Bergans of Norway Toughens Environmental Standards with Expedition 2020
HOKKSUND, Norway - Feb. 9, 2016 - Bergans of Norway has launched 'Expedition 2020', a multi-faceted and comprehensive approach to expand the company's environmental and social responsibility. The program's name is inspired by the company's heritage of supporting polar exploration and achieving the 'unachievable'.
While Bergans is already known for having a Corporate Social Responsibility 'bible" and enforcing strong standards, through Expedition 2020 it has increased its requirements for using environmentally friendly materials and chemicals, and additionally asked its production partners to become more environmentally correct. Bergans' target for completion is the year 2020.
"At Bergans we are passionate about providing people with great outdoor experiences. It goes without saying, that we do whatever we can to ensure that future generations can enjoy nature to the same extent as we do today," said Bergans Sustainability Manager Felix Ockborn. "For several years, we have focused on the environment and our social responsibility. Expedition 2020 raises the bar even more."
The new environmental program provides Bergans with a clearer strategy and several measurable goals to help fulfill Expedition 2020's motto of "What we love, we will protect."
In early 2015, the company held several internal meetings with staff members from its product development, supplier relations, distribution and logistics departments to evaluate the company's current efforts and determine which processes and requirements were environmentally sustainable, which weren't, and what could be done to improve them. Every aspect from resource management in the head office in Hokksund, Norway to working conditions and animal welfare in the production chain was evaluated. From those meetings, major, minor and secondary goals were identified and set.
Ockborn explains, "Bergans' priority is clean and ethically sound production. A milestone in 2016 is that all down products will be manufactured in accordance with the Textile Exchange's Responsible Down Standard (RDS). This means that a third party will verify that down production, from the farm to Bergans end products, adhere to specific ethical standards."
Two of the new program's primary goals are for 75 percent of all products to be bluesign® approved and for 70 percent of products to be made from more sustainable raw materials.
Other goals of Expedition 2020 are that all packaging material will be from sustainable sources, that less than 2 percent of all shipments will be via airfreight, that there will be annual sustainability training for all Bergans staff, that Bergans will provide veriﬁed climate reports for all its operations, and that all its buildings will use renewable energy.
Ockborn concedes that the goals of Expedition 2020 are ambitious. "Yes, this will be a tough one, but a sustainable future requires substantial effort and rethinking now. At Bergans, we have never been afraid to embark on tough expeditions. By being innovative, adaptive and focused, we will reach these goals."
More information about Expedition 2020 can be found at bergans.com/2020.
Bergans of Norway was established in 1908, when Ole F. Bergan cut and shaped a juniper branch to match the curve of his back and attached it to his heavy, loose-fitting rucksack, a design now mirrored in every anatomical backpack produced today. Over the years, Bergans expanded its product line to include premium level tents, foldable canoes, and technical and lifestyle outdoor and ski clothing and established itself as a leader in the European and Asian markets.
Bergans and its products have a longstanding reputation with history-making expeditions and adventurers such as first conqueror of the South Pole, Roald Amundsen who traveled with Bergans equipment; Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary who used the Bergans carrying frame for transporting oxygen bottles; Cecilie Skog, the first woman in the world to both successfully top the "The Seven Summits", "The Three Poles", and to cross Antarctica unassisted and unsupported.
Other modern day Bergans athletes include polar explorer John Huston, jibber and X Games Freeride competitor Anders Backe, and 2013 Freeride World Qualifier Tour winner Lorraine Huber.
Photo: Bergans of Norway Sustainability Manager Felix Ockborn
ABOUT BERGANS OF NORWAY
Bergans was established in 1908, when Ole Ferdinand Bergan invented the first anatomical backpack. Today backpacks, functional outdoor clothing and tents are part of the portfolio of Bergans of Norway, as well as the ALLY brand of packable canoes. Adventurers such as South Pole conqueror Roald Amundsen, Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary, and heroes of our time such as Polar explorers Rune Gjeldnes or Cecilie Skog trust Bergans equipment on their expeditions.
The Scandinavian brand was established in 1908 by Ole F. Bergan after he invented the anatomical frame pack. During a hunting trip, he cut and shaped a juniper branch to match the curve of his back and attached it to his heavy, loose-fitting rucksack, a design now mirrored in every anatomical backpack produced today, including Bergans award winning Glittertind. The company offers a broad range of backpacks, tents, foldable canoes, and technical and fashionably functional outdoor and ski clothing.
The headquarter of Bergans Fritid AS is situated in Hokksund, Norway, 60 km southwest of Oslo, where 90-plus employees work in development, research, design and sales. Bergans is a market leader in Norway and steadily growing in several export markets in Europe and North America (www.bergans.com).
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