Mountain Equipment Co. sets carbon emission targets

Vancouver –

Canadian outdoor retailer Mountain Equipment Co. has set sweeping new emissions targets for its supply chain. It’s part of what the company calls a stronger, science-based plan to help address the climate crisis.

The MEC’s ​​goal is to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

The targets apply both to Mech’s direct operations, such as stores and buildings, and its supply chain, from manufacturing its own branded products to the gear and clothing of the vendors it carries, the company said.

Adam Ketcheson, MEC’s ​​chief commercial officer, said of actions that could help the environment but don’t significantly reduce a company’s carbon footprint: “It’s easy to have a jazz hand in the environmental movement. ‘ said.

“What we’re really trying to focus on now is being measured and making the biggest impact.”

MEC is deeply rooted in the Canadian environmental movement. The outdoor recreation brand is one of the first retailers in the country to eliminate single-use shopping bags from its stores and remove plastic bottles containing certain chemicals from shelves. Also previously working on green building programs, he only uses 100% organic cotton for MEC branded apparel.

“It’s great to get rid of the plastic, reduce the size of the cardboard boxes, and make the building LEED certified,” says Ketcheson.

“All of these things are good and important. It’s around the product and the supply chain.”

One of MEC’s ​​areas of focus is its own brand logo with a stylized green mountain with two peaks.

“It’s an important part of our footprint and the one we have the most control over,” Ketcheson said. “We have visibility across the supply chain.”

The company aims to use more recycled materials, which have a much lower carbon footprint than new materials.

MEC is also focusing on plant-to-factory consolidation to reduce the transportation required to manufacture its products, Ketcheson said.

“In the past, we sourced materials from all over the world,” he said. “We may have found some great recycled nylon in Taiwan, but if we had to ship it all the way to El Salvador, we might have ruined something good.

“We have to consider the ramifications of choosing that fabric across our supply chain and our carbon footprint.

The MEC also plans to encourage suppliers to set similar targets and procure products with a lower carbon footprint.

Large brands such as The North Face, Patagonia and Prana often “share the same spirit” with MEC and have a high level of transparency within their supply chains, but are “very expensive” and therefore smaller. Ketcheson said it could be difficult for smart brands.

“We actively audit our factories, manufacturing sites and supply chains because we choose to do so … but it doesn’t come cheap,” he said.

The MEC has set a goal to do more to combat climate change, Ketcheson said.

“For too long, the blame has been on the consumer,” he said. “This is such a big challenge for the world that we are talking about it publicly. We will try to be as transparent as possible.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 21, 2023.

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