La Sportiva Refines Environmental and Social Responsibility Platform - SNEWS

La Sportiva Refines Environmental and Social Responsibility Platform

La Sportiva Releases 2007 Corporate Social Responsibility platform.
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An appreciation and love for the mountain environment has been a part of La Sportiva's business from the time the company was building rugged footwear for farmers and mountain guides in the Italian Dolomites 80 years ago. In 2006, La Sportiva launched their first Corporate Sustainability Platform. Today, that same feeling of stewardship is prompting La Sportiva to integrate more responsible practices and production processes that respect the environment into each part of their business.

La Sportiva will couple these environmental initiatives with new efforts at transparency so that stakeholders can see where the company is making tangible improvements and where improvements can still be made.

“Our Corporate Sustainability Platform is designed to cover all aspects of our business, from employee welfare to waste reduction. We are taking this holistic approach because we feel strongly that creating a green product is meaningless if it uses unfair labor practices. Likewise, the best fair labor platform is meaningless if the production process pollutes the local ground water,” said Jonathan Lantz, president of La Sportiva North America.

La Sportiva's new efforts can be broken down into four main areas of focus, reducing their carbon footprint, waste reduction, fair labor, and social philanthropy. In 2007, the company's approach to furthering their Corporate Sustainability Platform netted several tangible improvements.

La Sportiva helped offset a portion of its emissions with renewable energy credits (RECs). The company's total commitment to clean energy, they estimate, was equivalent to not burning 22,665 pounds of coal, not driving 53,568 miles or also planting 202 trees. Additionally, La Sportiva's Italian factory experienced retrofits that reduce that company's combined energy use. These efforts helped the company to reduce its overall ecological footprint and helped promote cleaner, renewable energy.

La Sportiva is a community partner with Eco-Cycle Zero Waste of Boulder County, a program that networks and enables communities to reduce waste. The program allows La Sportiva to increase recycling capabilities and further reduce waste by working with community partners. As a further waste-reduction measure, La Sportiva launched a shoe recycling initiative that improves their product's end-of-life cycle by diverting them from landfills as waste. The program involves participation from customers by accepting shoes, depending on condition, for either recycling or reuse.

In addressing the human element of the manufacturing process, La Sportiva has adopted OIA's Fair Labor Toolkit. This toolkit presents a code of conduct and a variety of strategies that was developed by pooling the best practices of several outdoor industry companies. It provides a comprehensive system for monitoring labor standards compliance in order to understand if and where there are labor compliance violations in La Sportiva's supply chain so the company can work to eliminate them. La Sportiva has implemented this in its Italian factory and at its contract factories in the Far East.

La Sportiva is also committed to social causes and improving community relations and development. This commitment is achieved mainly through partnerships with awareness, education and conservation-based organizations. In 2007, La Sportiva partnered with Sierra Magazine to help promote the brand and their company's commitment to sustainability. In 2008, La Sportiva has signed a deal to expand their partnership with Sierra to include support for Sierra Club's Inner City Outing (ICO) program. The ICO program is a community outreach initiative that provides low-income, inner-city youth the opportunity for wilderness experiences that may otherwise be unavailable.

In La Sportiva's efforts to be more transparent to the public, the company has taken several steps, including clearly labeling its products' country of origin. This year, La Sportiva will partner with the Green Living Project™. Beginning in March of 2008, the project will attempt to document sustainability in an effort to increase exposure for “green living” projects from partner organizations, like La Sportiva.

La Sportiva will be continuing their efforts to improve every aspect of their business through this Corporate Sustainability Platform. The company has plans to continue to support its environmental stewardship programs and improve working conditions throughout its supply chain. For more information on La Sportiva's efforts in these areas, Download La Sportiva's Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

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ABOUT LA SPORTIVA
Celebrating their 80th anniversary, La Sportiva brings a strong alpine mountaineering and climbing heritage to their line of performance mountain footwear. This core experience enables La Sportiva to offer the most versatile technical climbing, mountaineering, Mountain Running® and hiking shoes on the market. For more information on La Sportiva visit www.sportiva.com.

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