As part of its long-term sustainability strategy, Rab and Lowe Alpine have committed to achieving Net Zero by 2030. As a first step, Equip became a ‘Climate Neutral Company’ in November 2020, certified by South Pole, an independent project developer, who will also assist Equip on its road to Net-Zero.
Matt Gowar, Equip’s CEO, said: “Since our beginnings, our brands have been driven by one purpose: to awaken the climber, the mountaineer in everyone and to inspire our customers to enjoy the outdoors as much as we do. This is what drives us to preserve and protect the outdoors for future generations and to make a positive change in the world that goes beyond our brands and products.” As Gowar continues, “Committing to Net Zero by 2030 is the right thing to do for us as active mountain people, for our business and for our stakeholders. We wanted to take immediate action, so the step to be a Climate Neutral Company has allowed us to act early and take a bold but decisive step that few other brands are taking. We will grow our brands and our business the right way to allow us to protect the environment we thrive in.”
‘Climate Neutral’ is defined as reducing emissions and balancing remaining emissions through carbon credits. Carbon credits support projects that reduce or remove emissions such as expanding renewable energy or conserving forests and carbon sinks.
Achieving ‘Net Zero’, as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, means that a company will not release more non-avoidable Greenhouse Gas Emissions into the atmosphere than it neutralizes with carbon removal (rather than carbon credits).
To date, South Pole has awarded Equip as a ‘Climate Neutral Company’ based on the scope and verification of its 2019 emissions data. The company has a number of emission reduction activities underway:
- Switched to 100 percent renewable energy in its headquarters and UK distribution center;
- Switching its sales fleet to plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles;
- Switching to recycled fabrics and insulation both with synthetics and to P.U.R.E. down with Rab’s Cirrus and Microlight, by Autumn/Winter 2020; and
- Removing plastic, or switching to a minimum of 50 percent recycled plastic packaging by Spring/Summer 2021.
In the first step towards Net Zero, all current greenhouse gas emissions that occur in the company’s business processes are quantified. Afterward, a greenhouse gas reduction plan with measurable targets is set up. The targets are set in line with climate science. Unavoidable emissions are then offset. On an annual basis, the company’s efforts will be reviewed and reported.
Equip’s offsetting partner South Pole will ensure that the data on which the Net Zero approach is based are independently verified, transparent and science-driven. South Pole will guarantee that Equip’s portfolio of projects contributes to Sustainable Development Goals.
Debbie Read, Equip’s CSR Manager, commented: “By committing to Net Zero by 2030, we are embarking on an ambitious but essential journey. The climate crisis cannot be ignored and the need to act quickly is clear. Partnering with South Pole allows us to develop a robust process for setting an aggressive reduction plan and targets in line with SBT methodology. The opportunity to support meaningful offset projects aligned with SDGs provides immediate and tangible benefits which are both motivating and provide an emotional connection for our business.”
Bethan Halls, senior sustainability consultant, South Pole added: “Equip is taking big steps to progress on its climate journey and setting the standard of responsible business. As it progresses on the path to Net Zero, it will drive action and ambition across its supply chain”.