RUNNING RESPONSIBLY

The Running Responsibly Program

We, the people who make Brooks go, are active. We treasure and thrive in the outdoors and enjoy spending time in our local communities. We know what really matters: the long-term well-being of people, the planet, and our role in nurturing both.

The Brooks Running Responsibly Program is our strategic and holistic Corporate Responsibility platform, which measures sustainability through five pillars; community, fair labor, product design and materials, manufacturing, and our footprint. This program is led by our Corporate Responsibility team, which engages with all levels of the organization to manage our environmental and social issues. Corporate Responsibility isn't an isolated program on the shoulders of a few, it's a way of thinking and acting that infuses all we do, at every level. The Brooks culture is more than words on a page—it's those words put into action every day and it's built on a platform of personal empowerment and accountability. We expect employees to own this brand, and that includes stewarding the environment and local communities in their daily behaviors.

Working toward sustainability is a journey, and while we've taken a number of important steps, we are acutely aware that we've only just begun. For us, there is no finish line. We're continually looking to evolve our Running Responsibly strategic approach to ensure alignment with key social and environmental issues. We invite the running community to send comments, questions and suggestions to: runningresponsibly@brooksrunning.com.

Community

Through the following programs Brooks employees act as ambassadors of the brand, sharing our mission “to inspire everyone to run and be active.”

 

 

 

Inspiring Coaches

The greatest thing about a great coach is that their greatness doesn’t stop when the race is finished. Their greatness inspires their athletes, affects their communities and motivates their peers. Each year we reward one outstanding cross country or track and field coach through the Brooks Inspiring Coaches Program.

LEARN MORE

 

Brooks Booster Club

High school track and cross country programs received a boost in 2015 with the addition of the Brooks Booster Club. This needs-based scholarship program provides funding and gear to high school cross country and track teams who might not otherwise have the opportunity to provide some of these basic needs to the members of their team.

LEARN MORE

 

Run B’Cause

Our premier tool for helping to change a day, a life, the world, the Run B’Cause program strives to promote happy and healthy lifestyles.

 

Employee Donations

Each Brooks employee in Canada and the USA are given $300 worth of product to donate to the charitable organization of their choosing each year.  This can take the form of a product certificate to an elementary school auction raising money for new playground equipment to multiple employees pooling their money together to help provide shoes to an underprivileged track club.

 

 

 

Employee Volunteering

Every one of our community service endeavors starts with a single employee. They find an organization they care about and rally the Brooks troops to join the cause. The more volunteers, the more meaningful the impact, so we give every Brooks employee paid time annually to support their communities.

Some of our favorites:

  • Camp Korey

  • ConservationNEXT’s Seattle Backyard Collective

  • Recovery Café

  • Ronald McDonald House of Seattle

  • And many more!

 

Product Donations

If you're passionate about making a difference, we want to hear about it.  Donating our gear to help fuel the good work of extraordinary organizations is a vital part in creating a healthier, Run Happier world. Brooks donates product samples and gently worn shoes and apparel so people who really need our product can put them to great use.

Brooks, through the Run B'Cause program, is committed to supporting causes that inspire everyone to run and be active, both in our local communities and around the world. In order to help promote happy running and healthy living we provide product donations on a quarterly schedule, based on need.

If you feel your organization would benefit from a Brooks product donation, please complete the donation request application below for consideration. Applications will be assessed in January, April, July and October.

If you're passionate about making a difference, we want to hear about it.  Donating our gear to help fuel the good work of extraordinary organizations is a vital part in creating a healthier, Run Happier world. Brooks donates product samples and gently worn shoes and apparel so people who really need our product can put them to great use.

Brooks, through the Run B'Cause program, is committed to supporting causes that inspire everyone to run and be active, both in our local communities and around the world. In order to help promote happy running and healthy living we provide product donations on a quarterly schedule, based on need.

If you feel your organization would benefit from a Brooks product donation, please complete the donation request application below for consideration. Applications will be assessed in January, April, July and October.

APPLY NOW

 

 

Run B’Cause Partnerships

In addition to our employee volunteering and donations programs we have several more holistic partnerships with nonprofits which closely align with our mission:

 

Boys and Girls Club of Washington State

The Boys and Girls Club of Washington State is a collaboration of 19 independent member organizations located in Washington.  The Boys and Girls Club of Washington State seeks to deepen the impact and mission of Boys & Girls Clubs in communities across Washington through communication, resource development and collaboration.  Altogether they serve 79,119 Club members in 147 Club sites.

LEARN MORE

 

The Conservation Alliance

The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations. We direct our funding to community-based campaigns to protect threatened wild habitat, preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate.

LEARN MORE

 

 

 

 

PHIT America

PHIT America is a cause and campaign dedicated to increasing physical activity and fitness to improve the health of all Americans.  PHIT America was launched in January 2013 with the support of more than 100 companies and organizations.

Key strategies to get kids active, moving, healthier and smarter including:

  1. Get one million children active by 2020! We are giving out PHIT America GO! Grants to school-based programs in communities which will jump-start more movement and a healthy lifestyle.

Educate millions of Americans, especially parents, about the issues and compel them to be active, fit, and playing more sports to achieve better health and academic performance.

  1. Help to pass common sense U.S. legislation which will result in more active and fit Americans which will prevent health care costs.This will primarily be accomplished through our 501(c)(4) corporation and not our 501(c)(3) corporation which is covered throughout this page.

  2. Build a strong alliance of Sponsors, Donors, Ambassadors, Doctors, and Celebrities to work together to get America more active, fit and healthy.

LEARN MORE

 

Two Ten

Two Ten is a charitable foundation offering Financial Assistance, Counseling, Community Resources and Scholarships to those working in the footwear industry. Two Ten is committed to strengthening the footwear community with financial, social and educational support.

LEARN MORE

Fair Labor

Our goal is to treat all employees and partners fairly and with respect. We are continually seeking methods to improve workplace conditions, worker well-being, and to strengthen supplier partnerships.

We are strongly committed to understanding our impacts and improving workplace conditions in our footwear, apparel, and accessories supply chains. Our strategy and approach to managing our Fair Labor programs has evolved beyond ‘check the box’ audits and monitoring. We know that effective management systems and strong root cause analysis are key elements towards achieving sustainable progress in our supply chain. As such, our goal is to empower our contract factories to take ownership of their compliance programs through training, capacity building, and strong internal compliance systems. We also recognize that our purchasing practices and product decisions can sometimes have an adverse impact on our supply chain. In these cases we partner with our suppliers and internal teams to implement innovative solutions to address the non-compliance.

Partnering with the right factories continues to be an important element of our strategy. We set the bar high for potential suppliers, aspiring to partner with premium factories that share our values and commitment to a fair, safe, and healthy workplace. We endeavor to build mutually beneficial partnerships with our contract factories to improve performance, create long lasting relationships, and build best-in-class running products.

OUR SUPPLY CHAIN

MONITORING & CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

CAPACITY BUILDING & WORKER WELL-BEING

STANDARDS & POLICIES

We work with a small number of factories, which allows us to maintain close relationships built on honesty, transparency, and accountability We continue to refine our methods, tools, and policies to ensure fair and safe workplace conditions in our global supply chain. We strive to achieve sustainable progress within our supply chain through manager/worker empowerment, and stronger human resource management systems. Learn more about our rules and standards which support integrating fair labor practices into our global supply chain.

OUR SUPPLY CHAIN

We work with a small number of independent contract factories, allowing us to maintain close and direct relationships built on honesty, transparency, and accountability.

 

 

Sourced Countries

We do not own any of our factories, thus all production is outsourced to independently owned facilities. Overall, we work with 23 contract factories that manufacture our products in nine different countries.

In 2016, the current sourced countries by region are:

  • Asia: China, Vietnam, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan

  • EMEA: Israel, Jordan

  • Americas: El Salvador, U.S.A.

Sourcing Strategy

In our efforts to establish solid, long-term, and mutually beneficial partnerships, we have created rigorous standards to help find factories that share similar values and principles as Brooks.  The Corporate Responsibility team collaborates with Sourcing and Operations on all supplier approvals, ensuring that each partner meets our fair labor standards prior to establishing a business relationship. We visit the factory, observe its facilities, and conduct a third-party social compliance assessment to approve the manufacturer prior to production of even one Brooks shoe or apparel item. The Corporate Responsibility team has the ability to reject any potential supplier if a factory does not meet our standards. We then work with our Sourcing team to find better business partners that are aligned with our commitment to legal, fair and safe workplaces. In some cases we will approve a factory that has highly fixable issues where we will align on a timeline to address the issues, and then re-check for improvements via a third-party audit. After a supplier is approved by the Corporate Responsibility team, the Sourcing and Operations teams are given the green light to begin placing orders with the factory.

Strategic Factory Partnerships

We endeavor to build mutually beneficial partnerships with our contract factories to improve performance and create long lasting relationships. As a result of our efforts the average number of years of sourcing with our contract factories is longer than five years.

MONITORING AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

To advance fair labor in our supply chain, we continue to refine our methods, tools, and techniques to monitor our contract factories and promote compliance to our Code of Conduct standards. We are also working cross-functionally across the organization on process and policy alignment, and are taking steps towards rewarding good performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about how we are addressing excessive working hours across our supply chain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about the Higg Index.

 

In 2014, 100% of footwear and apparel contract suppliers were introduced to the Higg Index Facilities Social Module

Monitoring

Our products are made in many different countries around the world, some of which have a high risk for labor violations. For this reason, after a factory passes a third-party assessment it is monitored continuously and measured against industry standards and the Brooks Code of Conduct to ensure they meet our values and business standards.

Factories are monitored via third-party assessments according to their risk levels. For example, a supplier that lacks sufficient management systems in health & safety, labor, and human resources will be monitored at least on an annual basis. Those suppliers that have established solid management systems and are in low risk countries are monitored less frequently, generally every other year. Suppliers in high-risk countries are monitored at least once a year, in some cases several times per year.

Factory Ratings

Our factory rating system reflects our approach in monitoring supplier's compliance to our standards, with the ultimate goal of reaching our Supplier Leadership rating category where our factories have greater ownership over their fair labor programs. At a minimum a factory must achieve a Partner Supplier rating to continue manufacturing Brooks products.

Remediation & Continuous Improvement

Our continuous improvement philosophy is aimed at creating systems that will not only correct the issues found, but   will prevent them from occurring in the future. When assessing our factories, we track the results to recognize patterns and systematic failures with the goal of better understanding the issues and being able to direct our efforts to help those who need it most.

Should issues arise in our supply chain, our first course of action is to partner with factory management and workers to determine root causes and devise a continuous improvement plan.  We encourage management to take a holistic approach of not only addressing the issues, but also putting systems, policies, and procedures in place to prevent issues from reoccurring. For factories that lack the skills, tools, and knowledge to address the issues, we engage with factory management through training and capacity building.

Working Hours

In factories where Brooks has dedicated production lines we recognize that our purchasing practices, especially during peak periods, can have a negative impact on factory working hours.  We are continuing to work cross-functionally within the organization to implement innovative solutions to address footwear capacity planning.

Balanced Scorecard and Seasonal Business Reviews

Measuring fair labor performance at our contract footwear factories provides an opportunity to create a dialogue around the root cause of compliance gaps and consider opportunities to close them through systems and process improvement. We utilize the Balanced Scorecard as the platform for dialogue, feeding key outputs from the third-party assessments and the remediation process to discuss performance and continuous improvement. To ensure alignment, Brooks' departmental leaders in Costing, Development, Sourcing, Commercialization, Quality, and Corporate Responsibility meet with factory leadership to conduct a seasonal business review of successes and opportunities for performance improvement in each functional area, for both Brooks and the factory. The factory also completes a reverse scorecard for Brooks' departments on key indicators, ensuring a robust two-way dialogue for our own internal improvement.

Rewarding Good Performance

We are taking concrete steps towards rewarding factories that are doing well and meeting our standards. Once a factory is approved for production, we continue monitoring it and rate them each year on their fair labor performance through the third-party audit process. This score is then fed to the Footwear Balanced Scorecard which includes scores from other business departments on quality, delivery, innovation, development, commercialization, and environmental performance. The footwear sourcing managers then use this score to decide how many orders the factory will receive in future seasons. As for apparel, this process is in the works so stay tuned.

Poor Performance

Our sourcing strategy is based on forming long-term partnerships with premium suppliers. We work to empower factory management to treat workers well and maintain a safe and healthy workplace. If, however, we find they are not meeting our standards, we do not hesitate to take action. A letter is sent to factory management asking for their commitment in fixing all non-compliance issues. Depending on the issues found, we try to be a good partner by offering training opportunities to help factory management address the problem and put systems in place to prevent it from reoccurring. However, if a factory fails to make progress over a specified period of time, we terminate the business relationship. If we find very serious issues at a factory, such as critical safety or human rights issue, we may immediately end our business relationship.

Higg Index Facilities Social Module

The Higg Index Facilities Social Module is a self-assessment tool that provides a standardized measurement of social impacts across the apparel and footwear industry. The tool offers clear guidance on social impacts in manufacturing, and provides a resource to our contract factories to identify improvement opportunities to help them to own and continuously improve their labor management performance. Although our requirement is an annual update of the Facilities Social Module, our expectation is that contract factories use this tool on an ongoing basis throughout the year to help improve performance.

Brooks' adoption of the Higg Index Facilities Module supports the wider footwear and apparel industry in creating a common language for discussion and action on social responsibility and environmental sustainability that in turn will reduce the assessment and audit burden currently affecting factories across the industry.

Tier 2 Engagement

In 2014 we risk-mapped our entire Tier 2 materials supply chain, and identified the top 30 suppliers and subcontractors to focus on. In 2015, we began taking steps to introduce these suppliers to our program, including site visits, Code of Conduct, self-assessments, and migrant labor assessments to measure compliance to our standards. We have since invested in a software program to help automate risk mapping and scale this effort to our entire tier 2 supply chain, which includes mills, material, and trim suppliers as well as subcontractors.

 

CAPACITY BUILDING & WORKER WELL-BEING

As part of our continuous efforts to achieve sustainable progress within our supply chain, we have initiated a series of training and capacity building programs aimed at strengthening human resource management systems and improving worker well-being. The intent is to build a framework for lasting improvements in workplace conditions by empowering managers and workers to take an active role in managing their compliance programs.

Learn more about Labor Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about HERproject

 

Learn more about Women in Factories Program

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Link

Using Labor Link mobile phone technology, we established an anonymous mobile communication channel with over 2,700 workers in our footwear supply chain on key topics including working hours, health & safety, and worker-management communication. Baseline and follow-up surveys found that many workers desired more educational and advancement opportunities, also that workers' relationship with their supervisors is a key driver of job satisfaction. As a result, we initiated HERproject and Women in Factories Program at these factories. We are also using this data to build focused training programs to enhance relationships between line supervisors and workers.

HERhealth

Partnering with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), local partners and suppliers on HERproject has enabled us to advance the health and well-being of over 1,200 workers in our supply chain. HERhealth workplace programs strive to improve awareness and behavior related to general and reproductive health, to challenge harmful taboos, to promote preventive care, and to increase access to critical health products and services.

In each factory, a group of women is selected as peer health educators, and are provided with a series of trainings that take place at work during working hours. The topics covered include healthy eating, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and management, avoiding malaria and dengue fever, maternal health, personal hygiene, reproductive cancers, menstruation, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. The coaches are then responsible for training the other women workers in the factory. In addition to helping spread information efficiently, the peer-to-peer model also creates significant empowerment benefits for the women serving as peer educators.

In 2014 we kicked off a pilot of HERhealth in China, which was fully funded by Brooks. We plan to expand the program to Vietnam to another 1500 workers in 2016. Learn more about HERhealth.

BSR Women in Factories China Program

Partnering with BSR, our largest contract footwear factory was chosen to participate in the Women in Factories China Program. This free training program, sponsored by the Wal-Mart Foundation, integrates work and life skills training into existing new hire orientation and provides advanced training to women identified as potential leaders. This investment in women workers provides opportunities for them to express their potential and grow their careers, equipping them with the knowledge, tools, and confidence they need to succeed in the workplace and at home. The program also helps builds the capacity of factory human resource departments and teaches factory managers how to permanently sustain and replicate the program, benefiting both men and women at the factory.

To date, 4,431 people have completed the baseline as well as the foundational training. The factory continues to provide the foundational training through new hire orientation, ensuring their entire workforce benefits from the training. In addition, 100 high-potential women received advanced training through the program in 2015, which included public speaking, maintaining health, parenting, financial planning, building confidence, stress-management, and leadership.

Supplier Trainings

Throughout the last ten years we've hosted numerous supplier summits and trainings where we've helped our contract factories build capacity in the management of labor issues, and better understand health & safety, project management, and grievance mechanisms, among other issues. These trainings aim to create an environment where our factories actively engage and learn from each other which has helped us build trust and transparency at a high level with our core factories. The trainings typically take place in Asia in the native language of factory management.

In 2015, trainings included:

  • Worker participation

  • Analyzing training needs

  • Implementing a training system

  • Collective bargaining

  • Worker exposure: chemical and physical hazards

Supplier Leadership

Our long term vision is for self-governance: where our suppliers are empowered to maintain and take full ownership of their compliance programs. To back this vision, we are taking steps to support factory leadership in:

  • Creating strong and proactive management systems

  • Building their capacity to engage stakeholders

  • Investing in and empowering their workforce

  • Investing in their communities

  • Establishing social and environmental goals

STANDARDS & POLICIES

Our Code of Conduct, as well as the supplemental Supplier Corporate Responsibility Standards, set forth the requirements to be upheld by our contract factories, licensees, subcontractors, and other business partners. These policies are frequently updated to reflect ever-changing expectations and international norms and are the basis we measure our progress against.

 

Learn more about our Code of Conduct, which establishes legal, social, and environmental requirements for all contract factories, licensees, subcontractors, mills, and other business partners.

 

Learn more about how we address human trafficking in the apparel sector, and how we comply with SB 657, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.

Code of Conduct

Concern for worker well-being and workplace conditions led us to establish the Brooks Code of Conduct, the standards that we follow in our global supply chain to ensure human rights are upheld and workplace environments are safe. The standards in our Code of Conduct draw from international law and the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions.

We only engage with Suppliers who demonstrate a commitment to contribute to the improvement of working conditions and strive to meet our requirements stated in our Code of Conduct and Supplier Guidelines.

Supplier Corporate Responsibility Standards

The Supplier Corporate Responsibility Standards act as a supplement to our Code of Conduct, outlining the foundational aspects and rules and expectations with respect to our standards, transparency, managements systems, our rating system, subcontracting restrictions and requirements, third party audits, self-assessments, and compliance tools. It includes over 300 detailed workplace benchmarks and best practices in the following areas:

  • Wages & Benefits

  • Working Hours

  • Health & Safety

  • Freedom of Association

  • Forced Labor

  • Human Trafficking

  • Child Labor

  • Migrant Labor

  • Harassment & Abuse

  • Non-discrimination

  • Environmental Responsibility

  • Transparency

  • Subcontracting

  • Women's Rights

Product Design & Materials

Our products' environmental impacts are rooted in decisions made in the design process. Through the collection of relevant sustainability information, we empower our designers to make informed design decisions that deliver premium product that performs at the highest level while incorporating more sustainable choices.

 

 

Learn more about our efforts to reduce waste through improving footwear upper pattern efficiencies.

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our footwear EPM performance.

Green Silence

 

 

Learn more about our apparel certifications performance.

 

Restricted Substances List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our footwear water-based adhesive performance.

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our shoebox weight-reduction progress

 

 

 

 

Learn more more about our membership with the SAC

In 2009 we conducted a product life-cycle assessment to understand the environmental impact of our best-selling footwear and apparel styles. We use insights from this assessment and industry knowledge to prioritize the focus areas of our Design and Materials strategic approach.

Design for Sustainability

The creation of waste during footwear manufacturing can be significantly altered by the decisions made during product design. We've implemented a program to provide feedback loops to our footwear designers that evaluates the waste impact that is a result of those design choices.

Central to this program is the calculation of the pattern efficiencies for each part of our core styles' footwear uppers. The shape of these different parts is the key contributor for the amount of waste created during manufacturing. We track this through an average upper pattern efficiency metric that is fed-back to our design team at key product development milestones. The objective of this program is to empower designers to make smarter decisions that will reduce our products’ footprint.

Environmentally Preferred Materials

Developing industry-leading performance running footwear and apparel requires careful selection of materials that will meet the high-performance and quality standards we demand in our products. In recognition of their high environmental impact we're working hard behind the scenes to select materials that are better for both your run and the environment.

Recycled Polyester and Biodegradable Midsoles in Footwear: Our footwear team has been focused on incorporating more sustainable materials into our footwear products for the last seven years. Their focus is on two of our highest volume materials; polyester and EVA, used in the upper mesh and midsole respectively. For the polyester, we seek a minimum 20% recycled content and all midsoles use BioMoGo DNA that includes an organic, non-toxic additive that biodegrades the midsole 50 times faster than traditional EVA when it comes into contact with anaerobic landfill microbes.

We track the percentage of total weight of the shoe that is an Environmentally Preferred Material (EPM) and have set ourselves the goal to continuously increase this percentage for our core four selling footwear styles.

Apparel Fabric Certifications

In 2014, Brooks partnered with bluesign® technologies, as a bluesign system partner. Our partnership provides our product creation teams with access to the blueguide®, a tool that helps them to prescreen fabrics that use more sustainable textile preparations (e.g., dyes and detergents) and that are from facilities that have undergone rigorous assessments for environmental standards and worker health and safety.

Restricted Substances Program

Our restricted substances program exists to ensure our products are safe. Our Restricted Substances List (RSL) underpins the program and defines those substances that we restrict or eliminate from our products. It includes at a minimum all chemicals that are regulated by the most stringent legal regulations in any region globally, including EU REACH, and CA Prop 65. We also voluntarily restrict or eliminate many other substances that are hazardous for humans or the environment, but that are not yet being regulated by any government body. We identify those substances through a variety of resources, some of which include AAFA, AFIRM, ChemSec, and other leading industry organizations. We continually review chemical impact assessments and make updates to our RSL at least once per year.

All materials in Brooks’ product must comply with our RSL. We communicate our restricted substances requirements to all of our suppliers through our RSL and maintain this understanding through our RSL Compliance Agreement, which is signed by all suppliers with each updated version of our RSL.

Footwear Material and Product Testing: Our material and product testing programs upholds our RSL Compliance Agreement with suppliers in order to ensure that our RSL is meeting its objectives. Every new footwear material introduced to the Brooks supply chain is required to be tested by an independent third party testing body approved by Brooks and subsequently retested at least annually. In addition, Brooks reserves the right to randomly select and test at any stage of production, including in materials, components, or finished products. We actively engage with our footwear suppliers on our restricted substances program, providing annual training on how to adopt and adhere to our RSL and how to manage their own suppliers.

Apparel Materials: We require all apparel material suppliers to acquire either third-party certifications (bluesign or Oeko-tex) or a Restricted Substances test report to verify the material is compliant with our RSL. We actively work with suppliers to continually meet this requirement.

Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Treatments: Water repellency is an essential functional component for many of our apparel and footwear styles. Water repellency is achieved through the use of Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatments, which traditionally use fluorinated chemicals that are able to achieve the high levels of repellent performance required. However, fluorinated chemicals are known to break down into perflourinated chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS, that are persistent, bioaccumulative and have toxicological properties.

A more responsible option when choosing between different DWR technologies is to use short-chain flourochemical water repellents, which have been found to be less-toxic than long-chain DWR varieties. Like many in our industry, we have eliminated long chain DWR treatments from our apparel and footwear lines, and use only short chain formulations.

Short chain DWR is not an end-goal solution to the environmental concerns of DWR. We continue to work with the industry to find more sustainable solutions that keep our products performing at the high standards we expect.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Traditional solvent-based chemicals used in footwear assembly can release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to human health and the environment. To address that impact and improve conditions for workers at the factories we have created a goal to be free of VOCs and other toxic chemicals in footwear assembly. We're making significant year-over-year progress in increasing the percentage of water-based adhesives and we continue to work with our suppliers to test water-based primers as they become commercially available.

To minimize the impact of solvent-based inks in apparel, we require our suppliers to use a bluesign-approved printer wherever possible. Doing this safeguards the health of the employees at the facility by ensuring that priority hazardous chemicals are measured and managed through an appropriate abatement system.

Product Packaging: Our Shoebox

Since 2008, we've committed to providing industry-leading packaging while simultaneously reducing its environmental impact. Through a focus on dematerialization and maximum utilization of recycled and recyclable materials, we're making strides towards a box that's better for the environment. In 2012, we set a materials weight reduction goal to further focus our efforts. We're making great progress towards this target and we're continually challenging our supply base to play an active role in continuing to find solutions to progress.

Higg Index: Product Sustainability Assessment Tool

The Product Design and Development Module (DDM), is one of the Higg Index suite of tools developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). Grounded in science, the DDM will help our product teams to clearly understand the impact of their decisions on overall product sustainability, and provide directional guidance on opportunities to improve, driving overall more sustainable design choices. The tool will bring our key product sustainability focus areas into one score, helping us to benchmark against our industry peers to better understand how high we can aim in improving our key product sustainability metrics and strategies. Once the tool launches in 2016, we expect the DDM to form the foundation of our product sustainability program.

 

Manufacturing

Our environmental manufacturing program focuses on those areas of our supply chain where we can have the most impact. Our in-depth efforts therefore focus on our footwear contract manufacturers, but the fundamental requirements of our manufacturing program apply to all contract manufacturers. 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our adoption of the Higg Index Facilities Environmental Module.

 

 

 

Supplier Corporate Responsibility Standards

Our Supplier Corporate Responsibility Standards outline requirements on environmental responsibility that all suppliers are required to comply with. These requirements include at a minimum, compliance to all local environmental laws, proactive management of environmental impact, restricted substances compliance and responsible sourcing of materials.

Higg Index Facilities Environmental Module

As the apparel and footwear industry continues to collaborate on more effective and standardize ways to approach environmental management throughout the supply chain, we continue to adapt our own program to align with the industry. As such, our goal is for our contract manufacturers to continuously improve their performance related to environmental management, and our tool to facilitate and assess this is the Higg Index Facilities Environmental Module (FEM).

The FEM is a self-assessment tool that provides a standardized measurement of environmental impacts across the apparel and footwear industry. The tool offers clear guidance on environmental impacts in manufacturing, and provides a resource to our contract manufacturers to identify and take ownership of improvement opportunities. We require all contract manufacturers to complete an annual update of the FEM and proactively use the tool on an ongoing basis throughout the year to help improve performance.

Our adoption of the FEM with our supply chain supports the industry in moving towards a standardized environmental assessment that will free factories of assessment fatigue. This in turn will result in less time completing multiple brands’ assessments and more time focusing on adopting environmental best practices.

Through our SAC membership, we remain an active participant in the effort to continually evaluate the FEM to ensure its effectiveness in monitoring and improving environmental performance. The next iteration of the FEM, due to launch in 2017, will incorporate these improvements that in turn will help to enhance our use of the FEM deeper into our supply chain.

Our Footprint

We recognize climate change is real and acknowledge our role as both a contributor and a part of the solution. Therefore, we track and measure our global footprint in an effort to lower our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our greenhouse gas inventory.

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our Seattle Headquarters

In 2010, we conducted a complete GHG inventory of all activities led by Brooks and our business partners to understand where our greatest sources of GHG emissions originate and the degree of control we have over them. As with most companies in our industry the majority of emissions throughout our value chain are from sources not under our direct control (materials, manufacturing, and transportation).

Understanding our overall GHG footprint allows us to be focused with our continued tracking, measuring, and reduction efforts. We continue to annually track and measure our largest contributors of our direct sources of GHG emissions, as well as the largest contributors of our indirect sources that we have determined we can influence or take action to reduce.

As a part of our commitment to reducing our impact, in August 2014 we moved into our new global headquarters in Seattle, WA, USA. Part of Seattle's pioneering Deep Green Building Pilot Program, the building achieved LEED Platinum and ENERGY STAR certification. Our new home provides a platform to encourage the use and acceptance of deeper, sustainable development strategies, and is designed to use 75% less energy and water than a typical office building.

Beginning in 2016, we adopted a new GHG accounting methodology using tools provided through the GHG Protocol. The GHG Protocol is a partnership between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and provides the most widely used international accounting tool to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. Our emissions are calculated using the following tools:

  • Scope 2 Electricity: World Resources Institute (2015). GHG Protocol tool for stationary combustion. Version 4.7.

  • Scope 3 Manufacturing: World Resources Institute (2015). GHG Protocol tool for stationary combustion. Version 4.7.

  • Scope 3 Inbound Transportation: World Resources Institute (2015). GHG Protocol tool for mobile combustion. Version 2.6.

Strategic Partnerships

As with other companies in our industry, the majority of environmental and social impacts related to our business and products are a result of activities outside of our direct control. This highlights the need for collective action in fostering performance improvement throughout our products and supply chain.

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our membership with the SAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

bluesign Technologies

bluesign® technologies is an organization that Brooks partnered with in 2014 to help us evaluate and manage chemicals used in our apparel materials manufacturing process. The bluesign system helps us to ensure that our apparel material suppliers are responsibly managing all inputs and outputs from their facilities and eliminating priority hazardous chemicals from our supply chain. Textile manufacturers that become bluesign system partners are required to establish management systems for improving environmental performance in five key areas of the production process: resource productivity, consumer safety, water emissions, air emissions, and occupational health and safety.

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Sustainable Apparel Coalition

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is a trade organization comprising brands, retailers, manufacturers, government, non-government organizations, and academic experts representing more than a third of the global apparel and footwear market. The SAC is working to reduce the environmental and social impact of apparel and footwear products around the world. The focus of the SAC is the Higg Index – a suite of assessment tools that standardizes the measurement of environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products across the product lifecycle and throughout the value chain. Our membership with the SAC provides us access to the suite of Higg Index Tools and allows us to participate in furthering the evolution of the tools to ensure wider industry adoption and impact.

To date, Brooks has been an early-adopter of both the Brand and the Facilities Environmental Module (FEM), and is actively involved in the development of the Product Design and Development Module (DDM).

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OIA Sustainability Working Group

Brooks is proud to be a founding member of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group (SWG) since its inception in 2007. This collaborative group explores issues of corporate responsibility in the outdoor industry and works together to develop environmental and social best practice solutions for members to adopt.

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