Moving Forward on Climate Action - Offsetting Athlete Expeditions
A couple locations have solidified their place as icons for remote exploration, The Arctic, The Himalayas and Antarctica come to mind. Earlier this year, athletes from The North Face made the journey to Antarctica to climb some of the highest peaks, test gear and themselves.
Travelling by car, plane, train and more to get deep into the most remote places on this earth, these expeditions come with a carbon footprint. The North Face has always worked to protect the places where we play, and today, we’re taking another step in our climate action journey. We are committing to offset carbon emissions from all our athlete expeditions, starting with our Antarctica trip back in January.
“Our expeditions are a huge part of who we are at The North Face and how we encourage a culture of exploration,” said James Rogers, Director of Sustainability at The North Face. “We've committed to addressing climate change from all angles – through our products, energy use, operations, packaging and shipping – and we’re proud that offsetting the emissions from our expeditions is now part of our strategy.”
Athlete-led expeditions such as the Meru climb, with Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk’s are an important way to test gear, performance and safety in the harshest conditions. While exploring some of the most remote places on our planet, our athletes are exposed to the effects of climate change first hand, and their expeditions help gather data on climate, such as glacial melting, diminished snowpack and avalanches. That’s why we want to ensure that our expeditions are conscious of the climate challenge we are working hard to address.
It’s been a fun exercise figuring out how to capture the impacts from these far-from-routine trips. To do it properly, we had to create our own custom carbon calculator that factors elements like helicopter trips, snow cats, stove fuel, and even meat vs. vegetarian meals. Through a partnership with The Conservation Fund, the offsets for athlete expeditions will help protect and restore America’s forests by supporting reforestation efforts at Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas.
Offsets are not new to us, however, and are only one element in helping mitigate climate impacts from our business. Since 2007, we’ve used renewable energy and purchased offsets to address emissions from all our owned and operated facilities in the US, as well as business travel, employee commuting and ecommerce shipping. This year we are in the process of developing science-based emissions reduction targets with our parent company, VF Corp. And we’re excited about our Climate Beneficial products that recently launched.
Learn more about our history of climate action here and join us in the transition to a low carbon future.