Aditya Birla

The Aditya Birla Group owner of Grasim Industries and Birla Cellulose

Mumbai, India

22.5/35

Completion of CanopyStyle Third Party Verification Audits

Undertaking Annual Audits

Audits Public and Results Acted On

Audit risk results

Contribution to Conservation Legacies

A&E promotion

n/a

Public Collaborative Leadership

Influences Decision Makers

Legislated protection

Innovation via New Alternative Fibers

Partnerships

R&D Investments

Scaling to commercial products

n/a

Targets & timelines

Aggressively increasing commercial scale

n/a

Adoption of Robust Forest Sourcing Policy

Policy adoption

Policy meets all CanopyStyle criteria

Traceability & Transparency

COC & supplier list completed

Track & trace system in place

Public sharing of supplier list

Forest of origin is public and mapped

n/a

Leaders in Supply Chain Shifts & Sustainable Sourcing

Producer Is Proactive

FSC preference

Forest Mapper support

Associated with High Risk of Sourcing from Ancient & Endangered Forests and other Controversial Sources

Risk is known and no action is taken

n/a

Initial action taken to adress risk

Sourcing risk has been resolved

Total:

Buttons 22.5

Risk of sourcing from Ancient & Endangered forests

Birla Cellulose is one of the first viscose producers to complete and publicly release the results of its CanopyStyle audit in 2017, which confirmed that the company’s viscose fiber supply chains have a low risk of sourcing wood from ancient and endangered forests or other controversial sources.

However, Canopy recently learned that the company’s mill in the heart of ancient and endangered forests in Canada’s Boreal is sourcing from areas that, in the past, were agreed to be deferred from logging. It’s important to note, this fiber has not entered the clothing supply chain because the mill, which was originally slated to be converted to dissolving pulp in 2016[i], is still producing pulp for paper.

Proactively working on solutions together, Birla and Canopy have very recently agreed to resolve this issue prior to contract renewals in May 2019. If the parties do not reach agreement, Birla has stated they will not renew sourcing contracts that come from 1.1 million hectares of never before logged ancient and endangered forests. Our hope is that Birla will invest in long term solutions for the region that see lasting certainty for the mill, communities, forests and species. Leadership by Birla in this key Landscape of Hope has the potential to set the company apart on the world stage and within the marketplace.

Birla Cellulose is set to complete their 2nd annual audit in early 2019. For low risk results to be maintained, these 2nd audit results will need to confirm that sourcing conditions have not changed (the list of suppliers and sourcing regions is still assessed at low risk) and surprise (short-notice) site visits will be conducted.

[i] http://www.adityabirla.com/about/terrace-bay-pulp-mill

Key Improvements Required

While Birla Cellulose has shared with Canopy some information proving that the company is investing in R&D for the development of new innovative fibers, the company is behind in bringing new products to market. Since the marketplace will be implementing a preference for products made from a minimum of 50% of innovative fiber sources, such as post-consumer recycled fabric sources and agricultural residues by 2020, Birla Cellulose should be much more aggressive in developing new products.

Birla Cellulose should implement the CanopyStyle audit recommendations, including the identification of the forest of origin for all the raw materials used in their products, to allow the tracking and mapping of the fiber flow from the forest to pulp and viscose mills, and all the way in the supply chain to the brands.

Birla Cellulose is expected to update its 2015 Global Wood Fiber Sourcing Policy to include a preference for FSC certification and increase its intake of FSC certified fiber.

Given growth projections, Birla Cellulose should be proactively screening future ventures against the ForestMapper and aggressively build next generation solutions into their fiber projections for the coming years.

Areas where the company is showing leadership

Aditya Birla’s investment in the relationship with Canopy has taken a new direction with the involvement of the company’s senior leadership being committed to regularly meeting to map out high level strategy and goals and engaging to move forward on solutions for their mill in the heart of ancient and endangered Boreal forest. Canopy and brands will need to actively support this leadership by encouraging resolution and agreement by the April 30, 2019 timeline.

Birla has joined the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme as a contributor, to implement new standards for chemistry and processing that responsibly addresses wastewater, sludge/solid waste and air emissions from the man-made cellulosic fiber industry.

Number of viscose, lyocell and dissolving pulp mills + location and production volumes

The company owns 7 viscose mills and 4 dissolving pulp mills. In addition, the company owns one plantation associated with a projected dissolving pulp mill in Laos, the company has plans to build a new viscose facility in Turkey, and it owns a paper pulp mill in Canada that is planned for a conversion to dissolving pulp.

  • Nagda in Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • Harihar, Karnataka, India.
  • Kharach, Gujarat, India.
  • Vilayat – Gujarat, India

These 4 mills in India have a combined production capacity of 498000 tonnes of viscose staple fiber.

  • Birla Jingwei Fibers Company Limited, China. Capacity 70 000 tonnes of Viscose Staple fiber.
  • Indo-Bharat Rayon, Indonesia. Capacity 200 000 tonnes of Viscose Staple fiber.
  • Thai Rayon, Thailand. Capacity 140 000 tonnes of Viscose Staple fiber.
  • Turkey (projected capacity of 180 000 tonnes of Viscose Staple fiber)
  • AV Cell, New Brunswick, Canada. Capacity 130 000 tonnes of dissolving pulp
  • AV Nackawic, New Brunswick, Canada. Capacity 190 000 tonnes of dissolving pulp.
  • Domsjö Fabriker AB in Sweden. Capacity 255 000 tonnes of dissolving pulp.
  • Birla Cellulose, Harihar, Karnataka, India. Capacity 70 000 tonnes of dissolving pulp.
  • Birla Lao Pulp and Plantation Limited in Laos. (Projected capacity of 200 000 tonnes of dissolving pulp).
  • AV Terrace Bay, Ontario, Canada. (To be converted to dissolving pulp in the future, capacity of 408 250 tonnes).