Sustainability Policy

European Outdoor Conservation Associate - proud member badge. This is an important element of our sustainability policy and journey.

#SustainableAdventure

Often hashtags can be throwaway tags, and if you scratch the surface, is there actually anything there to back it up? In our case, we’d like to think so.

For us here at adventure.ie and store.adventure.ie #SustainableAdventure means responsible adventurous activities and travel using responsibly sourced kit and teaching others how to do the same.

The paradox of adventure travel and activities, business growth with the desire to tread lightly on our planet is one we continuously have in mind when planning any trip or activity, and also when buying kit for ourselves or for the shop.

You can read the most recent copy of our Sustainability Policy here.

Here are our cornerstone values:

Reduce – we actively seek to reduce our impact by:

  • We do not supply single use bottled water at any of our events.
  • For office, team building and events use, we buy and use only what is needed for the successful delivery of that event.
  • We offer bespoke corporate events close to their offices to offer corporates the opportunity to reduce their own travel related GHG emissions.
  • We aim to reduce GHG emissions by allowing employees to work from home when feasible to avoid commuting.
  • In our shop, we research our brands, their methods and promote only quality brands with products that endure to reduce waste for our customers and essentially promote buying less. (More on brand choices below)
  • We offer customers a choice of printed or digital receipt in store. Business customers are invoiced digitally only.
  • Office printing only when necessary, using FSC paper as a minimum standard, aiming to use recycled, unbleached paper as preferred choice.
  • Avoid stocking cheap throwaway brands/products.
  • Avoid overpackaged products, choose similar products with paper/card packaging over plastics.
  • Plan in season purchasing to have as few deliveries as possible whilst also avoiding over-stocking.
  • We don’t have control over the way the building’s energy is sourced, so we actively monitor our own electricity use through simple power meters. These act as reminders to us to wear a hat, unplug charged devices and not to leave items in standby mode.

Re-use:

  • We re-use our event and team-building equipment, looking after our equipment to prolong its usable life. When items reach end of life, they are recycled or donated and replaced with an environmentally friendly option.
  • Equipment & Apparel Rentals. People rent ski equipment all the time. Why not expedition and camping kit too? Talk to us if you’re considering investing in some pricey kit and you’re not sure you’ll get enough use out of it or have the space to store it where you live.
  • Resell used rental equipment while it is still in excellent condition. Donate items which cannot be sold.
  • Recommend that people re-proof or repair an item before buying a new one. Whether it’s a stove, a down jacket or your boots, all of these items can be repaired and many brands can supply you with the parts or guide you to appropriate repair centres. We can help with that process if you don’t know where to start. It may seem weird not to push for a sale, but we are looking at the bigger picture here and pushing for conservation of our planet instead.
  • Re-use any packaging which can be re-used wherever possible. When you buy online from us, you may receive your parcels packaged or part packaged with this reused padding, card, boxes, paper or plastic. Let us know if you are moving house, need boxes for storage or cardboard for no-dig gardening and we will save you some.
  • Any packaging which cannot be re-used is recycled.

Responsibility (Social, Economic & Personal):

  • Advise people to bring their own re-usable water/coffee cups along to events. Event participants can refill their bottles at several refill stations around the country.
  • Educate our staff, followers and customer base regarding steps we can all take to better our environment via staff training, social media and face to face. It might mean the inconvenience of not being able to cook and eat expedition food from a bag. Or it could mean renting equipment if you are not sure you will ever use it again. All of these decisions make an impact.
  • Source stock from manufacturers who produce their products responsibly – fair trade, bluesign fabric, choosing upcycled and/or recycled over virgin materials, local or European where possible. We have begun to document these at product level on our store website so you will soon be able to filter products by their environmental credentials and make more informed purchasing decisions.
  • Offset: As a last resort, after all efforts to reduce our impact – not as a cop out. Despite all efforts, we recognise that we will still leave some impact. The outdoor apparel industry is changing, but it’s not there yet. adventure.ie is a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association. We actively contribute to conservation efforts on a global basis through membership fees (100% of which goes to conservation projects) and additional fundraising donations. Projects are voted on by the public and members of the association. We are also business supporters of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. We additionally implement the plan in our own garden and encourage others to do the same. We are currently examining membership of 1% for the Planet and comparing it to the merit of directly investing in an Irish biodiversity project instead. Your thoughts on this would be welcome.s suitable for aid, let us know. We have also recently joined Sustainable Travel Ireland who support Irish business like ours to continuously up our game through a variety of training, policy development and certification processes. We will share this journey with you as we travel it. This organisation also offers members access to offset carbon which cannot be reduced (yet) through partnership with South Pole via investment support for well-researched conservation projects.
  • Supporting local
  • Supporting local and small businesses – including other activity providers in Wicklow and Ireland.
  • Supporting local and small businesses in destination countries.
  • Supporting those businesses with an emphasis on community and environmental initiatives.
  • Supporting local and Irish charities through volunteering, events support and/or donations. We are long term volunteers with The Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team for instance.

A Word on How We Choose Our Stock:

Our Sustainability Policy is a working document and constantly evolving with us as we strive to improve. From the beginning of our retail journey, we sought out brands that fit with our particular environmental ethics, some of these brands were not available in Ireland prior to us stocking them, some were well known already.

We were outraged by the sheer volume of soft plastic packaging waste delivered to retailers – this was the single biggest shock to us as new retailers. Every single item of clothing was individually wrapped in soft plastic to protect it during its time spent in shipping containers. We had no idea! We complained. And kept complaining. Although the packaging issue has improved over the last few years, it’s not yet where it should be and remains a bone of contention for us. The European Outdoor Group has a Single Use Plastics Project which we invite you to read.

Each buying season, our personal ethics outlined in our Sustainability Policy means that we trawl through thousands of items on offer to carefully consider the environmental impact of these products, whilst still offering you a good range of choice between brands and items.

We do this to save both the planet and to save you the hassle. We read each brand’s sustainability policy reports at purchasing time and sift green-washing from genuine efforts. Has any progress been made since last season? We talk to their teams where available and we give them feedback.

Wherever possible, we limit ourselves to choosing from products made from recycled or mostly recycled materials – even if those products are not quite as appealing as their virgin material alternatives. By doing so, as small an outlet as we are, we are sending a powerful message to brands to continuously strive to do better.

As a result, you may notice that one brand may feature more heavily than another this season – and this may swap next season. Or a brand may even be dropped for a season. There is method to our madness and ethics behind these efforts.

Soon you will be able to filter your product searches by ecolabel and recycled/upcycled content.

At last there is a shift in general across the industry, though it still feels incremental rather than exponential, things are definitely starting to move. You as an end user can continue to drive that shift. Ask every business you encounter for their sustainability policy and implement your own.

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