Equip Outdoor Technologies Releases 2023 Sustainability Report, Demonstrating Significant Reduction in Environmental Impact

Equip Outdoor Technologies Releases 2023 Sustainability Report, Demonstrating Significant Reduction in Environmental Impact

Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd., the parent company of renowned outdoor apparel and equipment brands Rab and Lowe Alpine, unveiled its highly anticipated 2023 Sustainability Report at the OutDoor by ISPO trade show held in Munich. The report highlights Equip’s unwavering commitment to reducing its environmental impact, showcasing an impressive 17.6% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per product since 2019. The company’s dedication to fostering collaboration and promoting transparent corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications is underpinned by its Mountain Manifesto mindset.

The 2023 Sustainability Report provides updates on Equip’s progress across its four strategic CSR pillars: Product, Planet, Partner, and People. Despite experiencing substantial growth and an increase in absolute emissions, the company has successfully curbed its item-level carbon emissions for the third consecutive year.

Equip’s CEO and Owner, Matt Gowar, acknowledged the extraordinary challenges faced by the outdoor industry and its supply chains in recent years. He expressed pride in the company’s ability to navigate these pressures while actively pursuing measures to mitigate its environmental impact. Gowar noted that although overall emissions continue to rise due to increased production, Equip has made notable strides in reducing item-level carbon emissions. The company remains focused on leveraging renewable energy sources and employing its “marginal gains” mindset to drive product development and further diminish its ecological footprint.

At a time when climate-related claims are increasingly scrutinized and uncertain, Equip has reaffirmed its commitment to catalyzing industry-wide change. The company has emphasized the importance of collaboration through its Material Facts program, launched in retail outlets in 2022. Starting from AW23, Rab products will feature Material Facts tables—an industry-first point-of-sale label that discloses accurate information regarding recycled material content (by weight percentage), fluorocarbon status, and production location.

Equip is actively urging other brands and industry partners to collaborate and contribute to shaping Material Facts as an open-source, industry-wide standard. By doing so, they hope to ignite genuine change and transparency throughout the outdoor industry.

Tim Fish, Equip’s Product Director, stressed that introducing Material Facts is the only way forward for the company. While acknowledging that perfection has not yet been achieved, Fish emphasized Equip’s transparency, methodology, and openness to engaging in industry-wide dialogues. The company is inviting other brands and retailers to join their path and disclose similar information, recognizing that real change can only be achieved through collective effort.

Equip has also made significant strides in various other areas, aiming to minimize environmental and social impacts while adhering to the principles outlined in their Mountain Manifesto. The 2023 Sustainability Report provides a comprehensive overview of the company’s progress across its strategic pillars:

Product: Equip has launched and produced 530 Material Facts product tables. They have extended the lifespan of 15,416 products through repairs and washes in Service Centres located in the UK, EU, and North America. Additionally, they have worked with key partners to eliminate fluorocarbons from all products by AW24. The company remains committed to The Microfibre Consortium and has tested 100% of new fleece/mid-layer fabrics since AW21. Moreover, Equip has increased the purchase of recycled fabrics to 66% in 2022, up from 63% in 2021 and 46% in 2020.

Planet: Equip has achieved a remarkable 17.6% reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per unit produced compared to its 2019 baseline. They have successfully reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 41% against the 2019 baseline, largely due to 89% of global electricity consumption being sourced from renewable energy tariffs. Despite an overall increase in absolute emissions by 71% compared to the 2019 baseline, largely driven by a substantial (108%) uptick in product manufacturing, Equip has

been recognized as a Climate Neutral Company for the fourth consecutive year. The company has also collaborated with Rab Athletes to minimize impact, educate others, and inspire change.

Partner: Within just two years of membership, Rab and Lowe Alpine have become Fair Wear Leader brands. An impressive 74% of Equip’s production is sourced from long-term partners of five years or more. In 2022, the company personally visited 94% of its production volume sites. Moreover, Equip collected Gender Insights data from overseas partners for the first time. The company continues to build on its Mountain Manifesto agenda, launched in 2021, working closely with partners to share activities that promote environmental responsibility throughout the industry.

People: Equip’s commitment to fairness, diversity, and opportunity is evident in various initiatives. Through their “no free returns” project, the company generated over £8000 from consumers, which was subsequently donated to charities in the UK and EU. In 2022, 737 employees volunteered their hours to support access to the outdoors. Equip celebrated its fourth year of partnership with The Outward Bound Trust, further exemplifying its dedication to supporting charitable organizations and fostering cross-industry collaboration and learning through volunteering key personnel.

Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd.’s 2023 Sustainability Report serves as a testament to the company’s steadfast dedication to sustainable practices. By focusing on its strategic pillars of Product, Planet, Partner, and People, Equip continues to set an example for the outdoor industry, urging other brands and partners to join forces in creating a more environmentally conscious and responsible future.

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