The North Face

It’s probably fair to say that North Face is known for it’s gear, not it’s low impact ethos. It does appear the company is moving forward and making serious attempts to minimise the impacts of its operations but is not, as yet, as far down the track as some of the other industry leaders.

From their website:
“Sustainability and conservation form the core of The North Face vow to advance the health of our planet, its citizens and those who explore it, as we believe sustainability, performance, and form can blend beautifully together”.

CATEGORY:  leader (***)

reporting framework
North Face is in the process of developing a four-step process to address its climate impacts, based on:
1.    Measure carbon footprint.
2.    Reduce emissions
3.    Invest. In renewable energy
4.    Offset emissions

  • information on resources used – recycled materials, use of renewable materials, etc

There is a general statement on the companies approach to sustainability here.
From the company:
“We have a number of products in our range that are using recycled components and materials. This is ever increasing and becoming the norm rather than a special project i.e. we are not setting out to make eco products, rather we are embarking on producing excellent products that incorporate sustainable, recycled materials”.
We are “adopting the Bluesign accreditation on a number of our products. Bluesign is an independent international accreditation that strictly monitors all factors that go into the product of an item i.e. the sourcing of the fabrics, transportation, social impacts regarding labour standards etc. making it a strict holistic review of the environmental and social impacts of the items we make”.

  • energy consumption
  • carbon dioxide emissions

The company is embarking on benchmarking their impacts:

“In a partnership with the (US) EPA Climate Leaders Program, we are committed to benchmarking and reducing our overall carbon footprint”.

It is also sourcing renewable power for it’s operations in the USA. “Our headquarters (USA) now utilizes highly efficient lighting and we have installed a one-megawatt solar panel array at our Visalia, California facility to reduce our footprint.
We invest in wind energy through the purchase of renewable energy credits from Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offset 100% of our North American operations energy use”.

http://www.thenorthface.com.au/news.php?id=44

  • distance travelled/ place(s) of production
  • waste generated
  • water consumption
  • working conditions

From the company: We are “adopting the Bluesign accreditation on a number of our products. Bluesign is an independent international accreditation that strictly monitors all factors that go into the product of an item i.e. the sourcing of the fabrics, transportation, social impacts regarding labour standards etc. making it a strict holistic review of the environmental and social impacts of the items we make”.

From the international website: “FAIR LABOR CODE OF CONDUCT WITH VFC
The North Face strictly adheres to a robust code of conduct set by our parent company, VF Corporation, for labour practices wherever we operate, including manufacturing facilities”.
It is not stated what this code is.

  • other environmental claims or benefits

The company encourages staff to support voluntary conservation measures. In Australia it has supported the 350.org campaign

  • details on who stocks the item/ where to find it/ where to get further information

http://www.thenorthface.com.au/sitemap.php

Specific products

Treehugger day pack.

Review available here.

Pretty Valley, Bogong High Plains, VIC

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