Tokyo, Japan, November 20, 2023
Toray Industries, Inc. announced today that its French subsidiary, Toray Carbon Fibers Europe S.A., has obtained ISCC PLUS¹ certification for its Lacq and Abidos production plants in South-West France. This certification allows Toray Carbon Fibers Europe to allocate and use biomass or recycled materials through the mass balance approach² to produce and supply carbon fiber. Thus, Toray Carbon Fibers Europe now has the ability to reduce the Life Cycle Inventory³ (LCI) of its carbon fiber, prepreg, and other offerings and help its customers to enhance product Life Cycle Assessments⁴ (LCA) while contributing to building a circular economy.
The ISCC PLUS, International Sustainability & Carbon Certification’s (ISCC) a voluntary certification program, guarantees that the raw materials used are sourced from biomass or recycled materials. It also ensures that there is complete traceability at all stages of the manufacturing process of a product. The mass balance approach tracks the amount and sustainability characteristics of circular and bio-based materials used in the value chain and it is based on verifiable record. This scheme is open to several sectors such as the food, feed, chemicals, plastics, packaging and textile industries.
Toray Carbon Fibers Europe will start manufacturing carbon fiber derived from biomass and recycled raw materials by the end of 2023⁵. In addition, Toray’s Ehime Plant in Japan aims to obtain ISCC PLUS certification by March 2024 and begin producing fiber by the close of that year. In the USA, the carbon fiber facility of Toray Composite Materials America, Inc. in Decatur, Alabama, also plans to obtain this certification in 2024. With these three locations obtaining certification, the Toray Group intends to manufacture carbon fiber using biomass or recycled raw materials at plants in Japan, the United States, and Europe, ensuring stable supplies to customers around the globe.
Toray has already received requests from customers similarly committed to carbon neutrality. From the end of 2023, Toray will offer this carbon fiber for industrial applications such as automobiles and handheld devices where demand for materials to create sustainable products is particularly high. At a later date, other applications, such as aviation and sports, will also be targeted.
This effort aligns with the Toray Group’s carbon fiber composites business roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Under Project AP-G 2025, its medium-term management program, Toray is actively contributing to the development of a more sustainable economy by quantifying the LCA improvements of customer products, reducing the LCIs of carbon fiber, prepreg, and other offerings, and using and recycling bio-based materials as part of its new materials ecosystem.
Toray aims to build a new materials ecosystem that harnesses natural raw materials and returns them to nature in an eco-friendly state. For carbon fiber, the ecosystem will be built using biomass and recycled raw materials to manufacture carbon fiber. This fiber will be made into a composite material and, finally, an end product. At the end of the product’s life cycle, continuous carbon fiber will be repurposed for the use as discontinuous fiber in other products. The last stage of the carbon fiber’s life cycle will be its recycling for water treatment or soil improvement.
- ISCC PLUS certification allows us to declare that our products are made from biomass or recycled raw materials in a mass balance system. Such declaration is impossible without certification.
- A mass balance approach is one in which raw materials with certain characteristics (an example being biomass-derived) are mixed with other raw materials (such as petroleum-derived ones) in the processing and distribution process, from raw materials through to finished products. Characteristics are assigned to part of a product in line with the input proportions of raw materials with those characteristics.
- Life Cycle Inventory is an analytical technique to collect, verify, and compile input and output data on raw material usage, resource consumption, environmentally hazardous substance emissions, and waste at each stage of a life cycle.
- Life Cycle Assessments quantitatively assess resource inputs, environmental impacts, and their effects on the planet and ecosystems across the life cycles of products.
- The Lacq and Abidos plants of Toray Carbon Fibers Europe declared their compliance with ISCC PLUS requirements in line with prevailing ISCC rules.
Profile of Toray Carbon Fibers Europe S.A.
(1) Business: Manufacturing and selling carbon fibers and composite pultruded products (rods and laminates)
(2) Head office: Lacq, (South-West France)
(3) Established: December 1982
(4) Representative: Jean-Marc Guilhempey, Chairman and CEO
Profile of Toray Composite Materials America, Inc.
(1) Business: Manufacturing and distributing carbon fiber and prepreg materials
(2) Head office: Tacoma, Washington, United States of America
(3) Established: April 2017
(4) Representative: Dennis Frett, President and CEO
Toray is a leading global company in innovative technologies and advanced materials. Since its foundation in 1926, the Company has contributed to society through the creation of new value and addressed global challenges by delivering high value-added products including fibers and textiles, resins and films, and carbon fiber composite materials. It operates in 29 countries and regions with about 49,000 employees worldwide.
For more information, please visit our website at www.toray.com.