GoLite Releases Ground-Breaking Sustainability Report

GoLite Releases Ground-Breaking Sustainability Report

Boulder, CO – GoLite, the premier manufacturer of lightweight, high performance, sustainable apparel and equipment designed specifically for outdoor athletes has issued its 2009 Sustainability Report, a ground-breaking and comprehensive look at the company's environmental and social practices and footprint.

The 157 page report is GoLite's first effort at full-spectrum transparency and fulfills the standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), arguably the world's most credible and trusted framework for corporate responsibility and sustainability reporting. The report is available on the company's website, http://www.golite.com/Meaning-of-Lite/Transparency.aspx.

The report focuses both on the company's environmental practices and impact including product responsibility, waste minimization, and climate impact, as well as its social impacts including labor policies, global human rights and community involvement.

The report was peer-audited by an Assurance Committee comprised of leaders in the outdoor and sustainability fields. Both the Assurance Committee and the GRI staff in Amsterdam reviewed the report and affirmed it as meeting the GRI reporting level of A+. Globally, only 1,226 companies were known to have met the GRI reporting standard in 2009, and of that group, only 30% were affirmed by GRI at the A+ level of reporting.

“GoLite has set a new standard for small to mid-size enterprises, one that should help other companies realize the value of a high level of transparency,” said Jeff Hohensee, CEO of Natural Capitalism Solutions and Chairman of the report's Assurance Committee.

GoLite is following a multi-year, metrics-based path to sustainability. The company is striving to eliminate or mitigate 100% of its environmental footprint and be a model company in how they treat their people and community. As they strive for a truly sustainable business model, they are maintaining or increasing their stringent end-use and testing requirements so that they are actually improving product quality and technical performance as they move forward, not sacrificing them.

Among the key take-aways of the report are:

•Three of the overarching goals that the company set in 2006 to be accomplished by year-end 2010 have been achieved, a year ahead of schedule. The three are: Using a majority of Environmentally Preferred Materials in its products by mass (they are now at 67%); achieving 100% compliance with their factory fair labor Code of Conduct; and using zero restricted or banned substances in any product.

•Two goals from 2006 are expected to be met in the coming months: achieving a 30% absolute greenhouse gas emissions reduction (not including offsets) through targeted emissions reductions strategies, despite doubling of sales; and achieving “carbon neutral” status through these climate impact reduction efforts plus carbon offsets for any remaining impacts. They are working to achieve their final goal of having a 100% Zero Waste headquarters. While they are not sure if they will achieve it for 2010, for 2009 over 94% of their waste was either recycled or composted, leaving 6% for them to figure out how to divert away from landfills in 2010.

•The report further reveals that the company's single largest climate impact (62% of total) comes from the production of the materials in their products, putting product impact mitigation at the core of their sustainability work.

•The company made a bold move towards full conversion of its product line to Environmentally Preferred Materials in its Spring 2010 line when it replaced virgin, petro-chemical based materials in 100% of their main pack fabrics, travel luggage, and in all of their sleeping bag collections with Tier 1 recycled nylons and polyesters, which have been shown to have up to 70% (for nylon) and up to 80% (for polyester) reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while performing on-par with their conventional alternatives.

Members of the Assurance Committee included Jeff Hohensee, Chief Executive Officer of Natural Capitalism; Bart Houlahan, Co-Founder of B Lab and the B Corporation Certification; Frank Hugelmeyer, President & CEO of Outdoor Industry Association; Steven Lerman, Vice President of the Consumer Division at Brookwood Companies, Inc.; Dana Donley Morton, Marketing Director at GoLite, LLC and William Shutkin, attorney, educator, author, and social entrepreneur.

GoLite's Co-Founder and Chief Sustainability Officer, Kim Coupounas, said, “Building a sustainable business is an expression of our brand essence and our passion. It's also good for our planet, good for our customers, and good for our business. We hope the report inspires others in the outdoor industry and the corporate world in general to do the same.”

A public review period will take place immediately following the public release of this report during which GoLite will seek direct feedback from consumers and other relevant stakeholders via email, social media, and other channels.

About GoLite
GoLite is the premier global manufacturer of lightweight, high performance, sustainable apparel and equipment designed specifically for outdoor athletes. GoLite is dedicated to transforming the outdoor athlete's trail experience by designing and developing simple, beautiful high performance gear that lets people experience nature more with less. GoLite is committed to building a truly sustainable business, one that minimizes its environmental impacts and manufactures its products in factories that are fair, safe, and non-discriminatory. GoLite products are available in 23 countries worldwide. For more information visit www.golite.com or call 888.5.GoLite.