Sustainability Spotlight | Faction

We chat with Faction's Head of Supply Sara Asmoarp about what sustainability means

birdseye shot of a skier on purple skis skinning past river

What does sustainability mean to Faction? 

It means holding ourselves to a high standard of social and environmental accountability, transparency and performance. It is a focal point of our business conversations every day. This is exemplified by our status as a Certified B Corp. We are proud to count ourselves among this group of pioneering businesses that are leading a global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. B Corp Certification is a wonderful validation of our efforts, but we also recognise that we are only at the beginning of our journey. 

What are the main challenges? 

Our industry is facing two great challenges: the first is human-accelerated global warming, which is making our ski seasons shorter and limiting the places where people can ski. The second is ensuring strong participation in skiing and snowsports over time. People have a choice of how to spend their time, and skiing has significant cost inherent to participation, as well as a travel and convenience element. 

What initiatives are you putting in place to deal with these challenges? 

We believe in the power of individuals to create collective strength. When we come together, we can achieve great things. Our internal team protests peacefully, votes and lobbies for the environmental and social reform our planet needs, and we’ll always use our brand’s platform to encourage our fans to do the same. 

With regards to emissions, we calculate our carbon footprint annually to make informed decisions on how to reduce our emissions year on year. Where it’s impossible to reduce, we offset using high-quality carbon offsets, investing in sustainable energy production. For the 2020-21 season we offset our scope 1, 2 and a portion of our scope 3 emissions – a total of 618,000 kgs of CO2, equivalent to 1.9 million km driven by car. 

All emissions related to film productions are calculated with WeAreAlbert, and we offset emissions we can’t avoid through high-standard projects with Climate Partner. Our most recent feature film, Roots, is certified climate neutral. 

We’ve also created lasting relationships with partners such as Protect Our Winters (POW) and Coombs Outdoors. We are honoured to support these groups in their mission to empower kids and adults alike through skiing and the outdoors, irrespective of socio-economic, racial or cultural barriers.  

We believe that quality is sustainability, which is why we strive to create durable products composed of materials that we source locally to our factories, avoiding significant transport emissions. It’s why we use material scraps from our skis and repurpose them so that they find their way back into our production. It’s why we harvest sustainable wood cores and use bio-resins in a number of our skis. It’s why we produce many of our skis in a 100% renewable energy factory in Austria, cutting the carbon emissions of each ski by over 50%. We will continue to work as a team towards a more sustainable future. 

How are you measuring progress? 

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Establishing best practices for environmental sustainability is only part of the picture for us. We also have social responsibility. We take regular measurements across every level of the business. The B Corp certification process enabled us to do this in a streamlined and transparent manner. B Lab, the contingency that administers the B Corp certification, poses over 400 questions, measuring our performance against other businesses and presenting us with a ranking. We will complete this impact assessment every three years, always with the aim to improve our score. 

How important is it to you to work with athletes who are committed to promoting sustainability? 

We are in awe of our athletes’ talents, but we partner with these extraordinary individuals for more than just their skiing ability – also because they share our values and use their voices and platforms to promote a more sustainable future. A number of our athletes are ambassadors for POW and others have working relationships with Coombs Outdoors and Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E, among others. 

What are your goals? 

To reduce emissions, and where it’s impossible to reduce, we will offset all of our direct and indirect emissions, ultimately becoming net zero. Socially speaking, the ‘B’ in B Corp stands for ‘Benefit for All’, and we believe our brand and the outdoors should be accessible for everyone, which is why we will continue to push for representation within our sport, and continue emboldening and creating space for under-represented groups to push the boundaries of freeskiing.