Waterproofing and aftercare specialist Nikwax shares the findings of its first Sustainability Report celebrating 45 years of environmental protection and setting challenging but achievable goals for 2025. The brand wants to highlight that even the 'greenest' of companies need to act with urgency amidst the climate crisis.
As the leading brand in PFC-free aftercare products, Nikwax strongly believes that it has a fundamental responsibility to lead by example with regards to preserving the natural environment and preventing further damage to the planet. The brand was founded on these principles by Nick Brown 45 years ago when he created the first Nikwax product in his flat using a Primus stove. Now as a global business, selling products in over 50 countries, Nikwax's core values and principles remain the same. The company continues to be well respected for its innovative, sustainable, ethical, authentic, fair practices that are passionately delivered.
Founder Nick Brown, comments; "When we launched Nikwax in 1977, the environmental movement, as we know it today, was still in its infancy: The term 'global warming' had only just been coined and it would be almost two decades before people started talking about their 'carbon footprint'. Against this background, for us to make environmental protection a specific business objective and stated brand value was positively radical, but those were the values upon which the company was founded. 45 years on, I'm proud to say that protecting our planet is still very much at the heart of Nikwax's goals. Our first sustainability report documents the journey we have been on and outlines our goals for the next three years."
Following on from a Materiality Assessment which helped to identify and prioritise sustainability issues in the business; a strategic roadmap was developed. It encompasses over 20 projects that will help Nikwax to fulfil its goals and have a positive impact on people and the planet.
The Sustainability Report is a celebration of what Nikwax has achieved, highlighting the brand's journey from inception in 1977 and includes a sustainability roadmap, essentially a plan of action for the next three years. The roadmap has six clear fields of action: Clean Chemistry, Climate Action, Conservation, Circularity, Ethical & Fair and Experts & Partners.
The six fields of action are as follows:
- Clean chemistry: Nikwax aftercare products are water-based, PFC -free and the brand has never used aerosols. Goal: To continue to produce high performance products that don't harm people or the planet by adhering to a Chemical Management System in line with the guidelines provided by the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) non-governmental organisation.
- Climate Action: Nikwax's operational emissions have been carbon balanced from day one and a climate action plan is in place to do more. It is dedicated to taking action to combat further climate change and its negative impact on the planet and people. Goal: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2025.
- Conservation: Nikwax currently partners with conservation organisations to help to conserve the natural world and is active on a local, national and global level on initiatives to help to protect and preserve nature for future generations. Goal: To donate 1% of turnover to ecological and social causes.
- Circularity: To combat the global waste problem it's vital to keep materials in the loop for as long as possible by buying quality, ethically sourced and produced gear, with regular care applied to extend its life. Nikwax products enhance the performance and extend the life of outdoor clothing, footwear and gear. 80% of Nikwax waste is recycled and the remainder is sent for energy recovery via incineration. Nikwax bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Goal: By the end of 2023 90% of all single use plastic purchased by Nikwax will be made from recycled plastic.
- Ethical & Fair: As a values-orientated organisation, Nikwax believes in treating the people it works with fairly and equally. Goal: To become an Employee Owned Trust in 2022 and donate 1% of revenue to social and environmental causes. Furthermore, by 2025 Nikwax hopes to have all suppliers at a Premium Sustainability Performance level.
- Experts & Partners: Nikwax believes in collaboration and sharing its knowledge and expertise on the premise that together we can achieve more. Goal: To continue to work with brands to help to extend the life of outdoor products.
Maïté Angleys, Nikwax's Director of Sustainability, concludes: "One clear message from COP26 was the urgency with which we all need to act. As businesses and individuals, we can always do more. We're pleased to share the findings of our Sustainability Report and the steps we are taking to reduce our impact on the natural world further still; while creating a more positive impact on people."
The full report can be found here.