2020 Climate Impact Report
Keep The North Cold isn’t a slogan – it’s our mission as a company, and a commitment we make to our customers. So we created the world’s first Climate Positive outdoor apparel company to help protect the very thing our products are designed to celebrate.
Climate Positive means taking responsibility for our environmental impact and doing more good than harm. It's about holding ourselves accountable to the planet – and to you – and making sure that together, we are contributing to climate solutions.
To have a net-positive impact on the environment, we must make sure our investments in creating a sustainable future outweigh our carbon footprint and we use a simple three-step formula to do it:
- Each year, we carefully measure our full carbon footprint as a company, from raw materials to production and shipping.
- We use the Social Cost of Carbon to convert our carbon footprint into a dollar amount.
- We invest 110% of our annual climate cost in organizations working to create solutions to the climate crisis across three key areas: Education, Activation, and Innovation.
We want you to hold us accountable, too. This report is an annual opportunity for us to share our progress, as well as our challenges, and give you an opportunity to check our math.
Carbon Reductions From Previous Year
Achieving climate positive impact starts with making our footprint as small as possible. This year, we worked to further reduce our carbon footprint on two main fronts: finished goods transportation and sourcing sustainable materials.
1. Sea Shipping
The second biggest contributor to our carbon footprint in 2020 was the transportation of finished products. Last year, to reduce transport emissions, we shipped our parkas from their manufacturing facility by sea instead of air. This increased our lead time, but by doing so, we reduced emissions by 24%.
2. 100% Recycled Lining
Another step we took to further decrease our overall emissions was a switch from a bluesign® certified taffeta material to 100% recycled nylon for the lining of The Winter Parka. This improvement means our parka is made almost entirely of recycled materials.
In 2020, we emitted 112.7 tonnes of carbon. Here is a breakdown of those emissions by source:
Social Cost of Carbon
Purchasing carbon credits is a great place to start for any business that wants to offset their carbon footprint, but they don’t capture the full amount of a company’s social and environmental impact. Using the social cost of carbon as our benchmark comes at a greater expense to our business, but we believe it’s the right number to use for true climate accountability.
To make good on our promise to do more good than harm, we use the social cost of carbon – versus just the cost of carbon offsets alone – as the source of truth for our offsetting investments. The social cost of a metric ton of emitted carbon incorporates the human cost of climate change: extreme weather, sea level rise, food insecurity, and impact on health. When you add up those factors, the result is more than four times the average cost of a carbon credit.
We center our giving on the three key areas where we see the best opportunity to fulfill our mission to Keep The North Cold and ensure a just transition to a sustainable future:
- Education — We need to have fact-based conversations about climate change that move us beyond divisive politics to collective action
- Activation — We need to build powerful, diverse coalitions and invest in frontline leadership
- Innovation — We need equitable climate solutions at scale that quickly move us toward a carbon-neutral economy
We are already feeling the impact of climate change, and it disproportionately affects communities of color and people experiencing poverty. And as we enter the final decade of opportunity to act, our investments reflect that urgency. We’re proud to support the scientists, activists, artists, and educators who are making the transformative impact this challenge requires.
Climate Central is an independent group of scientists and communicators who research and report the facts about our changing climate and how it affects people’s lives. Climate Central uses science, big data, and technology to generate thousands of local storylines and compelling visuals that make climate change personal and show what can be done about it.
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy is a nationally connected and trusted nonprofit dedicated to climate literacy, climate change education, youth leadership and community engagement for innovative climate change solutions. Climate Generation’s mission is to empower individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change.
Climate Justice Alliance
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations into a formidable force. Their translocal organizing strategy and mobilizing capacity is building a just transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies.
Fresh Energy’s mission is to shape and drive bold policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies. They are working toward a vision of a just, prosperous, and resilient future powered by a shared commitment to a carbon-neutral economy.
MAD inspires and empowers cooks, servers, and eaters to create sustainable change. From luminaries in the field to young apprentices, MAD is connecting individuals and equipping them to make a difference in their restaurants and the world. The MAD Academy is designed to give students the expertise, practical tools, and inspiration they need to enhance their professional lives and actively engage in positive change.
MN350 unites Minnesotans as part of a global movement to end the pollution damaging our climate, speed the transition to clean energy, and create a just and healthy future for all. They are working to secure the clean air, clean water, stable climate, and equitable future that our children and grandchildren deserve.
Founded in 2014, Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “drawdown” – the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. Project Drawdown is helping the world stop global warming by achieving drawdown as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.
Protect our Winters
Founded in 2007 by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones, POW is a community of athletes, scientists, creatives, and business leaders advancing non-partisan policies that protect our world today and for future generations.
Rocky Mountain Institute
RMI engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI employs rigorous research, analysis, and whole-systems expertise to develop breakthrough insights. They then convene and collaborate with diverse partners – business, government, academic, nonprofit, philanthropic, and military – to accelerate and scale solutions.
Sunrise Movement Education Fund supports the education and awareness efforts of the Sunrise movement's plan to make climate change an urgent priority across America and expose the corruption of fossil fuel executives on our politics.
“Get Out The Vote” 2020 Campaign and Grantees
Creating a more just future for people and the planet requires collective action, and it requires prioritizing climate at the ballot box. In 2020, we made a special round of grants focused on organizations helping get out the vote.
The grants supported the important work of these organizations:
- Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
- Protect our Winters
- Conservation Minnesota
- Honor the Earth
We already know what we have to do to avoid the worst catastrophic impacts of climate change.
We believe that we can get there through shared resources and resilience, and remain optimistic about our collective ability to overcome adversity and solve big problems. Thank you for your continued support and helping us to Keep The North Cold for generations to come.
To learn more about how we calculated our impact over the past year, you can find our 2020 Greenhouse Gas Footprinting Methodology and Disclosure Report here. You’ll find the details and data that inform and validate our Climate Positive business model. And if you have any questions, please just let us know – we’re always available at firstname.lastname@example.org (and we love this stuff).