Xinxiang Chemical Fiber (Bailu), one of China's leading producers of viscose filament yarn, has completed the CanopyStyle Audit that confirms it has taken immediate action to remove known risks from its supply chain and engage with suppliers that have potential risk.

The audit reveals Bailu has made efforts to increase its use of FSCTM (Forest Stewardship Council) certified fibre, and has made a significant investment in research and development of alternative fibres that will reduce pressure on the world's forests. Bailu sources from a wide variety of regions including Europe and North America, and is working to engage its suppliers to lower their footprint and help protect ancient and endangered forests.

"The growing momentum in China to eliminate the use of Ancient and Endangered Forests is changing the game in the global viscose supply chain," says Nicole Rycroft, Canopy's executive director.

Jizhang Chen, director of import and export department at Xinxiang Chemical Fiber, adds: "The audit provides a good opportunity to identify both areas of excellence and areas where improvement is needed over time. We are pleased to have completed this key milestone, as expected by the 200 fashion brands engaged in CanopyStyle."

Viscose is the third most commonly used textile fibre in the world. Not only are brands and retailers are under increasing pressure to ensure the wood pulp source for their viscose is not derived from the world's ancient and endangered forests, but that the negative impacts of chemical processing and wastewater discharge and pollution are tackled too. Last week, M&S added man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) to the list of raw materials that appears on its interactive supplier map.

Suggested improvements for Bailu include updating the company's risk assessment to include information on plantation dates for all suppliers that use plantation fibre, as well as procedures for ensuring human rights are respected; continuing to engage suppliers where risk of sourcing from ancient and endangered forests remains unclear due to lack of sourcing information; continuing to increase the amount of fibre sourced that is certified to FSC and carrying FSC claims.

Participation in ongoing regular audits, and/or random site visits will also be essential to ensure that the company continues to implement its policy, and meet the expectations of the CanopyStyle initiative.

The CanopyStyle initiative from environmental not-for-profit Canopy encourages fashion brands and retailers to eliminate the use of trees from ancient and endangered forests in their rayon/viscose supply chains. It now has more than 175 participating fashion and apparel brands, including Guess Inc, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Selfridges, H&M, Zara/Inditex, Stella McCartney and VF Corp. Click on the following link to see a list of Who has committed to the CanopyStyle initiative.