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Haglöfs is now climate neutral but had to cheat to get there

Haglöfs joins the growing number of companies referring to themselves as “climate neutral” as they launch their new climate strategy: to reduce their emissions by 50% over the next 10 years and reach net zero by 2030, while taking full responsibility for the remaining emissions along the way. However, by referring to their efforts as “cheating”, Haglöfs wants to be fully transparent with their consumers about what climate neutrality really means – that although offsetting is the best option for the climate right now, it should never get in the way of the real work of reducing their own emissions.

To help keep the world within 1.5°C of warming to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, drastic reductions in carbon emissions are needed everywhere. The goals set out in the Paris Agreement in short mean halving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions this decade and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 – at the latest. This will require an enormous global effort to achieve and unfortunately, the world is not yet on track to do that. Therefore, those who can move faster need to do so.

That is why Haglöfs is today committing to move faster with an ambitious climate strategy to reduce their emissions by 50% over the next 10 years and reach net zero by 2030. And because the reductions will take time to realize, they are taking full responsibility for the remaining emissions along the way by going climate neutral in 2021.

For most people who are not working with climate terminology every day it would be easy to think that climate neutral means Haglöfs has no carbon footprint at all. However, this is far from the truth which is why Haglöfs today are announcing their new climate targets with the added message that calling themselves “climate neutral” feels a bit like cheating.

“Even though “climate neutral” is the right term, it doesn’t mean we don’t have any CO2emissions. It means that we are using offsetting to compensate for our emissions by supporting projects that will hopefully avoid or reduce emissions faster than us. And we think that feels a bit like cheating. But since it’s the best option for the climate right now, we are determined to at least cheat in the best way possible: with high quality offsets and ambitious plans to continue the hard work of reducing our own emissions”, said Fredrik Ohlsson, CEO.

Haglöfs has purchased sufficient high-quality carbon credits certified to the leading standards in the voluntary carbon market to offset the carbon footprint of both their own operations and those of their entire supply chain.

“The production of our outdoor gear is where our biggest impact lies. That’s why our climate commitment covers not only the emissions from our own operations but also includes the emissions generated from our whole supply chain – from the extraction of raw materials to delivery to the consumers”, said Elaine Gardiner, Head of Sustainability.

The offsets include renewable energy projects as well as reforestation and forest protection all of which have been verified to provide additional benefits beyond climate mitigation, such as supporting jobs in the local community or protecting biodiversity.

“The urgency of the climate crisis is such that we need to pull every lever we have available to us and for now that includes offsetting. The important part is to ensure that offsetting doesn’t get in the way of the real work of reducing our own emissions”, Fredrik Ohlsson concluded.

Haglöfs climate strategy will require a concerted effort across their whole business to achieve the committed reductions including accelerating the use of lower impact materials, improving factory efficiency, ensuring products last longer and transitioning to renewable energy in their own operations and down into the supply chain.

Find out more about Haglöfs’ climate strategy here and download Haglöfs’ Sustainability Report 2020 which is also published today.