Nikwax is an outdoor company who understand it would be silly to soil their own nest. Nikwax make cleaning and proofing products for outdoor clothing and equipment, but who would buy them if the mountains, moors and meadows were degraded and polluted?
Nikwax recently released their 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which showcases the effort they've put into being an environmentally aware company. And it seems last year was a bit of a watershed (pardon the pun) for this 32 year old water-based, weatherproofing business. They were named one of the "Top 60 Green Companies in the UK" by the Sunday Times, earned ISO 14001 certification for their environment management, won a "Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practices in Manufacturing" from the Green Organization and were named as the recommended aftercare product for the US Grassroots Outdoor Alliance of eco-minded retail stores.
The Nikwax Corporate Social Responsibility Report also details the other work they are doing to reduce the businesses environmental impact:
• established a financial incentive for employees that bike-to-work
• underwrote the American Alpine Club's Bellwether Grant to study the effects of global warming in the alpine environment.
• contributed $36,000 in carbon offsets, plus $36,000 in matched donations toward preserving pristine areas, via the World Land Trust
• as of September 2009, sourced 95% of their energy from renewable resources
• reduced weight of packaging by 15%, saving 7.3 tons in plastics processing
• reduced gas consumption for heating by 60% by installing an insulated, suspended ceiling and upgrading the gas heating system
• work the European Outdoor Group Association for Conservation and the US Outdoor Industry Association's Eco Working Group
Honest and Modest
But these and other measures are not seen as an end game. Nikwax are honest and modest about their achievements in corporate responsibility:
"As a company and as individuals we impact our environment. We are not neutral, much less perfect. Our goal is to work toward mitigating the negative impacts and fortifying the positive impacts." And this: "Responsibility"is a work in progress, without an end destination. This update is intended to openly discuss where we are in the journey."
Not only is Nikwax striving to be a good green citizen by their business practices, but their product itself addresses one of the key issues of over consumption. In providing 'aftercare' solutions they help extend the life of existing clothing and equipment, limiting the need for fresh extraction of materials and accompanying production and distribution impacts that accompanying all new products.
That's not to suggest they don't have their own distribution logistics, afterall they service the outdoor sports, motorcycling, golf, and equestrian markets in 42 countries, but a single tube of proofing or cleanser could keep a product going for years.
See the full Nikwax 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report (PDF) at the Nikwax website.