Better Businesses: Arc’Teryx, The Gentle Giant
Arc’Teryx is one of the businesses leading the way in ethical standards both socially and environmentally. It’s a company that’s ‘in pursuit of perfection.’ Whether it’s spoiling their employees with a climbing/bouldering gym, giving back to the local community, constantly researching ways of being more environmentally conscience, or diligently working to keep healthy working conditions for their factory employees, this company is always seeking to do thing right. I interviewed Joanne Mayzes, Corporate Social Responsibility manager and Executive Assistant to the President. It was an honor and a joy talking to someone who is so passionate about what they do and who love coming into work every day Here are some of the key areas in which Arc’Teryx is an example of how to run a responsible company: Global: With factories all over the world, Arc’Teryx has quite the job making sure all are up to the same standards as their factory in Vancouver. I asked Joanne for more of an extended description of their relationship with their global factories: Arc’Teryx makes frequent visits to their factories around the world, they are checked with 3rd party auditors while about 20-30 employees from the head offices visit for various reasons. Locally: Arc’Teryx goes above and beyond and serves their local community. The Bird Nest Project is an initiative to take all the excess GorTex fabric Arc’Teryx doesn’t use and sew the pieces into capes. These capes are then distributed to the homeless community within Vancouver. Arc’Teryx had 70 employees come down on a weekend to sew and distribute these capes. The desire here is to not only give back to the community but to also to lead the way in the outdoor industry in being creative in how they give back and challenge other companies to hop on board. Even the Vancouver Police got involved with giving out the capes. For the employees who volunteered their time, they found this to be quite the bonding and team building experience. Arc’Teryx will be continuing this initiative for years to come. Along with the Bird Nest project, Arc’Teryx also sponsors or partners with the North Shore bike trails and the Dreamweaver Trail, the Conservation Alliance, as well as participates in beach clean ups and…donates blood! (They literally take an afternoon off work to all go and donate blood.) Environmentally: Is clear that Arc’Teryx cares deeply about the world they play in. However, they go about reducing their carbon footprint in different ways than the new fad of using sustainable and organic material. Though most of the products are made from non-renewable resources, the quality and performance of those products have shown to last a lifetime, leaving much fewer materials to be thrown away. The company has yet to find ‘organic’ or ‘sustainable material’ that will produce a high enough quality or performance that matches what Arc’Teryx is trying to achieve. Even better still, Arc’Teryx has a lifetime warranty, which allows you to send in your favorite jacket or pants to be repaired so as to be able to continue using them instead of buying new ones and throwing the old away. Their partnership with Wisent Environmental allows them responsibly manage the company’s waste as well as be educated on the best environmental decisions the company can make. Learn more about their social and environmental initiatives at arcteryx.com.