Synthetic fiber manufacturer Aquafil 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, and 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.”

To download the 2020 Sustainability Report summary, click here.