Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd., home of technical outdoor apparel and equipment brands Rab and Lowe Alpine, have released their 2023 Sustainability Report at the OutDoor by ISPO trade show in Munich. Equip has continued to build on its commitment to reduce environmental impact with a 17.6% GHG reduction per product since 2019. The company continues to engage partners, from athletes to suppliers, underpinned by its Mountain Manifesto mindset, to encourage collaboration to create change and stand for honest and transparent CSR communications.
Equip‘s 2023 Sustainability Report updates progress on its four strategic CSR pillars; Product, Planet, Partner and People covering the last financial year 2022/23; a period of significant growth for the company and an increase in absolute emissions.
Matt Gowar, CEO and Owner of Equip, said: “The last couple of years have seen extraordinary pressures for the outdoor industry and supply chains. We have worked hard to grow our business throughout this period and continue to find ways to reduce our impact. While our overall emissions continue to rise due to increased production, our item-level carbon emissions have reduced for the third consecutive year.
“We know there’s still a lot of work to do, we are striving to increase the use of renewables in our supply chain but also leaving no stone unturned using our marginal gains mindset with our product development.”
At a time when there is growing scrutiny and uncertainty around climate-related claims, Equip has reinforced its commitment to driving industry-wide change to address these challenges. They have further emphasised the need for collaboration with their Material Facts program, launched to retail in 2022. The Material Facts tables will be visible on Rab products from AW23 onwards. The tables are an industry-first point-of-sale ingredients label that discloses accurate recycled material content (by % weight), fluorocarbon status and production location.
Equip are calling other brands and industry partners to collaborate and shape Material Facts as an open-source industry-wide standard and ignite real change.
Tim Fish, Equip Product Director, added: “For us, introducing Material Facts is the only way forward. We may not have it right (yet) but we are transparent, show our methodology and are open to an industry-wide dialogue. To create real change in the industry, we call other brands and retailers to join our path and disclose the same.”
Equip is making progress in other areas, minimising environmental and social impacts, but continues to do so in partnership with the ethos of their Mountain Manifesto commitment, to work together to create change.
Their 2023 Sustainability Report provides a comprehensive overview of progress:
Product | High performance long-lasting products with lower impact
- Launched and produced 530 Material Facts product tables
- Extended the life of 15,416 products with washes and repairs in Service Centres located in UK, EU, and North America
- Continued working with key partners to eradicate fluorocarbons from all products by AW24
- Remain committed to The Microfibre Consortium and have tested 100% of all new fleece/ mid-layer fabrics since AW21
- Continued to increase the number of recycled fabrics purchased in 2022 to 66%, from 63% in 2021 and 46% in 2020.
Planet | Combat Climate Change and protect the natural environment
- Continued with a 17.6% CO2e reduction per unit produced vs 2019 baseline
- Achieved a 41% reduction against the 2019 baseline for Scope 1 and 2 emissions in part due to 89% of global electricity consumption now on renewable energy tariffs
- Although absolute emissions increased by 71% against the 2019 baseline, in part due to a significant (108%) upturn in products manufactured in the same period
- Verified Climate Neutral Company for the fourth consecutive year
- Worked with Rab Athletes for the first time to minimise impact, educate others and inspire change.
Partner | Raise standards and action through collaboration
- Within two years of membership Rab and Lowe Alpine became Fair Wear Leader brands
- 74% of production came from long-term partners of five years or more,
We visited in person 94% of our production volume sites in 2022
- For the first time captured Gender Insights data from overseas partners
- Continued to build on Mountain Manifesto agenda launched in 2021 to work with partners and share activities to help us all tread more lightly on the planet.
People | Commit to fairness, diversity and opportunity
- Over £8000 generated from consumers through Equip‘s ‘no free returns‘ project donated to charities in the UK and EU
- 737 employees‘ volunteer hours in 2022 focused on supporting access to the outdoors
- Celebrated the fourth year of partnership with The Outward Bound Trust
- Continue to work throughout the industry by volunteering key people to partner groups and charities supporting cross-industry collaboration and learning