SCARPA, a global leader in high-performance footwear built for all aspects of mountain sports, in February unveiled an extensive commitment to sustainability along with a series of initiatives designed to bring the Italy-based company in line with the highest international standards.
One of the brand’s key initiatives includes the goal of becoming a Certified B Corporation by 2022, a lengthy process that SCARPA has been working toward over the last two years. Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. The goal is redefining success in business through balancing both profit and purpose, building a more sustainable economy in the process.
Actions SCARPA has already undertaken as part of its commitment include:
- 100% of the electricity used at the company’s facilities in Italy comes from certified renewable sources, enabling SCARPA to offset approximately 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This commitment is boosted, starting at the beginning of 2021, with the exclusive use of energy from low-impact plant biomass.
- Photovoltaic systems installed on the company’s buildings produce approximately 400,000 kWh of energy, equivalent to a savings of 320 tons of CO2 emissions per year. This will be upgraded in coming months to double the amount of self-produced energy.
- All of the company’s staff at its headquarters in Asolo, Italy, have received training on sustainable innovation. A group of 16 Sustainability Ambassadors, spread across every department, is now available to answer employee questions about sustainability issues.
- 90% of materials that SCARPA uses are created in Europe under highly advanced regulatory criteria.
- SCARPA is one of the rare footwear manufacturers to produce more than 85% of its goods in its own factories, and mostly within Europe. This provides precise and direct control over the environmental and social practices used, with a particular focus on worker health and safety.
- 60% of production is carried out entirely in Italy, ensuring high standards and quality, and minimizing impacts of logistics and transport.
- An increasing focus on sustainable production methods and the use of more sustainable materials moving forward, including the 2021 launch of new eco-friendly products.
- SCARPA is using Pebax Rnew and Grilamid® Bio in the shells of ski boots, including the best-selling Meastrale and Gea family, as well as in the midsole of the new Spin 2.0 trail-running shoe. These materials are derived from the castor plant and require 29 percent less fossil fuel and put out 32 percent fewer emissions in the process of going from raw to usable materials. In addition, castor beans can be grown on arid land where other agriculture typically isn’t possible, so they don’t compete with food production and offer an economic activity in places where other agriculture doesn’t take place.
- In spring 2021, SCARPA is also introducing its first 100-percent biodegradable shoe and the first on the market with biodegradable performance rubber sole, the Mojito Bio. This shoe, which is a variation on SCARPA’s biggest-selling style globally, and was chosen because of the impact it could have as a best-seller, earned third-party certification for its biodegradability from Intertrek. At the end of its life, 85 percent of the Mojito Bio will decompose after 450 days in a landfill. Shoes made with conventional materials, by contrast, take 40 to 50 years to decompose, and the midsole of many running shoes can last up to 1,000 years in landfill conditions.
“For us, this manifesto is a chance to take stock of what SCARPA is today, so that we can imagine what it will be tomorrow,” said President Sandro Parisotto. “Living in and for the mountains, we’ve spontaneously developed a culture of respect for the environment, and now we want to give this a clearer structure, so that our values can become a concrete, effective contribution to safeguarding nature and the well-being of society.”
For more on this initiative, please visit SCARPA’s web site.
About SCARPA and SCARPA North America
Founded in 1938, SCARPA builds performance footwear for climbing, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, trail running and other outdoor pursuits from its headquarters in Asolo, Italy. SCARPA has been owned and operated by the Parisotto family since 1956. In 2005, SCARPA opened its North American headquarters in Boulder, Colo., staffed and directed by veterans of the North American outdoor industry, to oversee sales, marketing and distribution in the U.S., Canada and South America. For more information about SCARPA footwear, visit www.scarpa.com.