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Is This the First Truly Carbon Balanced Brand in the Snowsports Industry?

Nikwax — global leader in aftercare products for outdoor performance gear and apparel — celebrated its 40th anniversay by carbon balancing the entirety of its operations, dating back to 1977.

Since 2007, the brand has been working with World Land Trust to offset its yearly emissions, as well as going back and offsetting each year since its inception.

“We recognize that climate change is going to be one of the greatest challenges for future generations,” said Nikwax founder Nick Brown. “It is already destabilizing the outdoor industry, influencing snow and rainfall, and bringing extreme and unpredictable weather. 10 years ago, we decided to balance the carbon emissions coming from our manufacturing and operational processes by restoring forest cover in partnership with the World Land Trust. By restoring forests, the trees capture the CO2 we emit, while also providing protection for endangered species and promoting bio-diversity.”

An avid hiker and traveler, Brown designed his own waterproofing wax to keep his leather mountain boots dry. Today, Nikwax is the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare solutions. Nikwax products extend the performance life of technical clothing, footwear and equipment. Most recently, the company launched Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD), a leading PFC-free hydrophobic down that performs to the highest level of testing, the 1000 minute shake test. Nikwax products are fluorochemical-free, use advanced elastomer technology, are not tested on animals, and are non-persistent in the environment. The company is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified and is the only major aftercare line to have never used aerosols or fluorocarbons.

“In 2007 when we began this process, we decided to balance our historic emissions, going back 10 years. In 2017, we achieved 20 years of carbon balancing. This year we are carbon balancing the remaining operations from day 1 to year 20, by investing in re-growing more forest. By the end of 2017, our operations will have been carbon balanced for 40 years.”

Nikwax’s 10-year process of becoming carbon balanced was a three-step approach:

  1. Measure carbon emissions produced through operations. (Click here to learn more about how Nikwax measures.)
  2. Reduce emissions through reduction, energy efficiency updates, recycling, etc.
  3. Offset remaining emissions through financial contributions to the World Land Trust.

According to a statement on the World Land Trust’s website by it’s co-founder and CEO John Burton: “Nikwax and Paramo’s (Nikwax’s sister company) commitment to becoming Carbon Balanced since their origins, donations to projects around the world and even supporting WLT at events such as the British Birdwatching Fair, is truly above and beyond.”

“We would like to show other companies how easy it is to take this step. If all companies balanced their operational emissions, the world would be carbon neutral,” said Brown.

Todd Walton

Todd Walton is the director of communications and marketing at SIA.