Though I still think Rossignol has some work to do regarding their plans on sustainability, I am impressed by how accessible their information is to consumers. Their sustainability report is easy to comprehend and visually appealing to encourage the average consumer to actually read it, which is more than can be said for many companies that attempt to hide their habits. The company has the ability to make a statement in both the ski and overall outdoors world with its current plans, for it is one of the oldest and well known. As they continue in the scale of their RESPECT program, my biggest advice for them is to continue to be transparent in the changes being made. It will make consumers more confident in what they are buying and ensure that they’ll be shredding the mountain while also protecting it.
Though Rossignol doesn’t give information on the exact sources of their materials, they offer transparent information on what makes up their skis. Their edges are made with 100% recycled steel and the soles are made up of 30% recycled material. Their sustainability report highlights some other initiatives regarding materials, such as the pursuit to eliminate materials that don’t respect animal welfare, reducing the use of chemicals from the petroleum industry, and the use of materials certified by recognized labels. They follow these claims with some specific ways they have been adhering to these goals, which is impressive, but I still would like to see more efforts being put in. Much of the specific actions lack numbers and seem to address simply how they are telling their sourcing companies what to use and what not to use. I would like to know more about how they are enforcing these guidelines at the sourcing level to ensure that these are not just empty claims. I would also like to see this dedication to every product they release, for it seems that they have very specific products that were designed to be sustainable, with the rest not adhering to as high of standards. Additionally, their information on packaging follows this trend of being a bit broad, for it simply says that they are currently within the process of a study to find the best way to package their products. However, for the amount of time they’ve released their sustainability plan, I am still impressed with this transparency and information they provide.
Rossignol’s main production takes place in Europe and their factories hold ISO14001 certifications, which hold the company accountable for sustainability factors in their manufacturing process. These are not all of Rossignol’s factories, merely those in Europe, so there is still room for improvement as far as standards in their production process. Additionally, there are costs to the environment associated with keeping production and shipping outside of the United States, where many of their consumers are located. However, they are local to Europe as well, and their carbon footprint is reduced by keeping manufacturing there rather than in other countries across the world, such as typical locations like China and Vietnam.
Rossignol’s sustainability plan highlights specific actions that have been taken in their European factories and headquarters in order to decrease their carbon footprint. I think it is a great start for them, for they are very specific in what factories have experienced changes and to what degree they have done so. As their sustainability plan continues to grow in scale, my biggest advice for the company is to keep up this transparency regarding specific actions they have taken in their factories, for it will only better their reputation with paying consumers.
Rossignol is one of the largest ski brands in the country, selling about 600,000 pairs per season. It has a long history, beginning back in 1907 with French founder Abel Rossignol, and since then the skis have made appearances in the Olympics and slopes across the world. In January 2020, the company launched its RESPECT program, which outlines its goals and initiatives in terms of equity and sustainability. I was impressed by the concrete goals the company has, such as reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2025 and reducing waste by 40% by 2030. Though these numbers may not seem big, they are extremely significant for a company that has such large-scale production each year, and having tangible numbers is an improvement from many other companies, especially in the outdoors industry. One of the things I found most intriguing about this company was how easy it was to find this information and the way it was presented. Their sustainability report seemed to be geared toward consumers, with engaging graphics and explanations of their plans, which leads me to believe that they are genuine in their approach to sustainability rather than trying to fool consumers on their motives.
The RESPECT program highlights initiatives being taken regarding working conditions in factories, including a timeline of policies and changes they’ve made. I would like to see more information on factory standards, but they do a unique presentation of other ways in which they better the quality of life for workers, such as events they host and support they give in personal ways, which makes them seem more genuine in their approach. It is different than many other companies, who simply share how they meet codes of stable working conditions, and it leads me to believe that they care about who is working for them.