ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

PRODUCT WITH PURPOSE

When we build new shoes, sneakers and boots we ask ourselves
how we can make our products work better, be more meaningful
and serve more purpose in our consumers’ lives.
SOREL seeks to make eco-considered choices in our product creation – for us, this concept means looking at design considerations across the full spectrum of a product’s life from the material choices, to the packaging it is shipped in and the resources and mechanisms used to create it, as well as the longevity of the product and what happens to the product at the end of its useful life.

The eco-considered mindset also includes consideration around what to leave out - materials that we no longer use, be it pieces or parts perhaps not visible to the eye, that no longer exist in our footwear. This mindset influences a better way of approaching design that leads to styles with lighter footprints for the earth, and provides a lense to consider the behind the scenes decisions that consumers don’t see; the elements we’ve quietly tweaked, improved, or completely changed as we learn and expand our resources to do better.

These eco-considered choices emerge in tangible materials such as materials made with upcycled inputs [1], waterless dye techniques or with reground mixtures.

One of our inherent strengths is our longstanding heritage focused on designing and engineering our product for longevity. Our product has always been purposeful, highly capable and decked out with functional tricks that support our consumers in their daily lives.  Our product is incredibly durable, and not in the singular way we think of it. Durable construction in the way we design and build our product to last; along with our unique, bold and uncompromising SOREL style, that doesn’t feed into the fast fashion trend cycle.
SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING PRACTICES &
COMPANY PERFORMANCE
In 2020, we completed our 3rd year of disclosing Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (“GHG”) Emissions, committed to a 30% reduction in manufacturing emissions by 2030 climate target and realized a significant absolute year over year reduction in overall emissions [2]. Reductions in emissions were driven by increased use of ECO-Conscious materials, realized benefit from efficiency projects at our own facilities and distribution centers, as well as increased use of renewable energy.

Sustainable Manufacturing Program is centered around understanding the environmental performance of our manufacturing partners at a facility level, incorporating this information into decision making and using it to inform overall environmental improvement strategies for our supply chain.

Updated twice annually, our CSC Transparency Map publicly discloses information about our manufacturing partners and enables customers to see where products are made. Find more info here in the CSC Corporate Responsibility Report: https://d1io3yog0oux5.cloudfront.net/_258e51144a7b70f3536dfd884976988a/columbia/db/641/5719/pdf/2020+Corporate+Responsibility+Report.pdf ​

We use the Higg Index Facilities Environmental Module (FEM), managed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, for which we are a founding member of, as the primary tool to assess environmental performance in our supply chain.

The Higg FEM is a sustainability assessment tool that standardizes how facilities measure and evaluate their environmental performance, year over year, and enables us to make comparisons against our peers. The Higg FEM measures the following at facilities:

(1) environmental management systems
(2) energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
(3) water use
(4) wastewater
(5) emission to air (if applicable)
(6) waste management
(7) chemical use and management

In 2020, we, as part of Columbia Sportswear Company (CSC), completed the 7th annual Higg FEM assessment, achieving a 98% response rate for in-scope manufacturing partners. In 2020, the median Higg FEM score for CSC in-scope manufacturing partners was 52 - considerably higher than the industry mean of 41 and a 24% increase from a median score of 42 for our in-scope manufacturing partners in 2019.​

The Higg FEM 2020 results demonstrate a steady trend of year over year performance improvement for CSC’s manufacturing partners since starting the Higg FEM program in 2013
DESIGN & PRODUCTION
In 2021, 84% of all SOREL styles included at least one eco-conscious element. Key sustainability elements present in our 2021 collection included:​

• Leather from an LWG-certified tannery
• PFC-free waterproof finishes

Eco-conscious attributes can be found at all levels of material sourcing, design, and production. Eco-conscious attributes demonstrate significantly improved environmental impact when assessed based on SOREL impact categories.

Our product is considered Eco-conscious if it includes at least one of the following attributes at either a material, design or factory level and any product can have multiple attributes.

• Animal Welfare: Certified to be made under humane conditions
• Biodiversity: Improved biodiversity [3]
• Chemicals: Reduced chemical impact
• Energy: Less energy used
• Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
• Land Use Intensity: Improved land use intensity [4]
• Social Impact: Have an improved social impact to the workers or communities making these products.
• Waste: Less waste created
• Water: Less water used

SOREL is proud to not use real fur or down in any of our products and beginning Spring 2022, we will be introducing vegan sneakers.
OUR LEATHER PROCESS
Beginning with our F21 collection, 95% of our leather vendors are Leather Working Group (LWG) certified. SOREL is a member of the Leather Working Group, a not-for-profit organization responsible for the world’s leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry. The LWG aims to improve the impact of leather manufacturing by taking a holistic approach covering all elements and actors in the supply chain with overarching standards for certification. In addition to widespread use of LWG leather, the leather used in our eco-collection styles are dye-free and chrome-free [5]. By implementing a dye-free retanning process, we use on average 30% less energy, water, and chemicals. Leather retains natural defects that lend to the uniqueness of the material.

SOREL is committed to working with 100% LWG certified suppliers for the Spring 2022 collection.
FAIR LABOR
We hold ourselves and our manufacturing partners to high standards, furthering social responsibility and integrity across our supply chain. Having strong internal programs, policies, practices, and accountability systems in place establishes the foundation for selecting and continuing business with manufacturing partners who share our beliefs and empowers them to meet our internal standards and requirements of fair labor practices.

Our Standards of Manufacturing Practices (“SMP”) (also known as our Supplier Code of Conduct) outlines our Fair Labor expectations of our manufacturing partners in 12 core areas, based on International Labor Organization (“ILO”) conventions and Fair Labor Association (“FLA”) standards, including prohibiting forced labor.
BETTER WORK PARTNERSHIP
In 2020 through our parent organization Columbia Sportswear Company, we strengthened our Fair Labor program by forming an official partnership with Better Work. Better Work is a partnership between the UN’s International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group that brings diverse groups together – governments, global brands, factory owners, and unions and workers – to improve working conditions in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive.

Find out more here: https://d1io3yog0oux5.cloudfront.net/_258e51144a7b70f3536dfd884976988a/columbia/db/641/5719/pdf/2020+Corporate+Responsibility+Report.pdf
PRODUCT QUALITY & LONGEVITY
Designing for quality and longevity are core design pillars at SOREL ensuring our products stand the test of time. Every time a shoe is used, the incremental environmental impact per use of that shoe goes down. Making shoes that have an extended life reduces the environmental impact over the course of its lifetime. Our product longevity includes validating our product through wear-test prototypes and mechanical testing, but it it starts with designing and building product that lasts the tests of time, both aesthetically and functionally.

SOREL knows how to make great product inside and out. In fact, we don’t know any other way to do it. We build it, wear it, and live in it ourselves.
PACKAGING & WAREHOUSE
100% of SOREL shipping and product packaging is recyclable.

SOREL uses primarily natural fibers for packaging with 100% recycled and recyclable corrugated shipping master outer cartons (MOC) and shoe boxes (95% post-consumer recycled content and 5% pre consumer recycled content) as well as 50% post-consumer recycled and recyclable paper inner box tissue paper. SOREL is a part of the Responsible Packaging initiative. As part of this SOREL pledges to maintain using zero plastic in our packaging & only using 100% recycled content in master outer carton and shoe boxes.
FOOTNOTES
[1] Upcycle Inputs: Reusing (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.
[2] Climate target notation: In 2020, CSC set a carbon emissions intensity target to reduce manufacturing emissions 30% by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.
[3] Biodiversity: Biodiversity refers to the variety within and between all species of plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems with which they live and interact. When referring to improved biodiversity practices, we are referring to practices that have improved impact on ecosystems that support species variety, such as FSC certified rubber or regenerative agriculture.​
[4] Land use intensity: The impact category ‘land use’ as used in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology refers to the environmental impacts of occupying, reshaping and managing land for human purposes. Important environmental consequences of land use include the decreasing availability of habitats and the decreasing diversity of wildlife species.
[5] Chrome-Free: Chrome-free leather is tanned with tannins that do not contain chromium (III). The traditional chrome tanning process uses chromium (III), which can create byproducts through the tanning process that contain toxic variants of chromium.