/ NEWS: prAna and Wild Country: Environmental Efforts

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Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
Patagonia are known as a pioneering environmental outdoor company but they aren't the only ones.............

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
TRip - on 29 Nov 2007
Surley it would more environmentally friendly for rockfax to sell all their guides as downloads, so that only the nessessary crags get printed?

If wild country are so bothered about the environment, which being a cynic i seriouslly doubt they are, why don't they change their packaging from, plastic to recycled card?
Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Tom Ripley:

Cynicism gets you nowhere, especially as regards environmental efforts. Print will never disappear but you can reduce it, whatever your primary reasons, it all helps.

Their is a huge groundswell of environmental efforts across the globe, and many companies and organisations are involved but it is usually done a step at a time. I'm sure recycled packaging is on the cards for many companies if they haven't already gone in that direction.

Why only this week I was listening to the radio about a group of Texas mayors, Texas is the most polluting state in the most polluting country in the World, and they had initiated a movement that has stopped the building of coal and oil powered power stations in Texas.

Also the anti-plastic bag movement in the UK has now spread to the US.

Green is the new black.

Lots of small steps, by many, can have a huge positive impact on the environment.

Mick
IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Mick, I can't believe you are praising WC for saving paper in the same year as they committed to shipping all of their products in from China.
Don't get me wrong, I am pleased that they have tried to reduce paper waste, but to suggest that amounts to 'environmental efforts' in conjuction with their other activities is laughable.
Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

Prana too have some manufacturing abroad as do most outdoor companies, they have to, to compete. Gear that we are willing to sell and buy. Does this mean that any efforts to reduce impact should not be applauded, welcomed and encouraged?

Whilst no-one is above criticism, more encouragement to reduce environmental impact from the climbing community to all outdoor companies could have a big effect.

Mick
JoeL 90 - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Good job reporting it, its good to see outdoor companies doing something for the environment.

Im not sure about the lots of little steps point. global warmings pretty bad already and with over 2 billion people in India and China becoming industrialised id say big steps are needed.

Anyway good to know thier doing something.
JoeL 90 - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse: If you had to pay 15/20% more for gear youd no doubt complain about that too.
Simon Caldwell - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Tom Ripley:
> Surley it would more environmentally friendly for rockfax to sell all their guides as downloads, so that only the nessessary crags get printed?

Downloaded guides use more paper. You print the section you want, and take it to the crag. At the end of the day the bits of paper are creased/torn/lost, and the remains are thrown away. Next trip, they're printed off again. Repeat for several years (the lifetime of a printed guidebook) and work out the resources used...
dave657 on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

...and how many would use double sided printing.
Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Also Ollie Ryall just got in touch from ClimbFrance. They are part of 1% for the planet

http://www.climbfrance.com/climbing.html#envir

At ClimbFrance we are aware of the detrimental impact foreign travel can have on the environment and the real concern people have regarding their ‘carbon footprint.’ Because of this we have joined the organisation 1% for the Planet and are committed to donating at least 1% of our annual sales to charities and organisations directly involved in reducing carbon emissions.

We feel this is a small amount to pay to help protect the environment we enjoy as outdoor people and conserve it for future generations.
Mike Peacock on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Tom Ripley:
> why don't they change their packaging from, plastic to recycled card?

Actually, can we have more plastic please - bags, packaging, it's all good. It doesn't degrade so would be a great way to lock up excess carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere.
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Are UKC part of 1% for the planet.
Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC) Are UKC part of 1% for the planet.

Not yet, but we should be. I'll bring it up with UKC's directors.

roblo on 29 Nov 2007 - 82-44-193-109.cable.ubr07.haye.blueyonder.co.uk
In reply to JoeL 90:

DMM can produce all their metal gear in the UK, Wild Country have shipped some of their production to Taiwan. DMM can still knock out carabiners at reasonable prices, why can't Wild Country take lead from this example? And I am sure Iain has no problems getting gear cheap...

I find it incredulous that people still believe Patagonia is an environmentally friendly company. They do offset their wasteful practices but overproduction of all of their clothing is a massive waste.

Almost all climbing metal gear is now anodised, how about companies stop using this wasteful, environmentally unfriendly and often unnecessary practice.

Rob
Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut)
> [...]
>
> Not yet, but we should be. I'll bring it up with UKC's directors.

I may add that we use virtually no paper, and thedistribution of UKC involves no road transport.

IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to IainWhitehouse)
>
> Prana too have some manufacturing abroad as do most outdoor companies, they have to, to compete.

Mick. DO you have an egg you want to teach me to suck?

> Gear that we are willing to sell and buy. Does this mean that any efforts to reduce impact should not be applauded, welcomed and encouraged?

No I expressly said that the efforts should be applauded. They should not be able to use that effort to gloss over other failings though.
IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to JoeL 90: Joel, I manage a climbing shop. I have quite a bit more interest in this than whinging about prices.
IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to roblo:
> (In reply to JoeL 90)
>
> Almost all climbing metal gear is now anodised, how about companies stop using this wasteful, environmentally unfriendly and often unnecessary practice.

Agreed (and it is something I have put to at least one manufacturer).

Sadly they are prey to market forces and the consumers seem to demand anodising. I think the onus has to be on us to ask for non-anodised product and vote with the wallet.

That is one area where WC are actually doing better thatn many other manufacturers because a lot of their 'budget' stuff isn't anodised. (See Mick, credit where it's due)

Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
> [...]
>
> Mick. DO you have an egg you want to teach me to suck?

In that case, please mention other companies that outsource and as you know there are lots of them. Perhaps provide a list. You may know Iain but others don't.

> No I expressly said that the efforts should be applauded. They should not be able to use that effort to gloss over other failings though.

Of course not, hence this thread attached to the news report where anyone can have their say.

As I said above, I think you will find that most outdoor companies are actively involved in reducing their impact, offsetting their inevitable impact that we all benefit from by using their gear. You cannot expect companies to cease trading because they use natural resources and produced emissions. It's a compromise.

Some instantly shout hypocrisy when environmental efforts of companies are mentioned (whilst ignoring their personal own wasteful ways) I don't, I'm a realist - it's about achieving some kind of balance which cantake a while to achieve.

It's our problem, the end user, as much as it is those who make, distribute and sell gear.

Mick

IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to IainWhitehouse)
>
> Some instantly shout hypocrisy when environmental efforts of companies are mentioned (whilst ignoring their personal own wasteful ways)

Like me Mick? Unlike some shops out there I didn't fart about with a poll about plastic bags.
I just went ahead and banned them. Over a year ago. Customers only get a bag now if they demonstrably can't carry their purchases another way. They often get a Tesco bag.
I also pay out quite a lot of money to have all our paper and card recycled - if you can point me to a way to recycle the polythene that all our garments come in I'll do that too.

>I don't, I'm a realist - it's about achieving some kind of balance which cantake a while to achieve.

Agreed. I also agree it might have been fairer to post a list of all the outsourcers. I didn't mean to pick on WC, they are certainly no worse than most others. i simply felt the 'big up' you gave them was more than deserved.

To Jason, Richie and all: Apologies if that came across as an attack. it wasn't meant to be. It was the hair-shirted hippy in me getting over-excited.

Iain
IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to IainWhitehouse)
> In that case, please mention other companies that outsource and as you know there are lots of them. Perhaps provide a list. You may know Iain but others don't.

The more I think about it the more that sounds like a good idea. Mick, if you'd like something along those lines done as an article drop me a line. People should be able to make an informed choice.
Iain
Tom Briggs - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:
> (In reply to roblo)
> [...]
>
> Agreed (and it is something I have put to at least one manufacturer).
>
> Sadly they are prey to market forces and the consumers seem to demand anodising. I think the onus has to be on us to ask for non-anodised product and vote with the wallet.

14 years ago when I was involved with Wild Country, Mark Vallance (then CEO) chose not to anodise hardware because of the negative environmental effect of this process. Even at the time I thought it was bonkers that Wild Country didn't make a big song and dance about this in their marketing.

The fact is climbers wanted nice coloured krabs, so eventually they met this demand. And now we have colour-coordinated camming units and nuts. How else do you update products which have essentially remained the same for 20+ years?

So it's laudable that Wild Country are not printing brochures any more, but let's face it, if it made commercial sense to continue doing so, they would.

On the subject of brochures. In the package travel industry, the internet is now king, but we (Jagged Globe) continue to print brochures. However, we now print half what we did 5 years ago and only mail them to past customers and people who have enquired very recently. For the first time this year, we have printed them on re-cycled paper. Not to make a big environmental statement, but because the quality has improved and, due to demand, the price of re-cycled stock has come down.

DarrenH - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

That's a great idea. It's actually very difficult to find good, reliable information about companies and cut through the green-marketing crap. An article, focusing on the outdoor industry would be make very interesting reading (for me anyway).
JoeL 90 - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse: Ahh, an aid climbing, climbing shop owner. I dont fancy my chances in a debate about gear.
JamieAyres on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

I would like to see this too.

I would actually make buying decisions based on info about how 'green' a company was.
Apex Distribution on 29 Nov 2007 - host81-149-189-44.in-addr.btopenworld.com
In reply to All:

I think this is an interesting thread.

I am sure at the end of the day, whoever came up with this as marketing idea is just doing what there paid to do – make the best use of information possible.

This bear’s no attempt at a dig to the OP, Mick, WC or Pirana but, I really think some good points have been raised here, but I’m a bit of a luddite when it comes to recycling but, if pushed, could come up with 101 reasons why Apex (or our brands) make a big effort for the environment, that are really just veiled cost cutting exercises for better margin. Looking at the positive side here – what do we think the main things a brand/MF/distributor can do to reduce the green house effects or “carbon footprint” like recycled packaging, non anodised crab’s

Because, being honest, I believe in some case’s it may be possible to be greener and increase margins at the same time witch lets face it, has to be most business’s priorities and to a small degree mine.

So some examples so far; non-anodised gear, recycled packaging – what else?

On a lighter (slightly tongue in cheek) note some Russian brands have been recycling for years – I had some ice screw’s once that they had re-cycled from some of their tanks!

Jim Keeley
IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to DarrenH and JamieAyres: Cheers guys. I will see what I can do. It is going to take quite a while though, unless I can justify doing it in work time (which basically means Mick paying in some way).
Pester me if weeks go by and nothing seems to have happened.

Iain
Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:

Great idea Iain. Will be in touch.

Mick
Climbapedia - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - Mick, we also offer big discounts on our courses and holidays and free transfers (for private guiding) to people who travel to France by train.

For our courses, we source as much food as we can from local organic producers and are currently converting our accommodation base to solar water heating.

Ollie Ryall. ClimbFrance.
IainWhitehouse - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to ClimbFrance:
> In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - Mick, we also offer big discounts on our courses and holidays and free transfers (for private guiding) to people who travel to France by train.
>
Nice one Ollie. That's exactly the sort of incentive that we (as climbing businesses) should be offering.
Iain
ads.ukclimbing.com
DarrenH - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:
This is a really good thread. Are there any other companies out there with similar values, policies and incentives for customers? I think a league table would work well - "the top ten outdoor companies to buy from if your at all conerned about the environmental impact of your purchase".
Michael Ryan - on 29 Nov 2007
In reply to IainWhitehouse:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
> [...]
>
> Like me Mick? Unlike some shops out there I didn't fart about with a poll about plastic bags.

I didn't pick this up right away.

I think it is important to remember that creating a dialogue about recycling and the environment is very important. Action is top of the list of course, but stimulating dialogue, whatever your reasons, is very important and is one of the reasons why environmental efforts are so important these days.

So dialogue, whether a poll, a conversation, an internet discussion, an article, a march, a protest, all have a place.
matthewtraver - on 04 Dec 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

One thing that has not been suggested is in establishing an organisation that sets and maintains environmental standards and practices within the outdoor industry. I have recently started up an 'outdoor related' business myself and struggled to find any such thing.

1% FTP although an excellent mechanism for increasing conscientiousness and encouraging businesses to pay a contribution back to the environment it does not seem to really lay out any standards for a business (unless I'm wrong?)

Any company that signed up with the organisation could therefore agree to adhere to certain basic environmental practices, for example:

- Only using recycled paper for printing.
- Printing on both sides of paper.
- Non-plastic packaging.
- Requesting a reduction in unnecessary packing materials to suppliers.
- No office appliances left on standby.

It's a simple idea, but could really help. There are loads of other 'practices' you could add to it as well. It's worth discussing, I think.

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