Outdoor Gear Brand, Golite, Works its Name Into an Eco Business Philosophy

GoLite is the brand name of a line of backpacking gear designed to to take a weight off one's back. But it's also a philosophy that the company have progressively been embracing to ensure their own company operations and their product go lightly on the planet. And it recently announced that their load is going to be further lightened.

For the past two years GoLite have offset 100% of its estimated greenhouse gas emissions from corporate travel, office energy use, product shipping and print production, via NativeEnergy. This will continue for 2009. But in 2010 they'll up the ante to include materials and product manufacturing under their 100% "carbon neutrality" for all of their operations. As admirable as these steps are, we know that carbon offsetting is the 'tailpipe' end of how a business can go green. So it's pleasing to note GoLite are doing much more besides.They've engaged Five Winds International to complete a comprehensive, third-party environmental footprint analysis of the company and we understand a full Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report is due early this year.

All GoLite packaging and printing is produced according to the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (PDF), that have been developed by the Eco Working Group of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA).

Some of their clothing lines uses recycled polyester fabrics (up to 88% recycled content) and activated carbon from recycled coconut husks.

One percent of all of GoLite's industry 'pro sales' are donated to the Conservation Alliance.

All GoLite factories are third-party audited for compliance with the Timberland fair labour Code of Conduct.

GoLite provides its staff an extra week of paid vacation for environmental volunteerism or field testing and actively encourages alternative forms of transportation.

In December 2008, GoLite was certified as a founding B Corporation, meeting
high standards of social and environmental performance and accountability.

GoLite utilizes certified Green-e renewable energy, energy efficient lighting, "zero waste" recycling practices, and environmentally preferred office products.

They have heaps of information and resources on their website about going green and boldly offer weblinks directly to "Competitors we look up to for their green initiatives."

The company's long term objective, as spelt out in their media release (PDF) is to eliminate its environmental footprint and be a 100% "carbon neutral," zero waste company that uses a majority of environmentally preferred materials and zero restricted substances by 2010.

"We believe that achieving a net zero footprint is possible," said GoLite's co-founder and Chief Environmental Officer Kim Coupounas "And we've set that as our long-term goal. We know we're not going to get there overnight, so we've prepared ourselves for the long journey ahead. We are far from having all the answers, but we're making progress - day by day, decision by decision."

::GoLite, via Backpacker.

More GoLite on TreeHugger
A Global Warming Traverse, with Andy Skurka
How to Go Green - Outdoor Sports

Photo credit: GoLite

Tags: Carbon Neutral | Carbon Offsets | Corporate Responsibility | Renewable Energy | United States