Sustainability is a cornerstone of our corporate philosophy. Respect and a sustainable approach to the environment, our employees and our customers are some of our guiding principles.
As a German mountain sports supplier, we make products to be used in nature. As a logical consequence, protecting the environment is a cause particularly close to our heart. The mindful treatment of people and nature is an important part of our corporate culture and company philosophy. Here is an extract from the EDELRID corporate aims:
"As an environmentally-friendly company, we want to reduce resource consumption and emissions in order to ensure sustainable corporate development."
At EDELRID, the organizational commitment to good environmental management is the responsibility of the Environmental Management Officer and by various working groups on specific environmental issues, e.g. materials, production processes, sourcing, implementation of environmental measures in administration or occupational safety. These working groups regularly report to the senior management team.
In order for our environmental impact to be measurable and transparent and to give ourselves the incentive to constantly improve, we have been publishing environmental statements since 2010. With the environmental statement we disclose what is important for assessing our environmental performance, but we also show what means and measures we use to reach our environmental goals and what we have achieved to date.
We are very aware that this is only the first step to a sustainable future. For this reason, we will continue to constantly examine our processes in order to use the most environmentally-friendly production processes without compromising quality or safety. For us this is not a virtue, but a natural reaction to the demands of our time.
All our particularly environmentally-friendly products are labelled #ClimbGreen. They are manufactured using sustainable materials or are extremely durable. During the manufacturing process we pay attention to fair working conditions throughout the entire production chain.
We published our initial environmental statement in 2010 and this was certified under the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) ISO 14001 standard. Implementing an environmental management system is part of EMAS. The aim of this system is to embed environmentally-friendly processes within the company and to continuously improve our activities in regard to environmental protection.
Innovation is a driving force at EDELRID. For the last 150 years we have been manufacturing our core products in Isny, Germany. Today, more than 60% of sales are generated with products which are "MADE IN GERMANY". In this way we set new standards for product quality and are pioneers in the development and manufacture of state-of-the-art mountain sports equipment. For us, "MADE IN GERMANY" isn't just a slogan, but a further commitment of our brand to our local production location.
Since 2009, EDELRID has been producing dynamic ropes according to the strict bluesign® system―the first manufacturer in the world to do so. The bluesign® system is the strictest environmental standard for textile product manufacturing. In comparison to other eco-friendly labels, the bluesign® system tackles the root problem― instead of only examining the finished product and analyzing it for chemical substances, the bluesign® system checks the entire production processes of all processed components of a product (fabrics, yarns, chemicals like dyes, etc.). All input and output flows are examined. Only materials which comply with the strict bluesign® criteria are used in our production cycle. This results in eco-friendly products that are manufactured in a resource saving way.
By converting the production of our complete rope collection to the strict requirements of the bluesign® system, we made the following savings:
We endeavor to successively expand the share of bluesign® products in our collection. Today our bluesign® collection includes not only all ropes and accessory cords, but also slings and harnesses, and thus accounts for 38% of the entire EDELRID collection.
Since 2018, EDELRID produces and distributes the world's first ropes with a PFC-free coating. Polyfluorinated and perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are used, for example, on outdoor equipment to make them water, dirt and oil repellent. However once released into the environment, the chemicals degrade very slowly, posing a long-term problem for humans and the environment.
With the Eco Dry coating technology, we have succeeded in developing a process that is 100% PFC-free but it is equal to high-performance PFCs.
We are aware that our own actions as a medium-sized company make little difference in global environmental issues. However, we believe that with our environmental commitment and working with others will enable us to make significant, global and lasting changes. For this reason, we support non-profit organisations, for example the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), which has the goal of implementing environmental conservation and support projects.
Since the end of 2007, EDELRID has photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of its German company buildings. In 2017, the share of this renewable electricity amounted to 11% of the total electricity demand of the site. This has resulted in a saving of more than 83 tons of CO2 at our plant.
In 2018 we inaugurated our new administration offices. Bright, open offices, modern meeting and quiet spaces and a fully equipped testing area. Who could ask for more? Naturally the building was built to comply with all current energy standards. The energy consumption value corresponds to that of a passive house (equivalent to the German KFW-40 standard).
Since 2017 our site has its own e-car charging station, which is powered by 100% renewable electricity. Charging is free for all our employees and customers. In this way we wish to contribute to Germany's commitment to further the electric car agenda.
Whilst there is a multitude of ways to produce sustainable fabrics, as soon as you attempt this with metals, the problems become apparent. Our commitment to make sustainable carabiners, quickdraws, belay devices and pulleys presented us with an interesting challenge. Our "Steel Story" laid the foundation for a sustainable way of working with metals!
In our recycling program, we consistently use leftovers from our own rope production. From climbing ropes made entirely from leftover yarns to T-shirts and bags made of rope scraps to stylish POS products, the EDELRID collection includes a range of innovative and colorful upcycled products. By recycling unused yarns and faulty ropes, the polyamide waste in our rope production has been reduced by 60%.
In our clothing collection we insist on certified organic cotton which has been produced fairly. It is produced under strict ecological conditions―without chemical fertilizers, without pesticides and with a lower water consumption than in conventional cultivation methods. We also won't tolerate any genetic modification.
With the materials used in the current EDELRID clothing collection, we achieve a 90% share of organic cotton. The other 10% are functional fabrics (e.g. elastane), which makes product care easier and increases its durability.