Outdoor Research partners with Forterra to cut carbon footprint

Seattle-based outdoor gear manufacturer one of 13 founding companies taking part in innovative C3 carbon-mitigation program

SEATTLE, Wash. (May 17, 2012) – Outdoor Research, a leading independent manufacturer of outdoor apparel and accessories, this week became a founding member of an innovative, voluntary Pacific Northwest program through which it will mitigate the carbon emissions produced by its Seattle headquarters and manufacturing facility, as well as the transport of its goods.

Working with the conservation organization Forterra through its new Carbon Capturing Companies (C3) program, Outdoor Research will calculate its carbon production. It then will provide funding for local nonprofits and community service groups to plant native conifer trees in sufficient number to mitigate the emissions the company is not yet able to eliminate. Trees will be planted in parks, right of ways, transportation corridors and natural areas.

Outdoor Research joined 13 other Seattle based companies, including the band Pearl Jam, the Sounders FC, the Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners, to found the C3 program. Trees planted by the program will sequester thousands of tons of CO2 over their lifetime. The C3 program was announced in Seattle today.

“Supporting conservation efforts throughout the world has always been a core value for Outdoor Research, but we are particularly focused on making sure our resources are allocated to projects that are cost efficient and generate tangible results,” said Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research. “C3 allows us to mitigate our carbon footprint directly. Unlike other indirect credit-based programs, tree-planting initiatives look like one of the most effective weapons in the fight against global warming.”

Nordstrom also recently joined Forterra’s board of directors.

The C3 program started with Pearl Jam three years ago when the band partnered with Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) to mitigate its 2009 World Tour through urban forest restoration. With the launch of the C3 program, Forterra is taking the idea to scale, inviting Puget Sound businesses to follow Pearl Jam’s lead.

This unique group of businesses and non-profits collectively will put more than 12,000 trees in the ground. which will mitigate more than 60,000 tons of carbon over their 100 year lifetime.

“We are excited to launch the C3 program with such an important and diverse group of partners,” said Gene Duvernoy, Forterra president. “These are some of our region’s most prominent establishments and it is a great testament to businesses leading by example and demonstrating their commitment to the environment and the community.”

“Having worked with Forterra before, I approached them about starting a program like C3, knowing they had the expertise to get this work done successfully,” said Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard. “We at Pearl Jam recognize that reducing your environmental impact is an important business choice. I wanted to help provide the opportunity for other businesses to make that same choice and start
a trend.”

The C3 program is open to any Washington-based business and Forterra is looking to expand the program beyond the 13 founding partners. Participants calculate the carbon emissions for all or part of their business operations, look to ways to reduce their footprint and then provide funding for native conifer trees to be planted to mitigate against their impact. Forterra will do a request for proposals for other nonprofit partners or community groups to apply for the trees. Forterra and a team of advisors will select which projects have the appropriate merits for ensuring the trees are planted properly and cared for over the long run. Businesses who want to take an even more hands-on approach to the process will have the opportunity to have their employees take part in the tree plantings themselves.

In addition to helping companies reduce their impact, the C3 program helps improve urban parks and natural spaces that beautify and strengthen communities. These green spaces help watersheds by reducing soil erosion, water pollution and stormwater runoff; cool cities by reducing heat sinks; provide sound buffers for large urban areas; improve air quality and salmon habitat and much more.

About Outdoor Research

Based in Seattle, Wash., Outdoor Research designs and manufactures functional solutions for human-powered adventure. Outdoor Research offers technically innovative and superior apparel, headwear, handwear, gaiters, storage and shelter systems. Product testing and high-quality construction is backed up with OR’s Infinite Guarantee®. Outdoor Research enthusiastically supports the outstanding conservation, access, and educational efforts of a variety of organizations and encourages our customers to do the same. Outdoor Research – Designed by Adventure®. Learn more at OutdoorResearch.com.

About Forterra

Forterra fills a unique niche as the largest community building and conservation organization dedicated to Washington's central Cascades and Olympic regions. It partners with leaders and residents across the region to create healthy, livable and prosperous communities. For over 20 years, Forterra has led efforts to conserve more than 177,000 acres of forests, farms, shorelines, parks and natural areas and restore critical landscapes. They encourage broad collaboration across all sectors and emphasize the link between vibrant cities and healthy lands. Forterra advances pragmatic solutions to our tremendous population growth with policy, land transactions, community engagement, environmental stewardship and more. Their work is grounded in market-based approaches with the understanding that economic vitality and environmental protection are both critical to maintaining our region’s quality of life for the next 100 years. www.forterra.org