Ever heard of...GOTS, REACH, BSCI or PFC?
Creating cutting edge outdoor gear is only a part of the Nordisk mission. Doing so without thinking of the environment and the people involved in producing and using the equipment makes little sense. Therefore we strive to work as sustainable as possible – and even though we might not be there yet, our ambition is to be as clean and environmentally neutral as can be.
What is REACH?
REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals and is a set of regulations towards which chemicals are allowed to use in products in Europe. It came into effect on June 1st 2007 and replaced a number of directives and regulations set by the European Union with a single system. REACH is an ever increasing list of forbidden or maximum allowed level of substances used in any given product. Currently 169 products are named on the list. Overall the aim of REACH is to provide a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals.
How does Nordisk work with REACH?
John J. Poulsen, the General manager for Nordisk Asia, explains the impact of REACH to the Nordisk production.
“At Nordisk we are working actively to reduce and eliminate the range of chemicals used in the products as well as in the production process. We therefore strive to ensure that the materials and chemicals used are as eco friendly and non-harmful as possible. From preparation of raw materials to actual production including the people engaged in it to the use of the products by the end consumer. In this work we have two main focus points.
The most pivotal is to reduce PVC in our production. PVC is a cheap, strong and stable material, but it can contain hazardous substances like phthalates. Therefore we work actively to reduce the content of phthalates to zero. Our second aim is to use recycled materials whenever possible. With the launch of the award winning sleeping bag Bering we introduced high end filling made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, yet still providing excellent insulation. Today the Oscar sleeping bag is filled with the newest generation of recycled fibres from PET bottles.
What is BSCI?
The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BCSI) is a supply chain management system that supports companies to drive social compliance and improvements within the factories and farms in their global supply chains. BSCI brings together more than 1,500 brands, retailers, importers and national associations who all wants to improve the political and legal framework for a more sustainable trade. The initiative strives to secure guaranteed minimum wages for the workers, to eliminate child labour, to make working hours compliant with national laws and to assure a healthy and safe working environment.
How does Nordisk work with BSCI?
We asked the CEO of Nordisk Company Erik J. M.ller to explain how being part of BCSI affects the company.
“Nordisk produces in a number of different countries across the globe. Therefore we need a common ground for securing that all the people involved in the production are covered by a global Code of Conduct. Some of our products are produced in Europe and some in Asia where we have a local office to ensure that the agreed standards are implemented and followed. We have always aimed at building long-term relations with our suppliers and most of them have been working with us for 20-30 years. We wish to continue and develop these strong long-term partnerships, and even though these relationships have been built on mutual respect, we still believe that it is important to strive for the best. To do this and at the same time ensure a structured and professional development of the cooperations we have, we have joined the BSCI.”
What is GOTS?
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles from harvesting of the raw materials through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. This makes it possible for textile processors and manufacturers to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets.
How does Nordisk work with GOTS?
We asked John J. Poulsen, the General manager for Nordisk Asia, to explain how the GOTS standard is important to the Nordisk production.
“Since the launch of the organic cotton part of our Legacy range, which includes all our cotton tents, GOTS has been a central part in developing, controlling and auditing the production of our organic cotton. The introduction of GOTS has set an even higher standard for our work with these high standard organic fibres – and also improved the knowledge of organic cotton internally in the organization. Using cotton that is both organic and green all through the value chain is a key feature in that particular range, and therefore it is natural for us to work actively to secure a high standard here. Of course we also consider how to expand this range, and here the GOTS standard is a driving tool.”
What is PFC?
PFC is short for PolyFluorinated Chemicals and are used to obtain water repellency on fabrics, also known as WR or D(urable)WR. PFC has been found to be hazardous for the environment, and a worldwide movement has been under way to find useful alternatives.
How does Nordisk work with PFC?
At Nordisk we identified with this at an early stage, and for more that 5 years we have been working on phasing this out. Most of our range is now PFC free, and we will have an entirely and complete PFC free range by 2017/2018.