Columbia Sportswear reports progress on its ESG initiatives


Columbia Sportswear Company doesn’t just say it cares; it is to demonstrate it.

Last year, the global apparel, outerwear and footwear manufacturer, whose products sell widely in the promotional products industry, partnered with the Planet Water Foundation to build two new water castles. supply chain sites to bring clean water to manufacturing partners’ employees and their children.

Overall, Columbia has now built 24 water towers for such human purposes.

The construction of the towers was just one of the highlights of the 2021 environmental, social and governance (ESG) report that Columbia just released. The document details the progress CSC has made to strengthen the three main pillars of its corporate responsibility strategy – empowering people, sustaining places and responsible practices.

“We are committed to responsible practices throughout our business,” said Peter Bragdon, CSC’s executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel.

Other highlights from the ESG report include that CSC finalized a Carbon Leadership Project and a Clean by Design program with two cohorts of Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturing partners to help partners reduce their environmental impact.

Reducing emissions by the company’s manufacturing suppliers will help CSC meet its goal of reducing manufacturing emissions by 30% by 2030, compared to a 2019 baseline.

Meanwhile, CSC noted that all of its brands’ shipping boxes contain 100% recycled content. CSC has also become a member of the Leather Working Group, which strives to minimize the environmental impact of leather production.

“Now, more than ever, we need to do our part to ensure the outdoors is for everyone,” said Abel Navarrete, CSC’s vice president of sustainability and community impact. “That’s why we, along with our employees, community partners, customers and the wider industry, are leading initiatives to make sure people feel safe and welcome outdoors.”

Corporate responsibility initiatives that aim to reduce environmental impact, ensure humane and fair treatment of workers throughout a company’s supply chain, and provide products made with more sustainable materials win ground in a range of industries, including the apparel and promotional products market. ASI Media has documented developments, particularly in the branded merchandise industry, through Promo for the Planet.

The CSC report provides further evidence of the movement, which promotion officials say will accelerate in the space, in part due to demand from end buyers. Becoming greener becomes both an operational goal and a material product priority, they say.

“We are being asked more than ever for products with a sustainability component or a return component,” said Tammy Cernuska Hoth of Cotton Candy Global Marketing (asi/169186) during a panel discussion at the recent ASI Show Chicago.

Based in Portland, OR, Columbia Sportswear Company said it generated $3.1 billion in total worldwide revenue across all of its brands and business channels.

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