Aquafil, a leading manufacturer of innovative synthetic fibers, including ECONYL® regenerated nylon, released its annual sustainability report, reflecting insights on the company’s commitment to doing business sustainably. The report showcases the results the Group has achieved in helping to support and protect employees, local communities, and the environment as a whole.
According to Aquafil’s 2020 Sustainability Report, 95% of the Group’s total consumption of electricity came from renewable sources. Also worth noting, Aquafil’s greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 59%. The company also launched Aquafil Carpet Recycling, a new division focused on the recovery and processing of post-consumer rugs and carpets to be used to create ECONYL® regenerated nylon. Each facility has the capacity to collect and treat 36 million pounds of carpet each year, making a sizable dent in the waste stream. Aquafil Carpet Recycling is a circular economy-focused project where all of the recyclable materials are reused. Aquafil identifies different streams for the non-nylon elements such as polypropylene and calcium carbonate that are not used to make ECONYL® yarn to be used by other manufacturers.
Another innovation the company achieved in 2020 was the development of a dual technology that enables the recycling of aquaculture nets, which are used in fish farming. Aquaculture nets, made from Nylon 6, have an antifouling coating in resin and copper oxide which prevents the proliferation of algae and allows them to withstand extreme weather conditions. The new process developed by Aquafil allows the separation of copper oxide from the nets, allowing the recovery of both Nylon 6 and metallic copper that can be recycled and used to create new materials.
Aquafil’s ECONYL® yarn is used by more than 2,000 brands around the world. One of the great success stories of 2020 was that Napapijri, a ready to wear clothing brand, extended its offer of circular products by creating the Circular Series collection—products that are recyclable thanks to the monomaterial composition of each component (ECONYL® yarn and Nylon 6). In addition, the company has launched a take back program which allows consumers to return their jacket to the store for regeneration after two years.
“Aquafil is fully committed to tackling today’s global challenges with sustainable solutions, though the journey to a circular economy does not end here. Sustainability goals and commitments must be met with action,” said Giulio Bonazzi, CEO and Chairman of Aquafil. “Aquafil chose to become a leader in our industry over 10 years ago, showing that a circular business model can be done with great success. While a lot has been achieved, there is more that can be done. Our commitment to sustainability and the results that the Group has achieved will continue on in full force, supporting employees, local communities, and the environment.”
For more than 30 years Aquafil has been committed to respecting the environment in every phase of its own nylon production process. This emphasis on operating through a circular economy is a core value of the company’s business strategy: to save resources, give new life to otherwise lost materials, and increase efficiency along the value chain. Through its goals, step by step the company has positioned itself as an international sustainability leader.
To download the 2020 Sustainability Report summary, click here.
Since 1965, Aquafil has been one of the leading players, both in Italy and globally, in the production of polyamide 6 (nylon 6). The Aquafil Group has a presence in eight countries on three continents, employing more than 2,700 staff at 18 plants located in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia, Croatia, the USA, Thailand, and China.