“Routes established as glacial climbs have melted out. Glaciers have
receded leaving swaths of debris in their wake and peaks that were
held together by permafrost are melting. The Himalaya will be affected
by a warming climate in the coming decades. As its 5,000 glaciers
melt, the rivers that flow from the mountains will cease to be
perennial and become seasonal, threatening the water supply for the
one-fifth of the world’s population that receives water from the Himalaya.
The North Face is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. From
the solar installations at our facilities to the energy saving
practices in our textile mills, we are constantly looking for ways to
reduce our impact. It is more than ‘doing the right thing’ – it is our
– Conrad Anker, Alpinist and The North
The North Face equips explorers to push their limits so they can
experience the thrill and joy of the unknown. What we do know is that
97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is human caused
and is having an adverse affect on our planet. We were built on a love
for the outdoors and it’s in our heritage to protect the places we
love to play. Addressing climate change is not only good for the
planet, it’s good for business. Our athletes travel to some of the
most remote places on the planet and they have seen firsthand the
effects of climate change. Glaciers are receding and permafrost is
melting. The winter ski season is changing dramatically and once in a
lifetime events such as storms, fires, and floods are occurring much
We believe that the success of our business is fundamentally linked
to having a healthy planet. With five decades in the outdoor retail
business, we have a long-term view of our operational impacts and
environmental priorities. In 2009, we joined other forward-looking
companies in the Ceres Business
for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition to
advocate for progressive climate change policies. We were one of the
initial 33 signatories of the Climate Declaration in 2013 urging
federal policymakers to tackle climate change. More than 1,000
companies across the country have signed the Declaration,
demonstrating to policymakers that the U.S. business community is
ready for comprehensive climate change policies.
In December 2015, we wrote an op-ed, “Washington
Must Act on Climate Change,” calling for impactful action to
address carbon emissions. We support the Paris Climate Agreement and
are a signatory of the Business
Backs Low-Carbon USA statement. The statement asks our elected
U.S. leaders to strongly support:
1. Continuation of low-carbon policies
2. Investment in the low carbon economy
3. Continued US participation in the Paris Agreement
On April 29, 2017, we’ll be joining Protect Our Winters (POW)
and other partners at the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C.
To participate in the Washington, D.C. march or to find one near you
visit POW’s People’s
Climate March page.
While reducing our direct energy footprint is our first priority, we
have purchased offsets since 2007 for greenhouse gas emissions we
haven’t yet eliminated. These include emissions from our U.S.
facilities and employee commuting, as well as for the business travel
for all North American associates. Since 2010 we have offset the
emissions generated from shipping e-commerce orders to our customers.
From 2010 to 2014 we partnered with GreenShipping and we now work
with the non-profit Bonneville
Environmental Foundation (BEF) to manage our offsets. To offset
the emissions from our owned and operated facilities, we also invest
in Green-E Climate Certified carbon offsets and Renewable Energy
Certificates (RECs) through BEF.
Since 2007, we have offset 100 percent of the emissions from our
business travel and employee commuting through the Conservation
Fund’s Go Zero® program. Go Zero leverages the carbon absorbing
abilities of trees by planting them and protecting national wildlife
refuges to offset carbon emissions. From 2008 to 2016, our offsets
removed almost 48,520 metric tonnes of CO2 by planting approximately
37,000 trees in the Lower Mississippi region and helping to protect
California’s redwoods in our own backyard, at the Garcia River, Big
River, and Salmon Creek Forests. This is equivalent to removing the
emissions from 10,249 passenger vehicles driven for one year. In
addition to trapping carbon, the protection and restoration of forests
provides habitats for wildlife, filtered drinking water for
communities, boosts local economies, and offers special places to recreate.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored our
consistent offset of 100% of our U.S. energy use with Green Power Leadership
Awards in 2012 and 2013. We were also commended for our climate
education efforts through our partnership with the Hot Planet/Cool
Athletes program. The EPA also recognized our promotion of green power
usage to customers via signage at cash registers and in-store dressing rooms.
Hot Planet/Cool Athletes
Hot Planet/Cool Athletes connects high school and middle school
students with our most powerful messengers – our athletes. Through a
partnership with Protect Our
Winters, our professional athletes share firsthand accounts of how
climate change is affecting their sport, making climate change easy
for students to understand. The empowering multi-media presentation
also offers tools for taking action. Since 2011, 18 of our athletes,
like Kit Deslauriers and Jimmy Chin, have reached 35,000 high school
and middle school students in fifteen states and Canadian provinces.
If you would like to have an athlete visit your school, email Hot Planet/Cool
Athletes to place a request.
We track greenhouse gas emissions from our U.S. facilities to
monitor our progress toward emissions reduction. Despite major
investments in renewable energy at our distribution center, our new
headquarters in California, and our retail store retrofits, we
achieved a 21 percent reduction in 2013, falling short of our 25
percent reduction goal. Since our retail facilities are responsible
for 67 percent of our total measured emissions, we needed greater
reductions at these facilities to meet our goal, however this is
difficult at leased stores where we do not have as much control over
infrastructure. While per store emissions dropped 5.4 percent
(reflecting greater energy efficiency per unit sold), these reductions
still fell short.
As we move ahead, we continue to pursue opportunities at owned
facilities and with retail retrofits, however our focus is
increasingly moving toward reducing impacts in manufacturing where the
greatest impacts occur.