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Updating The Volcom Sustainability Targets Looking Ahead To 2020
The ongoing journey of turning sustainability commitments into actions
Having reflected back on the first leg of Volcom's sustainability journey, recalling all the great stories we were able to create in the years past, we turn our attention now to the future.
We spent much of 2015 focused on building a New Future roadmap that will guide us in a meaningful way, enabling us to reach our sustainability targets. We’ve learned where our impacts occur, how they relate to the business of producing Volcom product and what it will take to aggressively address them.
During the process of crafting our New Future roadmap we realized that we needed to distill what the driving forces are behind sustainability at Volcom. What is it that drives us, as a brand, towards sustainability? By asking ourselves this question we were able to clearly define the foundation of our environmental sustainability commitments. They are:
When our oceans are weak, we do not thrive as a species, period. Plus, we like surfing.
As the climate becomes more erratic and unpredictable, the planning of our business and enjoyment of outdoor sports becomes that much more difficult.
It takes us all contributing to this New Future. Through education and innovation, commitments must be turned into action. It's up to all of us to play a part.
The three pillars supporting these drivers:
Already core tenants of our New Future program, these pillars support our entire sustainability program.
- Responsible Manufacturing - It starts with our P.A.S.S (Product And Social Safety) program that ensures our products are built responsibly and in compliance with the highest global social and chemical regulatory practices and is complimented, since 2014, by our Fair Labor Association membership.
- Giving Back - The Volcom Give Back series continues to support and bring awareness to organizations meaningful to our stakeholders (that's you, that's us).
- Impact Evaluation - The Environmental Profit & Loss allows us to measure and monitor the costs of environmental changes associated with our business, and then zero in on the areas that need the most attention.
2020 New Future Sustainability Targets:
Armed with the knowledge we have gained since implementing our New Future sustainability program in 2013 and a clear vision of the program’s drivers and the pillars created to support them, we are ready to set the following 2020 sustainability targets to further advance our New Future. In no particular order, they are:
- Fiber Sourcing - Today, nearly 90% of the fibers Volcom sources are cotton and polyester, by 2020 we aim to increase the amount of recycled material in our polyester and nylon as well as our usage of organic, recycled and/or better* cotton, so that 20% of those essential fibers Volcom sources fall into what we are calling our New Future mix.
- Messaging - Integrate New Future sustainability across all facets of Volcom’s consumer facing marketing.
- Education & Training - Create an internal Volcom employee and leadership New Future sustainability certification program with at least 90% of employees completing certification.
- Closing the Loop - Develop a program that resembles our Give Jeans a Chance program so that used Volcom products can be collected, processed and either donated or kept for closed loop manufacturing in the future (the technology is coming).
*For Volcom, better cotton might consist of organic, recycled, CMiA, BCI, or other cotton sources with an improved environmental and social impact.
Fully committed to these initiatives means a couple of things:
One, we lower our E P&L results due to the intense focus on raw material sourcing and processing; the decisions lying deepest within our supply chain, which we know currently represent approximately 70% of Volcom’s environmental impacts. And two, these refined targets help to engrain New Future thinking into the fabric of the brand and our employee's mindsets, which will be instrumental in our efforts to modify processes to meet new and heightened levels of sustainability expectations.
Join us on our road to a New Future!