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Outdoor companies toss around words like “eco-friendly” and “green” and “sustainable” pretty liberally. But without widespread agreement as to the technical meaning of those terms, they’re really just marketing.
Carbon is one of the outdoor industry’s most dangerous byproducts: CO is the gas most responsible for global warming, the major climate issue of our age. But how can we fight it in a transparent, ethical manner? Enter Climate Neutral, a new nonprofit founded by Jonathan Cedar, CEO of BioLite, and Peter Dering, CEO of Peak Design. These two outdoor brands were each grappling with how to mitigate the amount of carbon they release into the atmosphere through manufacturing and shipping, and each reached the same conclusion: It’s easier and cheaper than most people—and business leaders—think.
“When we started our research at Peak Design, we were a $30 million company, and we discovered we could offset all carbon emissions in our supply chain for $90,000,” Dering says. Now, with Climate Neutral, Dering and Cedar are creating a process that’s easy for other businesses to follow. The organization has developed a calculator to determine a business’s impact, then offers guidance on reducing it, a way to purchase offsets to zero out the rest, and a certification label so consumers can support brands that offset emissions.
As of early 2020, 120 brands have signed on, including BACKPACKER. More will follow.
Now that’s change you can actually measure.