Kathmandu has reached carbon neutrality four years ahead of target, after offsetting its entire carbon footprint of 8,601 tonnes in FY20/21.

The news follows the release of its first combined Sustainability Report in October 2020, which explored the positive impacts of all three brands – Kathmandu, Rip Curl and Oboz – across the spectrum of ethical and sustainable practices.

In addition to its targeted offsetting strategy, Kathmandu has been tracking its carbon emissions for close to a decade. 

Even through periods of strong global growth, it has managed to reduce its emissions total by 9%, and 34% per store on 2012 levels through energy efficiency projects, Green Star buildings and installing solar power. 

Speaking on the achievement, Kathmandu CEO Reuben Casey said the business will further its commitment by setting new targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. 

"We have reached our ambitious net-zero carbon target four years earlier than expected which is a fantastic achievement.

"While this is huge for Kathmandu, we continue to work towards our goal of net zero environmental harm.

"In 2021, we will set science-based targets aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement," he said. 

As part of its mission to offset its global carbon footprint, Kathmandu has invested in carbon credits certified by the Gold Standard Foundation, which will be generated by high-impact projects in Australian and China.

The business will also support renewable energy generation in India.

According to Kathmandy, each of the high-impact projects delivers economic and social benefits for communities in addition to mitigating environmental impact. 

The first project of its kind to be certified by the Foundation, Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor Project in Western Australia, is located at one of 35 identified global biodiversity hotspots and aims to recreate a healthy, functioning landscape, restored after decades of habitat loss and degradation.

With 97% of vegetation having been cleared for farming, the planting of trees and shrubs is part of a larger vision to link small patches of remaining vegetation and 12 nature reserves to create a green corridor to help restore ecosystems and preserve threatened and unique flora and fauna.

Casey added that until there is sufficient eco-friendly infrastruture, the business will continue to invest in projects which help it reduce its emissions.  

"Until we have large scale and accessible alternatives to fossil fuels, Kathmandu, like all businesses, will continue to produce emissions.

"Offsetting, and investing in projects such as solar panels and wind farms, helps fund the transition to a sustainable energy economy by providing an additional source of revenue for these communities, in addition to positive environmental outcomes," he said. 

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