Oberalp Group Releases 2022 Sustainability Report
July 19, 2023
Outdoor Industry Leaders Focus on Circularity, Climate Neutrality, and Best-in-Class Factories
Boulder, Colorado (July 19, 2023) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – The Oberalp Group, which owns SALEWA, DYNAFIT, POMOCA, WILD COUNTRY, EVOLV and LaMUNT, has unveiled its 2022 sustainability report with ambitious goals for the future, including the company’s approach to reaching three key targets in the future: Circularity, climate neutrality, and best-in-class factories.
The report, entitled Contribute 2022, can be downloaded here.
“We want to reduce our emissions in line with the Paris Agreement to reach Net Zero and ultimately become climate neutral within 2030,” said Ruth Oberrauch, board member and Head of Sustainability at the Oberalp Group. “We know that these are challenging peaks to reach, however, by gearing our products and processes towards circularity and having best-in-class factories – socially and environmentally – these intense paths can be ascended, and all our brands are contributing towards those goals.”
True to Oberalp’s “people first” approach, Oberalp has ensured that the people who manufacture products have safe and ever-improving working conditions. In 2022, this resulted in the non-profit organization Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) awarding the Group “Leader” status for the sixth year in a row.
After having focused many years on the social aspects, 2021 saw the revision of the Sustainability Strategy, and Oberalp recognized that a stronger focus on the environmental impact of their business was necessary. The company began implementing that new strategy in 2022, with initiatives to add new environmental standards for its factories and to increase use of natural and recycled materials and to reduce overall waste.
To make this happen, Oberalp concentrated on product development and warranty services throughout 2022. For the product development turnaround, Oberalp is starting with extensive Life Cycle Assessments, determining the impact of their products and processes, as well as creating in-house awareness and long-term change through a series of workshops on circular design for product teams. Additionally, Oberalp decided to investigate what it really means to make circular products happen: By collaborating with Accelerating Circularity, a non-profit platform to turn spent textiles into mainstream raw materials, Oberalp is experimenting in the creation of a “reverse supply chain,”
“We need to rethink our way of buying and investment, risk, and responsibility; the perception of aesthetics, brand purpose, and appeal; we need to establish new business models where we tap into or create take-back programs, drive public policy for collection and reworking of textiles,” said Alexandra Letts, Sustainability Manager at the Oberalp Group. “This involves all of us, and collaboration is essential.”
As for Warranty Services, where product circularity is put to the test and becomes real, 2022 was the year of analysis of the status quo, and changes are needed to provide wider and more professional repairs.
“The topic of “circular economy” will be a decisive factor for Oberalp if we want to move in the direction of climate neutrality by 2030. It all starts with the design of our products and with the conviction that belief in circularity must become an attitude.” Christoph Engl, CEO of the Oberalp Group, says. “Longevity is the consequence – and this is also what our customers increasingly demand. “
Contribute 2022 depicts how all Oberalp brands have increased their focus on product sustainability, including SALEWA’s research and collaboration on the use of industrial hemp, DYNAFIT’s extension of its lifetime guarantee to all products, and companies WILD COUNTRY, POMOCA and EVOLV offering re-slinging for friends, resoling for climbing shoes, and re-gluing for ski-touring skins. LaMUNT has also launched the “ReMOCA” padding for their apparel, made from production leftovers of POMOCA ski-touring skins to reduce waste.
Oberalp was also able to advance its goal of substituting the “forever chemicals” PFAS (Per- or Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) in water repellent products: LaMunt, EVOLV, WILD COUNTRY and POMOCA did not use PFAS in their DWR treatments at all. SALEWA and DYNAFIT have further decreased their use, to the point where all DYNAFIT equipment is now PFAS-free.
About The Oberalp Group
The Oberalp Group is a family-owned business based in Bolzano, Italy, that employs almost 700 people worldwide. Oberalp’s North American subsidiary, based in Boulder, CO, runs the sales, operations, marketing, distribution, and service for the Group’s brands in the US and Canada.
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