Photos: Jack Wolfskin.
TreeHugger is headquartered in the USA and we post in English, so it is hardly surprising that many of our stories emanate from countries where English is the first language. But, that's not to say there isn't a heap of worthy work happening elsewhere. Take for example, the German-based outdoor clothing and equipment company, Jack Wolfskin.
As well as making some of their fleece garments from recycled polyester, from this year, everything they do in cotton, (T-shirts, dresses, baseball caps, etc,) will employ organic cotton. In honouring their namesake, Jack Wolfskin provide financial support to two wolf conservation organisations, the Wolf Science Center and the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project. They switched to green power electricity, reducing their carbon dioxide emissions by about 1,302 tonnes annually. What's more, their franchise agreement requires Jack Wolfskin franchisee stores to also switch over to green electricity. That's a fairly aggressive move. But it's not all they do ...
Photos: Jack Wolfskin
Additionally Jack Wolfskin chief Manfred Hell and Wolfgang Niedecken, singer of the German rock group BAP worked with the aid organisation World Vision to establish the Project Rebound in Northern Uganda. The project has the ambitious goal of assisting 10,000 people, either directly or indirectly, within a three-year time frame. Specifically, Rebound is a "comprehensive re-socialising project for the improvement of the living conditions of former child soldiers in Uganda." This is expected to be achieved through hygiene, nutrition, and psychological support, coupled with "vocational skills training in various manual tasks (sewing, masonry, carpentry, baking, bicycle repair)."
On the transport front, a video conference system was introduced in 2009 to replace many short flights and "through complete restructuring of the supply chain, the ratio of air shipments to the overall shipment volume will be reduced by approximately 50%. The goal is to avoid air shipments as completely as possible in the future."
Printer paper, all catalogues, brochures, posters, product packaging, etc. has been moved to 100% recycling paper or FSC-certified papers.
Jack Wolfskin were a founding member of the EOG Association for Conservation, the environmental wing of the European Outdoor Group (EOG).
The company has supported the Hohes Venn-Eifel natural park authority to promote sustainable tourism for the past two years. And they support the German Federal Nature Conservation Agency (BfN) through the agencies kids a magazine and last year the Naturathlon cycling event which traversed the so-called European "Green Belt" that was the no-mans land between East and West.
The GreenBook is Jack Wolfskin's internal manual of environmentally and socially
responsible guidelines. Much of it is transparently published online, with the company's Supplier's Code of Conduct (PDF) available in nine languages, so customers and business partners alike can see what Jack Wolfskin sets as its own standards.
One shouldn't infer from the above good works that Jack Wolfskin, founded in 1981, is without ungreen skeletons in their closet -- don't we all have those? -- but it is encouraging to see the effort they do put in to some of the aforementioned initiatives.