Better Businesses: RAMP Sports
It starts with us believing this is important for us to do. Then we have an early investor and Board of Director, Gary Hirshberg who founded Stonyfield Farm, an Organic Food Company. He built his brand around best practices and firmly believes if you use best practices in every aspect of your business ultimately it costs less and makes your brand much more attractive. RAMP stands for Riders Artists Musicians Project, and to get this collaboration and support for what we are doing being green is critical. The final thing to consider is it’s much better to build your company with this being part of the basic infrastructure, it’s much harder to add this later.
For us it’s hard as we go through the investment in building the brand and getting to profitability. That being said, it’s part of the plan and a critical part of the plan.
Actually we are doing a lot more with waste management. We try in every way we can to eliminate throwing things away. Our next preference is recycling. Our preference is to reuse things. For instance we have been generating a lot of scrap from trimming skis out of the molds. We are going to have a local artist turn this into a large Big Foot Sculpture (we estimate 40’ tall). Each year we want to create a new one like a Snowman, a??? We don’t like to recycle old skis and snowboards, we are making them into furniture and donating them to adaptive programs.
RAMP seems like an awesome place to work. What are some of the highlights for working for RAMP (besides saving the planet, of course)?
We are doing what we love so the energy is great. All our people are passionate skiers and riders so when they mold a ski or board or create the graphics, or do the finishing or print the graphics or get the sales everybody is really excited.
Environmental ethics seem like the focus of your company. Is there any focus on social ethics (i.e., how employees are treated, giving back to the community, anything regarding people)?
Most of our people have a stake in the Company through some stock, at least all the earlier employees. We are also adding a bonus program this year for everybody based on staying within budget plan, hitting the sales plan and making the forecasted product. When we cross the profitability threshold we will have a very strong profit sharing program. We also pay our production people what I would consider a living wage vs minimum wage.
Are there any future plans for the company or initiatives you’re looking into?
We want to invest in a solar generating system and wind generating system. We need to cross the profitability threshold first but we will. In the meantime we buy wind generated power. Take a look at RAMP skis and boards over at RAMPsports.com.