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‘Driven by a shared belief’: Outdoor retailers launch climate protection initiative

A group of prominent European outdoor retailers have formed a climate protection initiative, driven by what they described as a “shared belief” in the importance of climate change action.

Yonderland, which was formerly known as A.S. Adventure Group and includes UK retailers Cotswold Outdoor, Snow & Rock and Runners Need within its portfolio, is joined by Bergfreunde, Bergzeit, Sportler and InternetStores in the climate protection initiative.

Together, they have set an “Outdoor Retailer Climate Commitment” (ORCC) which includes individual pledges to actively contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Central to their work involves stepping up efforts to helping the world limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Agreement, which environmental experts and scientists say will help avert catastrophic climate-related damage.

The climate protection initiative will involve each participating company putting measures in place to reduce their CO2 footprint, while placing more emphasis on developing and offering sustainable products with a low emission level.

Matthias Gebhard, CEO of Bergfreunde and ORCC co-initiator, said: “Our raison d’être and the economic well-being of the outdoor industry depend on our ability to decarbonise decisively.

“Working as a team, we want to send a signal to the entire outdoor industry to take climate protection more seriously than before and quickly and decisively take action to decarbonise the value chain.”

The members commit to measure the corporate carbon footprint based on the guidelines of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, and set targets to reduce emissions using science-based targets or their equivalent.

Part of the focus of those involved in the initiative will be to explore renewable energy options, sustainable packaging materials, and employee commuting schemes.

The climate protection initiative also promises to publish a short annual progress report, which is made publicly available. The network is also open to other outdoor companies.

Martin Stolzenberger, managing director of Bergzeit, commented: “We believe the outdoor industry has a special responsibility to lead the way in climate protection and ensure that our products do not harm people or the earth.

“It’s also in our economic self-interest to ensure there will continue to be a demand for our products in the future.”

Read more about outdoor retail and the green agenda on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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