Friday, December 2, 2011

The North Face Release Sustainability Report

North Face's sustainability report, introduced in a letter to the company by President, Todd Spaletto
In an effort to further their sustainability efforts, The North Face issued their first public sustainability report.
The report, outlining the company’s progress since 2010, focuses on using ‘bluesign’ approved and recycled fabrics, reducing greenhouse gases, and encouraging outdoor recreation. “Providing access to the outdoors, protecting the environment, and addressing the impacts of climate change are at the heart of our business,” said President Todd Spaletto in a letter to the company. The report also focuses on goals for the future, leading up to 2015.
Dear Friends and Partners,
For 45 years, The North Face has been empowering people to explore the outdoors. This focus on the natural world has opened our eyes to the many challenges facing our planet. It’s not just our responsibility to ensure our products and business practices have the smallest possible impact on the environment — we strive to be a leader in meeting those challenges.
Providing access to the outdoors, protecting the environment, and addressing the impacts of climate change are at the heart of our business. We are proud of the peaks we have reached on this expedition and know that many still lie ahead. As with any successful expedition, we are tackling these ascents with the support of a talented, motivated team.
What makes The North Face unique as a brand and as a place to work is the inherent personal connection our employees and consumers have with protecting the natural world they love to explore. Thanks to this passion, environmental responsibility is integrated into our company culture. The next challenge is to seamlessly embed our commitment to sustainability into every aspect of our business.
We have a philosophy we call the “virtuous cycle” that connects passion for the outdoors with environmental responsibility. It is a simple concept based on the idea that if you get people outdoors, they will love that experience. The more they interact with nature, the more they grow to care about conservation and protecting the environment. Our vision is to inspire the next generation of conservationists and create a demand for sustainable products.
We give our consumers the very best products we can create. Behind these products is a meticulous process for ensuring that our materials and supply chain manufacturing methods create minimal environmental impact. Over the past few years, we have made great progress on engaging our suppliers with the bluesign® standard, an independent system for managing chemical input, resource efficiency and worker safety in the supply chain. Over 21% of our fabric met the bluesign® standard in our 2010 product line and we have set a target of 65% by 2015. We plan to reevaluate our goals and progress periodically to ensure we are doing everything we can to reduce our environmental impacts.
We are sharing our commitment to sustainability through this report to encourage our employees, customers and partners to engage in a dialogue about the ways we can all be more responsible stewards of the natural world and our communities. Despite our success and dedication to sustainability, we know there are always areas for improvement. We are on track to meet our normalized greenhouse gas reduction goal and working hard to reduce our absolute emissions. As a global brand, we need to do a better job of expanding our sustainability strategy across the world. This report outlines our challenges in more detail and helps us continue our commitment to improving upon our goals moving forward.
Never Stop Exploring!
Todd Spaletto
The North Face, Americas
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