Arc'teryx strives to continually become more aware of and sensitive to the environmental impact of our business practices. We evaluate our processes and continually implement new strategies to improve efficiencies and minimize our ecological footprint.
Our Design Philosophy and the Environment
Arc'teryx designs and constructs products to perform better and last longer. We believe that a high quality product that retains its performance properties and aesthetic appeal for many years is more environmentally responsible than one that must be replaced frequently due to inferior materials, poor quality workmanship, or seasonally influenced fashion trends.
We unite the most technically advanced materials with highly functional designs and sophisticated styling, ensuring that Arc'teryx products will survive many seasons of active use. Our goal is to substantially reduce the total amount of materials used over time, and the energy consumed to manufacture and distribute those materials and our products.
Arc'teryx believes in integrity and responsibility. Due to the present state of textile technology and our unwillingness to sacrifice technical performance, the majority of Arc'teryx products are made with materials derived from non-renewable resources. We have not yet found acceptable renewable alternatives that don't substantially affect our product's performance or durability.
If you are looking for exceptional outdoor gear that will last for many seasons, Arc'teryx products are the premier solution to meet your needs. If you wish to support products that are made with organic and/or renewable materials we may not be the right choice for you. That being said, we continually evaluate fabrics and materials made from renewable sources and when any meet our criterion for quality and performance we will integrate them into our product line.
Each year as we grow, we become more capable of working towards tangible, positive changes in our environmental practices. We have already made strong steps in the right direction and continue to explore new ways to become better stewards. We have partnered with Wisent Environmental Inc - an environmental supply and waste management company - who evaluates our head office, factory and warehouse facilities in Vancouver, British Columbia.
This is an on-going collaborative relationship, and Wisent Environmental provides us with detailed evaluation reports and proposes alternative methods and eco-friendly office products to reduce our environmental impact. With new initiatives created from Wisent Environmental's input, as well as our own internal Green Committee, we have reduced our operational impact on the environment and are consciously working towards a sustainable future.
We build products for outdoor athletes who are engaged in physically challenging activities in the most severe alpine environments. With the exception of our natural Merino Wool products and cotton casual wear, all of our products are constructed with synthetic materials that are derived from petroleum-based sources. We have yet to discover or develop natural and/or sustainable alternatives that can deliver the performance and durability standards we demand for our products.
Office, Factory, and Warehouse Practices
Arc'teryx is based in British Columbia, Canada–famous for its abundant forests and pristine wilderness, as well as a robust forestry industry. We are devoted outdoor enthusiasts who deeply appreciate the natural beauty of the backcountry, and we wish to continue hiking, biking and skiing through vast stretches of untouched wildernesses. By reducing our paper usage, recycling what we do use, and supporting responsible/sustainable forestry practices we hope to preserve old growth forests and promote the expansion of diverse and sustainable new growth.
More than 99.9% of our office paper is made with Post Consumer Recycled content, and we recycle everything possible. We have recycling bins in our staff lunchrooms, at every printer, and under each office employee's desk. We use lighter weight paper stock and print double-sided documents.
Our lunchrooms feature recycling containers for metal, glass, plastic, and paper. We encourage the recycling of everything from the cling wrap on staff lunches, to the 100% post consumer recycled paper towels used for cleaning kitchen messes.
Recycling synthetic materials can actually consume more resources than using virgin materials. Once collected, recyclable outdoor materials are shipped internationally (consuming fossil fuels) to a facility that consumes considerable energy and resources to refine the used fiber to the point where it is 'nearly' virgin. We have been hesitant to use recycled materials as our testing has shown that they are not as strong as virgin fibers and they do not meet the durability standards for our products. Recycled synthetic materials wear out quicker and must be replaced more often, leading to greater overall consumption. Currently, we feel that recycled synthetic materials are better suited to non-critical products such as plastic bottles and containers rather than advanced outerwear designed for use in severe alpine environments.
We continue to search for eco-friendly materials that will meet or exceed our performance standards and look forward to the day when we can shift our production to more sustainable materials.
We proudly produce our marketing catalogues and workbooks with HEMLOCK PRINTERS LTD., an award winning printing house which has been named Canada's Most Environmentally Progressive Printer three years running. Hemlock is an international leader in responsible and sustainable printing practices, and their inspirational commitment to the environment is transforming the printing industry.
Our catalogs and workbooks are printed with vegetable based inks, and we use Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper stock that contains no less than 25% post consumer recycled fibers. The glossy covers are made with a compostable cellulose-based laminate that is biodegradable, further reducing its potential environmental impact. All product hangtags, as well as our company business cards are printed on Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified 100% post consumer recycled paper. To reduce the total amount of paper used in our marketing materials, and the energy consumed to make and then recycle them, we print small runs to avoid overages. The less paper we consume in the first place, the less must be recycled later.
To learn more about Hemlock and their progressive environmental practices, please follow these links:
HEMLOCK PRINTERS - ENVIRONMENT
HEMLOCK PRINTERS - ENVIRONMENT / PAPER
HEMLOCK PRINTERS - ENVIRONMENT / CONSUMABLES
To learn more about The Forestry Stewardship Council, please visit:
In an effort to reduce our overall paper consumption we are moving towards more electronic publishing and communication. This will offer consumers greater information at their fingertips, while reducing the volume of our printed materials.
Arc'teryx participates in the Greater Vancouver transit authority's TransLink Employer Pass Program, which entitles our full-time employees to purchase discounted monthly transit passes. Additionally, to encourage our employees to use the TransLink mass transit system we provide a generous monthly subsidy on top of the already discounted pass.
When possible we allow employees to work at home or on flexible schedules, permitting them to commute during off-peak hours or avoid it entirely. This eases pressure on the city's rush hour traffic and decreases commuting time, which directly reduces fuel consumption and pollution.
Many of our employees choose self-propelled modes of transportation for their daily commute; some even ride through our cold and wet coastal winters. To encourage cycle commuting we have a dedicated bike room, complete with repair stands and maintenance tools. Knowledgeable employees volunteer their time to give bike maintenance and repair clinics to fellow co-workers.
Since 2007 Arc'teryx has participated in Vancouver's Bike to Work Week. This citywide event raises awareness and encourages business and employees to experience a healthier and more environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
We are fortunate to be based in British Columbia, where the majority of our electricity is produced by non-polluting hydroelectric generator plants. Nearly 85% of the power generated in BC is created by the simple flow of water through turbines, a very clean and renewable source of energy.
Our employees are directed to reduce energy consumption wherever possible, with meeting room lights turned off when not in use and computers and monitors turned off overnight.
Initiated and supported by the company, the Arc'teryx Green Committee is an employee-based group that dedicates part of their workweek towards reducing the environmental footprint of our business. Through research and identifying problem areas within the company, Green Committee members propose and implement more sustainable solutions.