June 23, 2021

Burton gets close on its 2020 sustainability quest

3 min read

In 2017 Burton announced the goals it aimed to achieve by the end of 2020 as the company thinks that a business is not successful if it’s not succeeding in sustainability. In particular, it felt that protecting the people and playground that sustain snowboarding and the mountain lifestyle is a crucial.

Burton’s commitment to sustainability began ten years ago when it joined the Bluesign System. A year later, in 2012, it founded its own company-wide sustainability program to make sure it was embedding its values into the business. In December 2017, Burton announced its three-year sustainability goals to achieve by the end of 2020. In the meantime, in 2019, it became a B-Corp.

The company’s 2020 Sustainability Goals included a wide range of categories as it was meant to progress in various directions including manufacturing, packaging, office energy usage and fair labor standards.

Burton's sustainability goals logo

Burton’s sustainability goals logo

“Making these goals a reality was (and is) hard work, but the health of all people, our planet, and our sport depends on it. Our goals were ambitious due to the short timeline and broad scope, but we’re used to pushing the limits,” Burton recently commented.

These are some targets the company reached at the end of 2020:

In terms of climate action, it reduced 21% average carbon footprint for its snowboards from winter 2017 to winter 2022 product seasons. Going forward, it is doubling down on its other products and looking for more ways to collaboratively drive down industry-wide emissions.

It reduced by 12% its CO2 emissions at its global headquarters. It wasn’t the 20% it hoped for, but it made some significant progress. For instance, its Burlington, Vermont and Innsbruck, Austria headquarters both underwent building upgrades to reduce their carbon footprints, and the Tokyo, Japan office was moved to a more efficient building. It also installed 942 solar panels in its Burlington headquarters to contribute renewable energy to the local electric grid.

Among its eco-friendly projects it has achieved offering 59% Bluesign products. This means that a significant part of its soft goods product is responsibly crafted in processes that minimize its impact. While Covid-19 affected its progress towards its goal to offer 100% of them, it has already crossed the finish line for apparel and outerwear, and for 98% of backpacks.

Out of its total durable water repellent (DWR) products 78% are PFC-free. This eco-friendly alternative maintains DWR performance while reducing the harmful environmental impacts of conventional DWR chemicals. For its f/w 2021-22 season, 100% of its bags, headwear and accessories, 92% of apparel, and 74% of outerwear will be PFC-free.

Burton aims to provide a lifetime warranty on its products.

Burton aims to provide a lifetime warranty on its products.

Out of its total cotton products 99% use sustainable cotton. That means they use organic cotton farmed without toxic chemicals, supporting ecosystem balance. All cotton apparel, fleece, and tees, instead, are already made with 100% organic cotton.

Out the total offer made with polyester, 36% of its products are made with recycled polyester, a material that conserves resources, uses less water, and produces lower greenhouse gas emissions than virgin polyester. Burton has increased its offer using this material from 5% to 36% over the past three years.

The company is committed to reducing waste and increasing recycling. For this, 66% of its packaging at retail is recyclable and almost all contains a minimum of 80% recycled materials. While aiming to increase this, it joined the Responsible Packaging Movement to collaborate with other companies in the industry to reduce the environmental footprint of retail product packaging.

Burton also uses 100% responsibly sourced down and ensures that every feather originates from ethically treated ducks and geese.

Among other responsible actions in 2020, Burton accredited by the Fair Labor Association, a significant accreditation standard for ensuring safe conditions, ethical treatment, and fair labor practices throughout its supply chain that expresses itself through a series of benefits including flexible schedules and comprehensive family healthcare plans.

Last but not least, Burton states that it has also achieved gender pay equality and pay equality for all.

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