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Sustainability

Land Acknowledgement

SkiUphill is located on the land of the Treaty 7 people. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi”, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, and the Métis Nation (Region 3).

 

We feel that business should help protect and cherish our environment. To put people and the planet over profit. We believe strongly in doing no harm. In choosing the suppliers we work with, in choosing the brands that we carry, in choosing the power we use for our store.

This choice also extends to the fact that we value human effort to earn the turns by skiing uphill on your own effort, which is why we love back country skiing and trail running. We believe that human powered effort gives us greater respect and stewardship for the land. We want our legacy to be for people to live healthier lives by being fitter, having more care for our planet and a deeper respect for the mountains and wilderness that we all enjoy.

We are excited to be a 1% for the Planet Member. If you aren't familiar with the organization check them out at www.onepercentfortheplanet.org. For our 1% we've chosen a few charities that are meaningful in protecting our environment and teaching stewardship in Climate Change. They are:

Canada Parks & Wilderness Society (CPAWS, Southern Alberta).
Friends of Kananaskis
Howl 

To date we have donated $70,827 supporting the work that they do so we can protect our natural lands and glaciers for generations to come. It is our part, our brick if you will in the world to try and be more responsible as a company.

 Other ways that we are reducing our impact as a business:

  • We purchase 100% green certified energy through Bow Valley Power (Make It Green). 
  • If you use ShopPay when ordering, they offset 100% of the carbon footprint for the delivery.
  • We recycle shoes and give you $10 off a new pair. If they are in goodish condition, they end up supporting homeless shelters. If they are well used they get ground up to be car seat filler and industrial insulation.
  • We use 100% reusable and compostable bags for shipping through No Issue (No Issue) and reuse boxes.
  • When we built our shop we selected no or low VOC paint.
  • We've partnered with local artists and woodworkers to design our space to be a community hub.
  • We purchase compostable cups and lids for coffee that you enjoy in the store. 
  • We offer running gel wrapper recycling. We also recycle our shipping materials through Terra Cycle. It's not cheap but it is the right thing to do.
  • We are in the process of being Climate Neutral Certified. This is not about offsetting carbon emissions or empty promises but about setting actionable plans to reduce our carbon footprint. Check out their work at Climate Neutral.
  • Trail Building and Maintenance with CAMBA and Friends of Kananaskis.

Climate Neutral Certified Company

The reality is that even after facing an unprecedented global pandemic (and everything else 2021 threw at us), climate change is the single biggest threat to humanity - but we have the tools to stop it. The process to become Climate Neutral Certified is a months-long effort to measure, offset, and reduce our carbon footprint. These are actions that all brands - and individuals - can and should take now to “flatten the curve” of carbon emissions.

Sustainability and the environment have been part of our DNA since day one, and today we’re thrilled that we’re able to join hundreds of Climate Neutral Certified brands in taking meaningful action for the climate.

It’s no secret that 2021 was a challenging year for business. In the face of unexpected obstacles, radical pivots, and new ways of working, we’ve learned that we are able to face big challenges as individuals, a team, and a society. Globally, we emit almost 60 billion tonnes of greenhouse gasses every year. These are the emissions that cause climate change, and our industry is responsible for 45% of these emissions due to the resources required to make and deliver shoes, boots and skis.

If we don’t take responsibility for this problem now, then there’s no way we’ll hit the 2050 goals science tells us we need to achieve. These are make-or-break goals. Reach them, and we avoid the devastating effects of climate change. Miss them, and life on Earth will change for billions of people – forever.

Why Now?

 

We’re acting now because scientifically-vetted solutions to climate change exist, and they are accessible to brands like ours. As Cofounder of SkiUphill Gavin Harmacy said, “We understand that doing business does harm the environment and if we can help reduce or remove that harm we are moving in the right direction. To connect the dots, carbon emissions are the root cause of climate change, and we understand how our activities lead to greenhouse gas emissions."

How did we get here?

We are connecting the dots by doing our share to eliminate carbon emissions. We worked with Climate Neutral as we measured and offset last year's carbon emissions, and identified ways to reduce future emissions. This process took a significant amount of time and resources from our team, but ultimately it’s a reasonable cost compared to the thread of climate change. Bella Todaro, Director of Carbon Measurement at Climate Neutral, told us that "Our brands dedicated thousands of hours to understanding and addressing their climate impacts through the certification process.” All of those hours went to meeting the same standard for each brand:

Measure

We measured our 2021 carbon footprint at 526 tonnes [GHG Scope 1 - 0 tCO2e, GHG Scope 2 - 20 tCO2e and GHG Scope 3 - 506 tCO2e]. To arrive at this number, we looked at all of the emissions created from making and delivering our products/services, including our supply chain emissions, employee commuting, business travel, and utility bills.

Offset

We offset these emissions by purchasing $8,269.00 in verified carbon credits. We also opted to purchase an additional $1,500.00 in credits to account for our historical footprint. These carbon credits supported a portfolio of projects including Avoiding Deforestation in Brazil, Wind Farms and reducing Landfill Gas in China that will help reduce greenhouse gas emission or capture existing emissions.

Reduce

Last, but not least, we created Reduction Action Plans to help lower our emissions over the next 12-24 months.

Our reduction action plans are as follows:

  • We plan to encourage greener transportation options - reduce emissions from work-related employee commuting (i.e. commuting to the workplace, going on lunch from and to the workplace, and local deliveries).
  • We will purchase 30% more recycled or reused plastics in the shoes, boots and skis that we purchase.
  • We plan to extend the useful life of our products. Helping customer repair rather than purchasing new products. 

We're sharing the details of our process for two reasons: 1) Our customers deserve transparency, and we want to show how we’re working to live up to our claims of climate responsibility. 2) I hope that other brands will see what we did and become inspired to take action. 

What does it mean to be Climate Neutral Certified?

Starting today, our products will bear the Climate Neutral Certified label. Climate Neutral is a nonprofit committed to solving climate change by making carbon neutrality simple and accessible. The label is shorthand for the process outlined above. Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral says, “Consumers hold massive power to shape the economy, and their power is exerted through the actions of the brands they support. With our climate label, we’re helping consumers find the brands that are willing to invest immediately in climate solutions.”

The hundreds of brands certifying this year all go through the same process to measure, offset, and reduce their emissions. Together, Climate Neutral Certified companies are working to eliminate more than 1,000,000 tonnes of carbon emissions - and we’re just getting started! These companies offer products and services across a wide range of industries, from apparel to media. Next time you’re considering a new product, keep an eye out for the Climate Neutral Certified label! To learn more about Climate Neutral and other brands committed to climate action, visit climateneutral.org.

To The Future

We’re thrilled to be in good company with this year’s Climate Neutral Certified brands. We believe in Climate Neutral’s mission of taking action now to solve a problem that we understand to be an urgent threat. We’re glad you’re with us for the journey. Let’s work together to tackle climate change faster.

We are the community of SkiUphill and this is what we believe.

Additional Reading


"The Ecology of Commerce", Paul Hawkin

"The Responsible Company", Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley