As part of their long-term sustainability strategy, British outdoor brands Rab and Lowe Alpine (owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd.) have committed to achieve Net Zero by 2030. As a first step, Equip has become 'Climate Neutral Company' in November 2020, certified by independent project developer and climate solutions provider South Pole who will also accompany Equip on their road to Net Zero.
Matt Gowar, Equip's CEO, explains: "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' and 'Net Zero'
'Climate Neutral' means reducing emissions and balancing any remaining emissions through carbon credits. Carbon credits support projects that reduce or remove emissions, such as expanding renewable energy or conserving vital forests and carbon sinks.
Achieving 'Net Zero' (as defined by the IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) means that Equip will not release more non-avoidable Greenhouse Gas Emissions into the atmosphere than it neutralises with actual carbon removal (rather than carbon credits).
Equip's achievements so far
South Pole have awarded Equip the 'Climate Neutral Company' label based upon the scope and verification of their 2019 emissions data. Equip have a number of emission reduction activities underway:
- Switched to 100% renewable energy in their head office and UK distribution centre,
- Switching their sales fleet to plug in hybrids or full electric vehicles,
- Switching to recycled fabrics and insulation both with synthetics and to P.U.R.E. down with some of Rab's most important ranges, Cirrus and Microlight, by Autumn/Winter 2020, with more to come,
- Removing plastic or switching a minimum of 50% recycled plastic packaging by Spring/Summer 21.
Roadmap to Net Zero
In a first step towards Net Zero, all current greenhouse gas emissions that occur in the company's business processes are quantified. Afterwards, a greenhouse gas reduction plan with clear and measurable targets is set up. These 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. Furthermore, South Pole will guarantee that Equip's portfolio of projects contribute to Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, South Pole offers a portfolio of verified reduction and removal schemes that help to balance the company's emissions. Equip's chosen projects include: Nam Hong Hydropower in Vietnam; Efficient Cookstoves for Women in Nepal; and Kariba Forest Protection in Zimbabwe.
Debbie Read, Equip's CSR Manager, comments: "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 adds: "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".
About South Pole
South Pole is a leading project developer and provider of global climate action services, with over 350 experts in 17 global offices. South Pole helps companies, capital markets, and the public sector reduce their impact on the climate while mitigating risk and creating value. South Pole is a science-based company and its expertise covers project finance, data collection, and climate risk analysis, as well as the development of environmental commodities, such as carbon and renewable energy credits. South Pole has mobilised climate finance to over 700 projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable land use. For more information, visit www.southpole.com or follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
About Equip Outdoor Technologies
Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd is an international business with the head office based in Derbyshire, UK. We are proud to own both the Rab and Lowe Alpine brands. We design exceptional product to meet the needs of our active customers. We encourage our teams to thrive and be part of our success. Our passion for the outdoors and adventurous spirit sets the foundation for what we do. www.equipuk.com.