Following an extensive internal audit of the company’s ESG structure and sustainability initiatives, Outdoor Research (OR), the Seattle-based outdoor and tactical apparel and gear manufacturer, this week outlined the company’s goals around working to address climate change. These goals focus heavily on curbing emissions at a time of rapid growth for the brand, sustaining the use of 100% renewable energy for North American Operations and improving OR’s position as an environmentally conscious organization.
Outdoor Research’s climate-action goals stem from work conducted through the full year in 2022 to develop its inaugural Annual Impact Report. It represented a multi-year effort for the brand beginning in 2019 to provide a thorough and transparent accounting of the brand’s ecological footprint. The full Annual Impact Report will be released in coming weeks and posted on OR’s web site. The results will help Outdoor Research demonstrate its commitment to accountability through transparency.
“Our commitment to sustainability is not only the right thing to do but it also makes good business sense,” said Outdoor Research President Roger Barton. “By reducing our carbon footprint, we are not only mitigating the impacts of climate change but also improving our operational efficiency and position as an environmentally responsible company. We recognize that there is still much work to be done, and we are committed to continually improving our sustainability performance to achieve our goals.”
At a time of ongoing growth for the brand, Outdoor Research was faced with the challenge of reducing its emissions and carbon footprint while simultaneously increasing its output. Outdoor Research measured its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) using the following three scopes, derived using Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) guidance:
- Scope 1: All direct GHG emissions. Natural gas, company owned vehicles, refrigeration, and A/C.
- Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from consumption of purchased electricity.
- Scope 3: Other indirect emissions, such as the extraction and production of purchased materials, finished goods production, business travel, employee commuting, upstream and downstream transportation and distribution, waste generated, capital goods etc.
By examining emissions and overall footprint using these three scopes, Outdoor Research developed the following goals:
- Renewable Energy — As part of the brand’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, Outdoor Research has transitioned to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. It has committed to 100-percent renewable energy sourcing for its North American operations (its Seattle headquarters and production facility, its Des Moines, Wash., distribution center, and El Monte, Calif., production facility) and commits to continuing this through 2030. This commitment satisfies science-aligned targets for combined Scope 1 and 2 emission reduction following Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) guidance.
- Emissions Reduction — Outdoor Research is committed to reducing its Scope 3 GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by 48 percent per unit of value added by 2030 (from a 2021 base year). It will focus on the most impactful areas of Scope 3 emission reduction, such as raw-materials creation and finished-goods production. This commitment also aligns with SBTI emission-reduction targets and the latest climate science, ensuring that OR’s efforts are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Sustainable Products — OR is committed to designing and producing sustainable products that minimize the brand’s environmental impact. It will increase the use of recycled and eco-friendly materials whenever possible and work to reduce the carbon footprint of its products throughout their lifecycle.
- Education and Advocacy — Outdoor Research recognizes that it has a responsibility to educate its employees, customers and the broader outdoor community about the importance of taking action on climate change.
“Setting targets around climate action first requires that we measure OR’s impacts,” said Alex Lauver, Senior Director of Materials, Innovation and Sustainability. “Today is an exciting day because we’re moving beyond measuring and into the reduction phase of addressing climate change. We’re immensely proud of this moment.”
About Outdoor Research
Since 1981, Outdoor Research has created trusted apparel, accessories, and equipment for you to thrive outside. Our award-winning outdoor gear is meticulously researched and tested for outdoor enthusiasts and military users around the globe. Grounded in our values of curiosity, passion, innovation, collaboration, and community, we strive to create space for all in the outdoors. We celebrate wins outside at every level together with our ambassadors, non-profit partners, and employees. For more information, visit www.outdoorresearch.com.