Sustainability means thinking long-term. The climate emergency requires that we act with a sense of immediacy.
Navigating the future and the now is not easy. Design inherently has a bias towards action: trusting that each step forward generates new possibilities.
We want to use the best materials and create the most refined and durable products possible. We want to make it easier for you to keep your gear in play. We want to be good ancestors. We want to empower people to find inspiration in nature, design and one another.
Guided by design, community, science and passion, we move toward our goal to halve our environmental footprint and grow our positive social impact.
Here is how we are going about it.
Collaborative Low-Carbon Solutions
As a founding signatory to the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (UN Fashion Charter), a member of the Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps, a co-founder alongside the Pembina Institute of the Catalyst Business Coalition and one of the first 400 companies to set a verified Science Based Target, Arc’teryx is embracing the power of the collaborative to make structural change, across industries, to meet the Paris Agreement targets and to scale low-carbon solutions.
We put our best energy into designing our gear. We build it to last and endure the wildest conditions.
Durability and performance have been our guiding principles from the outset.
However, 65% of a garment’s environmental impact happens before you even see it – during manufacturing and sourcing. That is a problem that can be spread out across lifetimes, if the product is built to last – with timeless design, outstanding quality, dedicated durability. The most sustainable purchase is no purchase. Buying pre-loved Used Gear is your next best move. If you are going to purchase something new, we want to provide the best option - quality that will perform, season after season, with a line-up of willing users once your relationship with that garment comes to an end.
In addition to this obsessive focus on products that last, we also look at how our business affects the environment and our communities. As a collective of people who have chosen the outdoors as a way of life, environmental and social responsibility have long been close to our hearts. Effectively addressing these issues in our daily operations poses both a challenge and an opportunity to meaningfully innovate.
From the materials we choose, to where we build our products and the repair services we offer - all present opportunities to decide where we stand and to continually design better approaches. While we would like to have perfect solutions, in many cases we are not there yet but are committed to the journey ahead. Our motivation is to design and build not only product, but also a company that endures and performs over the long run.
Our product philosophy is the foundation of our approach to sustainability. We believe that building products to last is the most powerful lever for minimizing our impact.
We maximize performance and durability in a number of ways, including building products that perform for their intended use, and selecting proven materials that endure and wear well over time. Our timeless aesthetic remains contemporary, and we stand behind our lifetime care, repair and product guarantee.
Climate change is an urgent issue with immediate impacts to communities and ecosystems around the world. Science tells us cutting global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions around 2050 is our best hope to limit warming to 1.5°C and prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate change. This will require global transformational change. Balancing climate impacts with business success is one of the biggest challenges that Arc’teryx currently faces.
On Earth Day 2020, after a rigorous carbon footprint analysis to set our 2018 baseline, Arc’teryx announced emissions reductions and renewable energy goals. These science-based targets have been approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative, a partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and WWF to help companies take the action needed to keep global temperature increase below 2°C.
Our specific targets are to:
- Reduce absolute Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions 65% by 2030 (from a 2018 base year); (This refers to reducing emissions related to Arc’teryx’s headquarters, Canadian production facility and global retail stores by 65% by 2030 compared to 2018).
- Reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions 65% per unit of value added by 2030 (from a 2018 base year). (This means reducing the carbon emissions per unit of value added to our business value chain. This includes all the carbon emissions related to all of our materials, products, factories, mills, shipping, and distribution centres).
We’ll focus our efforts on our four biggest levers, to start, with plenty of this work already underway:
- PRODUCT: Use lower impact materials and continue to design for maximum durability to keep products in action longer.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY: Commit to 100% renewable energy for our owned operations by the end of 2020 and partner within our supply chain for onsite renewable energy projects.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Improve energy efficiency within our owned operations and supply chain.
- CIRCULAR ECONOMY: Grow our participation in the circular economy through Arc'teryx Used Gear.
Our goal is to build a sustainable, low emissions mode of operations. To achieve this, we will make major efficiency gains in our supply chain, significantly reduce the impact of the materials that we use, and develop new, less carbon-intense business models. Our commitment is to report annually on our progress towards 2030.
This is a major task, and a critical one. We believe the case is clear: acting and investing now to reduce impacts in the future is the right path forward for our business and for the planet.
Arc'teryx has been intimately connected to manufacturing since our beginning. For many years, our office and design floor were located inside our factory. Today, we continue to expand our operations at our Vancouver manufacturing facility, ARC'One. This deep connection to manufacturing forms the basis of our approach to sustainability in our global supply chain.
While Canadian production represents the foundation of our manufacturing knowledge, our production is truly global. The volume of technical products we craft exceeds the available capacity in our region. Canada lacks the number of skilled technical apparel workers required to produce at our scale.
Products must meet our demanding quality, so we partner with the highest performance technical apparel facilities in 10 countries to help us achieve required volumes. We stand behind every product we make regardless of where it is built. An Arc'teryx label means that product meets quality standards and embodies the same values of durability and performance.
To learn more about our relationships with our supply chain partners, please visit our Supply Chain Partners page.
We believe that Arc'teryx can be a force for positive change. We create this change not only by improving the practices in our core operations, but by supporting projects and partners that align with our values. To learn more about our approach to social impact visit our Do Right page.