climate change, the assessment found Kuura to be a better option than cotton and other commercial wood-based textile fibres.
Kuura is still in a research and development phase, which involves testing and developing the production process at the Äänekoski demo plant and testing market interest. The plant can produce a maximum of one tonne of textile fibre per day. Metsä Group will consider investing in a larger textile fibre mill, if the feasibility of the manufacturing method and market interest in Kuura can be proved. Such a larger textile fibre mill would be integrated to a bioproduct mill.
Innovation company Metsä Spring invests expertise and financial resources into initiatives with the ambition to reshape the forest-based bioeconomy, aiming to increase the value for Metsä Group’s stakeholders in the long-term.
Metsä Group is leading the way in advancing the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, bioproduct development and a fossil free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. We focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards, as well as tissue and greaseproof papers.
Metsä Group’s annual sales amount to approximately EUR 5.5 billion, and we have around 9,200 employees in 30 countries. Our international Group has its roots in the Finnish forests: our parent company is Metsäliitto Cooperative which is owned by 100,000 forest owners.