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Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Science Based Targets Initiative

Greenhouse gases are a natural part of the Earth's atmosphere and include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and excess water vapor. They play a vital role in maintaining the planet's temperature balance by regulating heating and cooling cycles. However, too many greenhouse gases can cause an imbalance that leads to a general warming of the planet, resulting in climate change.

To combat this issue, organizations need to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, which is where Greenhouse Gas Inventories, also known as "carbon footprints," come into play. By compiling emissions and impact data, these inventories can help organizations plan and implement strategies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

This blog post offers several ways for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and provides an overview of the terminology and parts of a GHG inventory.

What is the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)? 

The Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between several organizations that helps companies set ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets based on the latest climate science. SBTi ensures that companies' emissions reduction efforts align with the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. GHG inventories are broken down into three scopes and many categories. 


Setting Science-Based Targets: 

  • Set a baseline of current emissions across all scopes
  • Determine reduction targets based on the latest climate science and the SBTi criteria
  • Develop a plan for achieving targets, including specific actions and timelines for implementation
  • Regularly report on progress towards targets, including emissions reductions and any challenges or barriers faced 

Outdoor Research has set science-aligned targets based on SBTi guidance to benchmark future sustainability efforts. These targets are set against our initial baseline 2021 measurements. Establishing the 2021 baseline was a collaborative effort involving multiple teams within the organization and requiring extensive data gathering and analysis. It took over four years to complete! 



What are Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG Emissions? 

Before we mention methods to reduce GHG emissions, let's first understand the concept of Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions. 

Scope 1 emissions refer to direct emissions from a company's sources, such as fuel combustion in boilers or vehicles. 
 
Scope 2 emissions refer to indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, or heat.  
 
Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions in a company's value chain, such as emissions from producing raw materials and finished goods, transporting products, and even waste generated. 


Outdoor Research is proud to announce that as part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we have transitioned to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. We are proud to have achieved 100% renewable energy sourcing in our North American operations (Seattle HQ and production facility, Des Moines, WA distribution, and El Monte, CA production facility) and commit to continuing through 2030. This commitment satisfies science-aligned targets for combined Scope 1 and 2 emission reduction following the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) guidance. 


Reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 Emissions: 

  • Switch to cleaner energy sources, such as renewable energy or low-carbon fuels 
  • Improve energy efficiency by reducing energy waste 
  • Implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to capture and store CO2 emissions from facilities 
  • Implement energy management systems or upgrade equipment to improve energy efficiency 

Outdoor Research is proud to announce that as part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we have transitioned to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. We are proud to have achieved 100% renewable energy sourcing in our North American operations (Seattle HQ and production facility, Des Moines, WA distribution, and El Monte, CA production facility) and commit to continuing through 2030. This commitment satisfies science-aligned targets for combined Scope 1 and 2 emission reduction following the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) guidance. 


Reducing Scope 3 Emissions: 

  • Encourage suppliers to adopt sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy or reducing waste 
  • Reduce emissions from product transportation by optimizing supply chain and logistics, using low-emission modes of transportation, and reducing packaging waste 
  • Encourage customers to adopt sustainable practices by promoting sustainable products and services, offering incentives for sustainable behavior, and providing education and awareness campaigns 

Outdoor Research is committed to reducing our Scope 3 GHG emissions by 48% per unit of value added by 2030 from a 2021 base year. This means reducing the emissions associated with our revenue. We will focus on the most impactful areas of Scope 3 emission reduction, such as raw materials creation and finished goods production. This commitment also aligns with SBTi emissions reduction targets and the latest climate science, ensuring that our efforts are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.  


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