Te toto o te tangata, he kai; te oranga o te tangata, he whenua
While food provides the blood in our veins, our health is drawn from the land
Sustainability in 2025: People, Planet and Practice
Sustainability is a part of Kathmandu's DNA, but we know that doing our part for sustainable development requires us to constantly reevaluate our sustainability initiatives while taking our programs for social and environmental impact to the next level. But before we do, understanding where we are is the first step.
In 2019, we brought in Drs Brian and Mary Nattrass of Sustainability Partners to review our sustainability strategy and initiatives. Based in Canada, Brian and Mary are global leaders in sustainability, having worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and bodies, including Nike, Starbucks and the United States Army.
Following this comprehensive review done by Sustainability Partners, we have created a five-year plan: Best for the World.
Best for the World, a comprehensive plan that takes our sustainability and social impact initiatives to a new level, is grouped into three pillars: people, planet and practice.
Best for People
This pillar covers all the people in our network – from the 50,000 people in our supply chain to our 2,000 employees as well as our customers and wider community.
Our 2025 aspirational goal is to empower our community to positively change the lives of 100,000 people.
We’ll take the following action over the next five years:
1. Improve the standard of living and working conditions for people in our supply chain.
2. Help our partners provide 30,000 Nepalese people with access to high-quality education.
3. Give 10,000 Summit Club members access to outdoor adventure and volunteering opportunities.
4. Work towards being a leader in diversity and inclusion for our team, ranking in the top quartile for employee engagement.
Best for the Planet
This pillar of Best for the World sees a big shift towards circularity principles.
Our goal is to have 100% of our products designed, developed and manufactured using elements of circularity principles.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation describes the three principles of a circular economy as:
- Designing out waste and pollution
- Keeping products and materials in use
- Regenerating natural systems
Our waste and carbon footprint is another part of our impact on the planet. Our aspirational goal for 2025 is to have zero environmental harm from our business operations. To get there, we’ll need to become carbon zero, operate zero-waste facilities and look at how we can remove waste from our supply chains.
Read more about our efforts to improve worker wellbeing across our supply chains here.
Best for the World in Practice
In 2019, as part of our goal to use our business as a force for good, we became a certified B Corp. This means we are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
Our five-year goal is to become a leading Certified B Corp by lifting our assessment score from 83 points to more than 120.
Read more about our role as a Certified B Corp here.
A sustainability governance structure will provide clear performance accountability for all of our sustainability and community impact strategies, while the Board of Directors and senior management will have training and accountability for sustainability performance.
For the whole organisation to shift to circular principles, we’ll need to clearly define what our own circularity principles are across the organisation. From there, we’ll be able to experiment with internal business models that drive circular economy solutions.