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2019 Sustainability Report - Text Only

2019 Sustainability Report - Text Only

Link to PDF version of report

  

A Message from our Co-Founders

We are very proud to have taken more positive steps towards achieving our 2020 Sustainability Goals, such as going Zero Waste at our HQ, as well as introducing some exciting new products in 2019 that are part of our new Ethical Assortment collection. We understand that sustainability is all about the journey and not the destination, and while we are not perfect, we will always strive to continuously improve our social and environmental performance. At Rep Your Water, we believe it is our responsibility to tread lightly as individuals, and as a company, by leaving our planet better than the way we found it.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers. Without your continued support, we would be unable to fulfill our mission of providing uniquely designed, top quality gear for anglers and hunters while increasing support of local conservation and inspiring exploration, and our shared dream of marrying fly fishing and hunting with our professions, and we are forever grateful.

We are thrilled to share our 2019 Sustainability Report with all of you, which we feel demonstrates our commitment to conservation, solving the climate crisis and protecting the wild places and wild fish that we love so dearly.

Cheers,

Corinne & Garrison

Who We Are

MISSION: Rep Your Water is dedicated to providing uniquely designed, top quality gear for anglers and hunters while increasing support of local conservation and inspiring exploration.

CONSERVATION: We donate at least 3% of every sale to conservation. Through partnerships with many environmental nonprofits, we are doing our part to ensure that the natural world around us and the activities that nature provides for us as sportsmen & women will be available and accessible for years to come.

Rep Your Water is based in Erie, Colorado and was founded by two Coloradans, Corinne & Garrison Doctor in 2011. The original Rep Your Water design was a trout with the Colorado state flag, and even with Rep Your Water’s first design, Garrison and Corinne donated a percentage of sales back to their local chapter of Trout Unlimited. Since then the company has grown into one of the most well-recognized brands in the fly fishing industry, and in addition to giving back to conservation with monetary donations and volunteer hours, Rep Your Water is now also focused on improving the social and environmental performance of our operations, supply chain and products.

Our Why

We understand that restoring habitats is one of the most effective ways to protect the wild fish and places we love so dearly, which is why we are proud to use our business to support the amazing conservation work of nonprofits like Trout Unlimited, Bonefish Tarpon Trust, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and many others. However, we also recognize that climate change is the most significant threat to fisheries on the planet, which is why we are working to not only reduce our carbon footprint, but working towards Carbon Neutrality. Plastic pollution poses another significant threat to our fisheries, which is why we have begun to incorporate products made from recycled plastic bottles into our products in an effort to reduce that amount of virgin plastic being produced that is made from fossil fuels. As individuals and as a business, we look to further alleviate these threats by supporting our conservation partners that fight for the preservation of the wild places and species that remain on our planet.

We believe the more hunters and anglers there are, the more stewards there will be, and we want to do our part to provide our customers with uniquely designed apparel that gets you outside while giving back to conservation. But we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk by working diligently to clean up our own operations, supply chain and products. We are in business to protect what we love.

2019 Social & Environmental Impact

Monetary Donation - $55,800 donated to nonprofit conservation partners

Volunteer Hours – 41.5 hours donated to nonprofit conservation partners

 

Environmental Impacts

Waste Diverted from Landfill: 97% by weight

Electricity purchased from zero emission RECs: 100%

 

 

Social Impact

Rep Your Water measures the success of our business not by how much we can make, but by how much we can give back. We measure our social bottom line by donating at least 3% of our annual sales to our nonprofit and conservation partners, as well as the number of employee volunteer hours. Measuring our social impact helps to keep us accountable as we work to achieve our 2020 Sustainability Goals for how much we give back and we are proud of our 2019 Social Impact:

  • 2019: $55.8K donated to 17 nonprofit conservation partners
  • 2019: 41.5 volunteer hours to CO TU

In addition to Colorado Trout Unlimited, RepYourWater donates 3% of sales of corresponding designs to: the Trout Unlimited chapters of Canada, Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Southeastern Conservation Project, New Mexico and Connecticut; Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Chapters in Utah, Alaska and Montana; the Wild Steelhead Coalition, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Delta Waterfowl Idaho Wildlife Federation, Boundary Waters Trust, the Billfish Foundation, The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Beyond the Pond and the Great Lakes Regional Center of NWF.

We are also extremely proud to announce our new Ethical Assortment collection in 2019. Every product in the Ethical Assortment collection tells a significant story of sustainability, social accountability or both. From high quality recycled materials to organically grown cotton yarn (bio cotton) and even SA-8000 certified ethically made products, every single item in this collection makes a positive impact for people and our planet.

Environmental Impact

Rep Your Water strives to do more than give back to our nonprofit partners by cleaning up our own act. In addition to achieving Zero Waste to landfill at our HQ through recycling and composting; and purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for our purchased electricity (Scope 2 GHG emissions) from a wind farm; as previously mentioned, we also introduced our new Ethical Assortment Collection in 2019. Every product in the Ethical Assortment tells a significant story of sustainability, social accountability or both. From high quality recycled materials to organically grown cotton yarn (bio cotton) and even SA-8000 certified ethically made products, every single item in this collection makes a positive impact for people and our planet. But we also believe that the little things matter and we are proud to share some additional steps we have taken to improve our environmental performance:

  • We recently received the Erie Green Business Certification, which demonstrates our commitment to reducing our energy usage, water usage and waste.  For instance, by switching all of our lights to LED we are not only conserving energy, but we are also saving money by demanding less energy and is also better for the environment by helping us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
  • There are two bathrooms at our warehouse/HQ and because we are a relatively small team, we primarily only use one of them, so we decided that in an effort to further conserve energy we would turn off one of the water heaters which, again, not only helps us reduce our environmental impact, but also saves us money.
  • We have also started composting our food waste, which is better for the environment because when we do send waste to the landfill, we are sending less weight, which means the garbage truck is lighter and therefore burning less gas to haul our waste.  Additionally, we then use that compost to provide healthy soil for our vegetable garden which also helps to reduce the food miles travelled of the food we eat, and is a healthy way to produce our own veggies!
  • The reason we ship all of our products in plastic poly bags is from an environmental standpoint, it would be far worse to damage our products via a shipping accident and all of the embodied energy and water used to in manufacturing would have gone to waste.  So, we contacted our suppliers and have made the switch to 100% recycled poly (plastic) bags, which isn’t perfect, but at least we are no longer using virgin materials which saves energy and reduces waste.

 

 

WASTE: We are also measuring our environmental impact by diverting waste from landfills. In 2019 we diverted over 97% of our waste from the landfill and by recycling, composting and even sending plastic bags to the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) located in Boulder, CO! Below is our total waste measured in pounds:

2019 Waste Recycled: 5,011.8 lbs

2019 Plastic Bags Recycled: 93.7 lbs

2019 Waste Composted: 112.3 lbs

2019 Waste to Landfill: 143.85 lbs

2019 Waste Total: 5,361.7 lbs

We are thrilled to report that we have improved the percentage of waste diverted from the landfill year over year:

2017 Waste Diverted: 95.11%

2018 Waste Diverted: 95.6%

2019 Waste Diverted: 97.32%

Why is going Zero Waste important? We are working to divert as much waste as possible from being sent to the landfill because we know that with worldwide population growing it’s imperative to minimize our waste. We also know that adding compost to soil helps restore organic nutrients and improves water retention in soil.  If we hadn’t recycled and composted, we would have sent 5,361.7 lbs of trash to the landfill. Instead, we recycled and composted +97% of our waste, which we feel is not only the responsible thing to do, but also provides nutrient-rich soil for our garden and that helps to reduce food miles travelled!

ENERGY: Rep Your Water measures our environmental impact by reducing our carbon footprint through energy efficiency, such as installing LED lights at our HQ, and by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs). Through purchasing 100% renewable electricity from a zero-emission resource, we have eliminated GHG emissions associated with our electricity use (Scope 2 GHG emissions). We are stoked to announce that in 2018 and in 2019 100% of our Scope 2 GHG emissions from our headquarters were from the purchase of RECs! Below is our 2016 (GHG) Emissions Baseline, 2017, 2018 and 2019 GHG Emissions Total measured in metric tons of CO2 equivalent (mtCO2e):

2016: 7.49 mtCO2e

2017: 3.87 mtCO2e

2018: 0.00 mtCO2e

2019: 0.00 mtCO2e

What does this really mean? We know climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e) is a metric used to compare different GHG’s compared with their global warming potential. So, our 2016 baseline of 7.49 mtCO2e is the equivalent of the carbon sequestered from 8.8 acres of U.S. forests in one year. Compared to our baseline, we cut our 2017 mtCO2e by 48%, which means we had a smaller carbon footprint.  In 2017 our total was 3.87 mtCO2e which is the equivalent of the carbon sequestered from 4.6 acres of U.S. forests in one year.  However, in 2018 and 2019 we purchased 100% renewable energy meaning our HQ has Zero Emissions for our Scope 2 GHG emissions meaning that we are saving our fisheries from the negative impacts of climate change by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) and supporting renewable energy development! We know that we have a much larger carbon footprint due to our supply chain and the manufacturing our of products, but we had to start somewhere, so we decided to start by taking steps to clean up our HQ. In the future will be measuring our Scope 1, 2 & 3 GHG emissions and working towards our goal of being Carbon Neutral by 2030.

Where We Are Headed

We know that as human population grows, so does our demand for resources and we want to do everything we can to conserve natural resources so that we can follow our passion for hunting, fishing and an active outdoor lifestyle. We want to make sure that RepYourWater is going beyond financially supporting our nonprofit conservation partners.  We also want to lead by example by doing our part to conserve energy and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, as well as reducing the amount of waste we send to the landfill. It is very important to have measurable and attainable sustainability goals so that we can transparently share our environmental and social impact with our customers. RepYourWater is thrilled to share our progress towards our 2020 Sustainability Goals with you:

Environmental Sustainability Goals:

Offset 100% GHG emissions from purchased electricity

Divert 95% of our waste from landfill

 

Social Sustainability Goals:

Donate 250,000 total to our nonprofit conservation partners

Volunteer 200 hours total to nonprofit conservation partners

 

We are delighted to share that we have achieved both of our 2020 Environmental Sustainability Goals ahead of schedule.  We are working towards achieving our 2020 Social Impact Goals and have achieved 89% of our $250K donation goal and since we started measuring our volunteer hours, we have accomplished 79% of our volunteer goal!

As we look beyond 2020, RepYourWater is making the commitment to be Carbon Neutral across our Scope 1, 2 & 3 GHG emissions by 2030 while also continuously improving the social and environmental performance of our supply chain and products with ethically-made goods and more recycled content & organic content in our products. We know that we are not perfect and that we can never cease in our efforts to earn your trust, but we are proud of the progress we have made so far. We also know there is much room for improvement and hope you will continue to follow us on our sustainability journey!