PROTACT2024 - THE SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY OF ORTOVOX
PROTACT2024 is the sustainability strategy of ORTOVOX. Based on the core values of the company, PROTACT2024 combines existing initiatives and binding goals that will be implemented by 2024.
Goals ORTOVOX is pursuing through PROTACT2024:
1. ANIMAL PROTECTION - 100 % OWP wool
2. FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION – attain FWF Leader Status
3. REGIONALITY - expand production to 60 % inside Europe
4. NATURE PRESERVATION – climate neutrality
5. TOXIN-FREE - 100% PFC-free product line
6. REUSE - MOUNTAIN SECOND LIFE
1. Animal Protection
ORTOVOX protects sheep
Animal protection – as wool experts, the well-being of sheep in particular – guides the actions of ORTOVOX. Rooted in this, ORTOVOX 2017 developed a challenging wool standard. The ORTOVOX WOOL PROMISE (OWP) stands for highest standards of animal protection and sustainable business practices. Regulations are essential, though for ORTOVOX, the foundation should always be the honest and ambitious willingness and commitment of all partners. The close, friendly relationship with sheep farmers, producers and experts is harnessed and intensified in regular ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS. Here, challenges are discussed, new ideas are born and solutions developed.
GOAL: 100% OWP BY 2024
The declared goal is now to further strengthen the ORTOVOX WOOL PROMISE by 2024. That said, SWISSWOOL, the traditional wool from the Swiss Alps, which ORTOVOX mainly uses as insulation material, will also become part of OWP. Integration is planned for 2021/22. Furthermore, ORTOVOX has set itself the goal of demonstrable full transparency in all processes and acquisition stages.
2. Labor Protection
ORTOVOX protects people
The fair treatment of employees, customers and business partners is a priority of ORTOVOX. Since 2015, the brand has been a member of the initiative PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE TEXTILES as well as the FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION (FWF).
The company’s commitment to fair labor conditions was recognized in 2018 with award of FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION LEADER STATUS. Since then, we have maintained the status, the highest distinction granted by the FWF.
GOAL: MAINTAIN FWF LEADER STATUS
ORTOVOX has the declared goal of continuing to maintain its LEADER STATUS within the FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION. This FWF status is reassessed annually in order to further an ongoing improvement process. In concrete terms, for ORTOVOX this means that the brand is committed to continually working to make production planning more efficient and socially more compatible. This status also comprises payment of living wages in a safe work environment that does not imperil health. Similarly, under the strategy plan developed within the framework of the PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE TEXTILES, ORTOVOX strives to achieve an improvement in chemical and environmental management on the part of all producers.
The FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION (FWF) is an independent nonprofit organization active worldwide as a champion of good labor conditions in the textile industry. ORTOVOX works together with 45 suppliers in total. In this context, well over half of our textile products are manufactured in Europe. But whether within the important manufacturing hub of Europe itself or outside – the selection of appropriate production locations is defined by the guidelines of the FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION. ORTOVOX works exclusively with those businesses which share the same principles as the company.
The PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE TEXTILES has been committed since 2014 to the improvement of social, economic and ecological conditions along the supply chain of the textile and clothing sector. For ORTOVOX, membership means heightened transparency and stronger cooperation within the textile industry. To that end, a binding strategic plan was published in 2018.
ORTOVOX protects regional uniqueness
ORTOVOX utilizes and promotes natural resources and traditional expertise worldwide – for example, Tasmania’s centuries-old experience in processing merino wool. However, since its early years the brand has also consciously placed its trust in regional raw materials as well as regional craftsmanship. The textile production chain of ORTOVOX currently consists of 49 businesses in 13 countries. 56.22% of all textile products come from Europe.
GOAL: 60% PRODUCTION IN EUROPE
ORTOVOX has set itself the goal of continuing to generate at least 60% of its production volume in Europe. That said, the company does not see its promotion of regional uniqueness as limited to the European region. Through the close interaction with local stakeholders, ORTOVOX also strives at international locations to promote uniqueness. The Tarkine rainforest, for example, in the home of ORTOVOX merino sheep, Tasmania, is one of the biggest, most pristine and most species-rich virgin forests in the world. However, extensive forest clearing by the mining and timber industries threaten its unique diversity – along with the gigantic green lung it provides for our planet. We support the Bob Brown Foundation, which campaigns for the preservation of the rain forest through a variety of programs. Consistent with our support, for every unreturned package to our online shop, 3 euros is donated to the foundation. We also co-financed the Tarkine Trail in the amount of 10,000 euros, intended to further promote the growth of gentle tourism in the region. In addition to financial support of the Bob Brown Foundation, ORTOVOX also equips on-site environmental teams with rucksacks and clothing.
4. Nature Preservation
Environmental protection is a matter of course for ORTOVOX and guides the actions of the company. The declared brand goal is to achieve climate neutrality at corporate locations and in all products. This begins with a detailed analysis of our CO2 FOOTPRINT and development of a strategy in order to reduce this to a minimum and compensate for the remainder.
GOAL: CLIMATE NEUTRALITY
From electricity, water, heating and paper use, to employee work processes and climate-neutral manufacture of products, the CO2 balance of the company is evaluated, with measures developed and implemented to maximize reduction. The unavoidable CO2 emissions are eventually counterbalanced through compensatory methods. In this way, ORTOVOX expects to be fully climate-neutral by 2024.
OUT OF THE BOX: PACKAGING INITIATIVE
Through internal projects aimed at developing packaging alternatives and reducing the need, we have already been able to achieve CO2 reduction in the amount of 27.16%. This also means 50% less plastic in all T-shirt packaging and approximately 3.5 tons less new plastic annually.
EOCA: ACTIVE WORLDWIDE FOR MORE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Since summer 2016, ORTOVOX has been a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), also a EOCA Summit Member since 2019. Since it was founded in 2006, this group of companies from the European outdoor industry has collected donations for charitable projects. These projects are not confined by geographical boundaries: From construction of an eco-path in Nepal, waste disposal projects in Kyrgyzstan and protection of brown bears in Spain, to the preservation of peat bogs in Ireland, the EOCA supports projects worldwide.
SAVE THE TARKINE: ORTOVOX PROTECTS THE TARKINE RAINFOREST
The Tarkine rainforest lies in the northwest of Tasmania, the home of ORTOVOX merino sheep. It is one of the most significant unspoiled landscapes in the world – though severely imperiled due to massive clearing caused by the mining and timber industries. For every unreturned package to our online shop, 3 euros is donated to the foundation – simultaneously cutting back on CO2 emissions associated with product returns. Furthermore, we have donated 10,000 euros for development of the Tarkine Trail App, with the goal of promoting gentle tourism in the region and thereby creating alternative employment for lumberjacks. In addition, we equip on-site environmental protection teams with rucksacks and clothing.
5. Safety Pionieers
ORTOVOX protects you
As a safety pioneer, the company has had a major impact on the outdoor market and, through innovations, constantly set new standards. ORTOVOX products protect the sportsman or -woman through reliable functionality and the high quality of materials. They allow rapid, life-saving action in response to emergency situations and guarantee protection from adverse natural conditions. For our brand, however, the commitment to safety also entails requiring our suppliers to take concrete steps in order to improve their standards of chemical management.
GOALS:100% PFC-FREE PRODUCT LINE
In order to ensure that no toxins are used in our products, we require our partners and suppliers to comply with our “Guide to Chemical Management and Compliance”. This contains the MRSL (Manufacturing Restricted Substances List) of the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) as well as the RSL (Restricted Substances List) based on strict bluesign® standards. Additionally, we keep our suppliers fully informed about topics including good housekeeping, wastewater management etc.
Beyond that, we have made it our goal, step-by-step until the year 2024, to offer PFC-free products exclusively. By no later than the winter collection 21/22, all SWISSWOOL products, by winter 22/23 all softshell products and, as of winter 23/24, all hardshell products and accessories will be completely PFC-free.
What are PFCs?
PFC refers to per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals. This group of substances does not occur naturally. It consists of various long-chain carbon chains (C6 and C8) in which the hydrogen atoms have either been completely (perfluorinated) or partially (polyfluorinated) replaced by fluorine atoms.
Why are PFCs used to make clothing for mountain sports?
PFCs have special chemical characteristics: They are water-, oil- and dirt-repellant as well as chemically and thermically stable. That is why these chemicals have been used for a long time to manufacture mountain sports gear that must function reliably in all conditions. Over the years, however, the world has become increasingly aware of the dangers associated with PFCs, with alternatives being used more and more.
What are the risks associated with PFCs?
The very stable bond between carbon and fluorine does not degrade naturally. PFCs spread rapidly in the environment – in groundwater, plants, organisms, the food chain.
Are there alternatives?
There are currently barely any alternatives on the market whose functionality meets the demands of high-alpine use. Nonetheless, in order to protect the environment, we are making every effort to offer PFC-free products exclusively by 2024. Already by winter 2021/22, our SWISSWOOL insulation as well as our entire rucksack line will be PFC-free.
ORTOVOX schützt through sustainable innovation
Its passion for the mountains drives ORTOVOX to pursue new paths in order to make its products and processes both functional and sustainable. In matters of technical innovation, since it was founded in 1980, ORTOVOX has been regarded as one of the leading brands in the outdoor industry. The topic of product longevity has always been one of the decisive factors in our development of products as well. This will be further intensified in future through “Second Life” programs and initiatives.
GOALS: MOUNTAIN SECOND LIFE
Longevity and repairability have a significant impact on the sustainability balance of the product and are a particular focus for ORTOVOX. Within the Second Life strategy of our company, we emphasize optimal product use and care, further optimization of repairability as well as solutions that enable and facilitate reuse of pre-used products.
ORTOVOX PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS AT BRÜNDL SPORTS