The Lenzing Group, a global leader in the production of cellulose fibers, has had two of its key brands, Tencel, a multipurpose fiber made from Austrian beach wood, and Lenzing FR, a flame resistant specialty viscose fiber, certified as 100 percent “Biobased” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Biobased certification is part of the USDA BioPreferred program that encourages government agencies and contractors to purchase products that are biobased or made from significant amounts of biobased materials. The purpose of the BioPreferred program is to increase the government’s use of environmentally friendly products and to support the farmers, suppliers and manufacturers who provide “green” jobs and create more sustainable products and markets.
Biobased products are made of ingredients derived from renewable resources such as biological products, agricultural materials, forestry products, or marine products. In order to use the USDA’s Biobased label, products must be tested and must also meet specific criteria, such as at least 25 percent of the carbon in the product must come from non-fossil sources, and must be made in a designated country. For example, Austria and the U.K. are designated for this program, while China and India are not.