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April 18, 2012

For a growing number of people around the globe and within our industry, sustainability and conservation is rapidly becoming a norm that defines lifestyles, purchases and business strategies. Our industry depends on the health of the earth and the environment and is comprised of environmentally-conscious people. It only makes sense for us to do all we can to ensure a healthy environment.

With climate change, environmental impact, economic shift and regulatory changes implemented by local government, it is important for the snow sports community to become eco-friendly and develop programs and green practices that help take away from the stress that we put on the earth every day.

In honor of Earth Day, we asked the industry about their plans for Earth Day, details about their “green” products and initiatives and what makes this day important to them. Learn more about what environmental initiatives SIA supports here.

“Earth Day is a reminder that as I go about my life, I should seek opportunities to improve our environment and protect it for future generations. It is an opportunity to reflect and consider what impact I’m having on the land, air and water both locally and globally. We receive a large volume of cardboard and as of last year, we teamed up with GreenFiber to recycle all fibrous paper waste including our cardboard. We have been averaging about one ton per month of paper and cardboard products recycled. The waste is processed into an effective, sustainable insulation product. For this Earth Day, we are committing to obtaining a modern, zero-sort recycling program for the rest of our waste.” Garrett McEwen, Sports Page Ski and Patio, Queensbury, NY

“Sourcing new technologies that help us lessen our impact is an ongoing process, and the Planet Friendly initiative is about letting our customers know in very specific terms how we’re trying to incorporate these emerging technologies into our line, not about ‘another green story’ or about congratulating ourselves. SCARPA Planet Friendly is a continuous effort to reduce our impact on the environment. If we do our job right, we’ll help drive demand for better and better technologies that help us continue to lessen our footprint.” Colleen Nipkow, Marketing Manager, SCARPA North America

“For Arbor, the drive to create products that are more sustainably produced is rooted in the fact that we need a healthy environment in order to pursue the sports we love. Frankly, we don’t need Earth Day to be reminded about what’s at stake; any day of riding in the mountain will serve. Those of us who participate in outdoor sports have more to lose than people who access the environment via their TVs. Hence, we have a responsibility to take the lead. To that end, every product that Arbor makes is built with the most sustainable materials and practices available. Always have been, always will be” Bob Carlson, CEO, The Arbor Collective

“This season Chaos is offering the recycled cashmere beanie for a luxurious alternative. We also support the “Headknitters Guild” in Peru contracting 25 regional pueblos that create our specialty Peru Collection made of sustainable alpaca blends. This program has proven year-round employment and better living standards for all the families involved. Do-gree Mills also locally employs over 110 jobs in Montreal, they are a three generational family-owned and operated business. These local contributions are a good reminder on Earth Day!” Gary Supple, US National Sales Director, Chaos

“We think finding ways to “be green” is a benefit to our customers and the health of the environment that supports our passions. We offer our customers, woven re-useable shopping bags at no charge, reducing our and our customer’s dependence on plastic, and in conjunction with 5 of our vendors, who added their logos to the bags, we created a venue for brand visibility that has some staying power.” Michael Vlass, MTNside Ski and Ride, Wachusett Mountain

“Being in an industry that relies so heavily on our environment, I feel that Earth Day is more of a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle in which the responsibility lies on us, to communicate to our generation and future generations the dramatic facts of our earth’s current condition, expand awareness and grow appreciation.” Nick Papailiou, Marketing Associate, Salomon Alpine

“To me, being green means doing our best every day to take care of our planet, respect our resources and not use them as if they are unlimited. I have two small children and I want them to be able to enjoy the expansive outdoor playground we are blessed with and it is rapidly deteriorating due to misunderstanding and misuse. Just doing a little bit every day in our personal and professional lives – whether it’s simply turning out the lights, picking up a piece of trash, growing our own vegetables – can make a big difference over time. Hibiscus definitely has ways of staying “green” year-round We have a small warehouse space and work area – we only use energy efficient lighting, we shut down all computers, shipping machines, etc. that are not being used and we reuse all shipping materials.” Meg Dietzel, President, Hibiscus iWear

“While Earth Day is a single day in the year, it is an annual reminder that we all need to do our part to prevent global climate change. Those of us who make our living in the winter business are keenly aware that our livelihood is in jeopardy. We all need to do our part to prevent this unprecedented change in the weather. We also need to spread the gospel of conservation and lifestyle change for the betterment of all who inhabit this great blue planet. We recycle all paper, plastics and metals through our counties recycling center. We also save all old skis to supply a couple of Adirondack chair makers. In observance of Earth Day 2012 several of our employees have volunteered to pick up trash in the watershed surrounding Deer Lake, in Polk County, Wisconsin.” John Wright, Trollhaugen Ski Shop, Dresser, WI

“As a snowboarder at heart, much of my life is defined by snow accumulation and conditions on the mountains. To me, making a conscious effort to conserve resources and participate in green practices means that someday, the next generation of snowboarders will have the same opportunity to get as many, if not more powder days that I had. Reducing my impact, and supporting brands that do their part to do the same, means showing appreciation for the plant and Mother Nature, and ensuring we will have many more powder days for years to come.”

“Bonfire & Salomon are continually looking for forward ways to reduce environmental impact and ensure a sustainable future. Currently we are in reduction mode and are targeting to use 100% PFOA Free DWR fabrics by FALL-WINTER 2013. Salomon offers Advanced Bamboo Construction- blending natural materials into supernatural snowboards, using structural bamboo veneers to reduce fiberglass and resin content in each board by 40%.” Colleen Quigley, Communications/PR, Salomon Snowboards & Bonfire Snowboarding

“Personally, I don’t think anyone can argue against living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. It’s is a basic responsibility that we all should be doing every day (not just Earth Day!!) and in most cities, it’s so easy to do! We’re fortunate enough to work in an industry that we LOVE…we support playing outside. Taking care of our earth should be considered one of our job descriptions.”

“Our parent company, Lafuma, has been a leader in corporate environmental responsibility, continually evaluating and improving our processes to impact the environment less. From solar powered plants, to organization of clean-ups, to selection of raw materials in product development, we take our environmental responsibility very seriously, and consider environmental impact in all related decisions made.” Maro LaBlance, Marketing Manager, Lafuma Group USA

“Since our founding 50 years ago, K2’s core has been a winter sports company and therefore dependent on a healthy environment for our business. To this end K2 assembled the 13 person K2 Sustainability Action Team, tasked with reducing our impact on the environment in our day-to-day business processes & product design. K2 is assisting in creating a ground-breaking environmental assessment tool to help companies make informed sourcing and product life cycle decisions. This work will better support the environment we cherish and depend on for our livelihood.” Matt O’Laughlin, Sustainability Action Team Chair, K2

Seirus continues to strive to search out the best natural materials to incorporate in our products. On the corporate level, we do what we can on a daily basis to put importance on the practices that help minimize our impact; such as printing our catalog on recycled paper, I feel that our industry as a whole is consciously looking for ways to champion the green revolution, and we at Seirus continue search out ways to be a part of that.” Danica Carey, Product Manager, Seirus Innovation

“We try to stay green all year round. We sell and use a variety of environmentally conscious products and practice store-wide recycling. For me, being green is all about limiting the impact I have on this earth. Whether it’s riding my bike more, picking up garbage on trails, using reusable water bottles it all makes a difference. I want to be remembered for what I accomplished in life not for the imprint on left on our earth.” Greg Culver, Sliders snow•skate•bike, Colden, NY

“Atomic built a hydroelectric power plant that not only supplies the needs of its factory; we also supply most of the homes and businesses in our valley with electricity from this plant. Atomic is close to zero emissions for production. Not only have we greatly eliminated emissions, we work extensively with recycling and choose many of our materials for construction based on their production requirements.” Rick Halling, Nordic Product Director, Atomic

“For Earth Day we are cleaning up a 4 mile stretch of Highway 36 next to our store. Our employees and local ski teams help with this Earth Day event at Joe’s. It’s surprising all the things we find that is discarded along the road; tires, fenders, tools, plastic bottles and tons of fast food bags. Last year, we picked up 115 bags of trash in two hours. A local high school alpine ski team brought 17 racers to help with the cleanup; it’s a great Earth Day project to have them help us with.” Joe Rauscher, Owner, Joe’s Ski Shop, St Paul, MN

“Vans is committed to being socially and environmentally responsible. This commitment runs through all aspects of our business practices from product design to manufacturing to facilities to retail operations. We embrace this opportunity to protect the planet, and in turn, educate and increase the positive connections with our employees, retailers and consumers. Our focused strategy revolves around materials, energy and waste, plus taking steps in our Vans Retail stores.” Jared Bevens, Category Director, Vans Action Sports Footwear & Equipment

“At Krimson Klover, we’re committed to be socio and environmentally conscious. Wool is obviously a sustainable textile but we have hand-picked a supplier whose green standards are impeccable – from using alternative energy, to recycling all of their water, to not using any toxic chemical, to enforcing excellent animal husbandry.” Rachel Hadley, Marketing Manager, Krimson Klover

“Never Summer boards are known to be the most durable on the market and that makes the need to replace a Never Summer not as frequent as the industry average. You’ll find less of our boards unusable and taking up landfill space after a few seasons – they usually get passed on to another rider or someone just taking up the sport. All our boards are built domestically in our centrally located factory in Denver, whereas boards built and shipped from overseas have the extra carbon footprint of being shipped to the largest market – the US. We also make every measure to ensure the most efficient use of materials as possible.”

“This is important to me as we need to ensure we pump less carbon into the environment and that the future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy winter the way we do. There is no denying that global warming is a real concern – the last several winters have been among the warmest on record – and the less carbon pumped into our environment the better off we are in reversing that trend.” Mike “Gags” Gagliardi, Snow Sales Manager, Never Summer Industries

“At Buckman’s, we’re incredibly proud of our “Go Green” efforts. We currently have solar panels on our corporate office as well as 5 of our 6 ski and snowboard shops.  These high efficiency panels make many of our stores completely energy-neutral and have offset over 4,300 pounds of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases since they first came online in 2010.  In addition to our array of solar panels, we actively recycle paper and plastic products and have started converting many of our light fixtures to more efficient, lighting technology.” Jeff Buckman, President, Buckman’s Ski & Snowboard Shop

“Polarmax is keeping the earth a little greener by sourcing, manufacturing, warehousing and shipping all Polarmax and AYG 365s products from within a 15 mile radius, saving fuel, time and money, as well as production time and costs. Manufacturing employees also have a 4-day work week, to reduce travel fuel costs and provide more time outside the facility. Recycled/recyclable/re-taskable packaging adds to our green efforts, as well as in-office recycling (cans, paper, glass…), and a “lights-off” policy for last one to leave the room, small efforts that can reap big benefits for nature and the bottom line.” Roger Maxey, National Sales Director, Polarmax and AYG