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How sustainable is Sorel ?

Sorel & sustainability


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First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 6 out of 36

Sustainability summary

Based on our sustainability criteria, Sorel has achieved the D-label, because only a little information is published about a policy on sustainability. The brand got a few points because of its measures on carbon emissions, the use of a proper Code of Conduct for suppliers and the publication of a list of these suppliers. However, according to us, it's hard to see the effort Sorel is making on sustainability. Therefore, more policy and transparancy is needed.

Brand owner: Columbia Sportswear Company
Head office: Portland, OR, USA
Sector: Shoes & footwear
Categories : Male, Female, Kids
Free Tags: Columbia Sportswear, Shoes, Boots

What's your sustainability news about Sorel?

Sorel sustainability score report

Last edited: 29 December 2017 by Mario
Last reviewed: 29 December 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Columbia Sportswear Company (CSC) (brand owner of Sorel) implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy efficiency measures. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual carbon footprint of its 'own operations' and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? CSC publicly reports its own operations climate footprint (Scope 1-3). In 2015, it had a total footprint of 16,212 metric tons of CO2e, compared to 18,229 metric tons of CO2e in 2016. This represents an increase of around 12% (see link, page 42, and link at previous question). Source
3. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? CSC communicates the use of on-site generated green energy (photovoltaic panels) for its own operations, but is not clear about the total percentage share of renewable energy use (see link, page 32). Source
4. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce the carbon footprint of its 'own operations' by at least 20% within the next 5 years? CSC has not defined target reductions for their climate emissions yet (see link, page 32). Source
6. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the product supply chain that is beyond own operations? CSC does not communicate a clear policy to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the production chain that is beyond own operations (see link, page 29, 42-43). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

2 out of 16
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? Columbia Sportswear Company (CSC) (brand owner of Sorel) has defined a sustainable raw material strategy. However, the overall proportion of preferable raw materials used is not communicated (see link, page 11). Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Does the brand have a clear and effective policy to avoid the use of leather that originates from cattle farms in deforestated Amazone areas? CSC published a statement saying that all factory partners have to prevent purchase of any rawhide from cattle that has been raised in the Amazon Biome and reports that although it is very hard to control the leather supply chain, that no the leather is sourced from cattle farms in the Amazon region. Source
8. Does the brand (company) have a clear and effective policy to minimize environmental pollution of chromium and other harmful substances from leather tanning processes, e.g. by waste water treatment or by vegetable tanning? CSC reports that 95% of its used leather in 2015 came from certified producers according to the Leather Working Group (LWG). However, CSC does not clearly specify the share of silver and gold certified supplies (see link, page 11). Source
9. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the footwear? CSC joined the bluesign® system partner network. The bluesign® system sets and controls standards for environmentally friendlier and safe production. Source
10. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? CSC states that all its Columbia Sportswear brand apparel products are free of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). However, CSC does not report whether at least 1 out of 11 suspect chemical groups, such as PFCs or Chlorophenols can be considered as fully phased-out in the entire production chain of Sorel products. Source
11. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? See remark for environmental policy question 9. Source
12. Does the brand (company) have a clear target to phase out PVC in their products, and has the brand already achieved a PVC phase out level of more than 90%? Neither CSC nor Sorel report about having a plan to phase out PVC in their products, respectively whether PVC is used. Source
13. Has the brand (company) a clear and effective policy to minimize the use of solvents based chemicals in their shoe production, and has the brand already achieved a level of average max. 40 grams of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions per pair of shoes? Neither CSC nor Sorel openly communicate a policy to reduce solvent based chemicals in their shoe production. Source
14. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? Neither CSC nor Sorel report on the annual results of its consumer packaging policy (see link, page 27 & 28). Source
15. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? CSC implements several measures to minimize the environmental impact of its waste materials. However, concrete aggregate results regarding its waste materials footprint are not made public (see link, page 22 & 29). Source
16. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? Neither CSC nor Sorel report, whether the return or re-use of shoes by its customers is stimulated. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

3 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? All standards are mentioned in Columbia Sportswear Company 'Standards of Manufacturing Practices'. Source
2. Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers rights: 1. to have a formally registered employment relationship 2. to have a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary and paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. to have a sufficient living wage? 1. Not clearly specified; 2. No, maximum working week is 48 hours and a maximum of 12 overtime, 'except under extraordinary business circumstances', which can mean anything; 3. Yes, compensation for a regular work week that is sufficient to meet the workers’ basic needs and provide some discretionary income. Source
3. Does this Code of Conduct include the right for workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, the right to facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining? This right is mentioned, with reference to parallel means for the situation of law restrictions. Source
4. Does this labour conditions policy also apply further down the production chains, at least covering the leather production or the animal farms? CSC does not make clear if the Code of Conduct and consequent labour conditions policy also applies further down the footwear production chain, such as leather tanning or cattle farms. Source
5. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? CSC publishes a list of suppliers, effective by 2016. Source
6. Is the brand (company) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, or does the brand (company) purchase its supplies from accredited factories with improved labor conditions? CSC is a Category B licensee of FLA, which means that only the college/university products of the brand are FLA affiliated, not the rest of the brand's products (see link, page 25). Source
7. Do independent civil society organizations like NGO's and labor unions have a decisive voice in this collective initiative or in these certification schemes? See remark for labor conditions policy question 6. Source
8. Is there a policy for the brand (company) for capacity building at the apparel manufacturers for improved labour practices? CSC's training and capacity building program encourages suppliers to further develop skills to effectively remediate and enhance overall performance, such as production efficiency. However, concrete outcomes of improved labour conditions due to improved labour practices aren't reported yet. Source
9. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Is at least 90% of the brands production volume from apparel manufacturers monitored for labour conditions? In 2016, 95% of CSC's production volume was audited on supplier level. But, CSC's reporting on results is not detailed enough (see link, page 17-22). Source
10. Is at least 25% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
11. Is at least 50% of the production volume from apparel manufacturers approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FWF, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
12. Does the brand (company) implement a policy to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers? Are at least first living wage payments realised? See remark for labor conditions policy question 9. Source
13. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the leather, yarn and fabric production phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? CSC does not report on clear results of its labour conditions policy for the fabric manufacturing phases. Source
14. Are at least 50% of the brand's leather, yarn and fabric production phases approved as socially compliant by independent third parties, such as FLO-Cert, GOTS or SA8000? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source