Environmental and nature protection

Sustainable actions have been the talk everywhere for a few years. But what precisely does that mean? It means that a responsible company puts high value on the “how” of doing things. As an outdoor sports brand, LOWA lives with and from nature and the outdoors. That is why the company carefully handles its resources and contributes its part to environmental protection.

Every company has in one way or another an effect on the environment. In order for LOWA to know precisely what that is exactly, means it had to be systematically logged and researched. That holds true, both for direct effects that come from business operations, and for indirect factors that are produced outside facilities. Among direct environmental effects from LOWA are, for example, energy and water use, waste accumulation, and hazardous air emissions. Indirect environmental factors include, among others, materials usage, processing and use of products from the outdoors.

PARKING, LOADING, DRIVING ON: IN-HOUSE ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING STATIONS

Many people who consider purchasing an electric car discard the idea quickly since car charging stations are not so widespread and available. That is a particularly serious matter in the countryside. In order to contribute to the situation just a little, LOWA has installed at its facilities in Jetzendorf and Priel electric car charging stations that can be used by employees and visitors.

25 PER CENT OF ELECTRICITY NEEDS IN JETZENDORF COME FROM PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Energy needs and energy savings are an important topic in today’s society. For this reason, LOWA has created a comprehensive plan about how the company gets the energy it needs, and what it can then also do to save energy. Starting a few years ago, a majority of LOWA’s company car park has been roofed with photovoltaic systems which have produced 16 per cent of the company’s annual electricity needs, as of autumn 2018. In October 2018, this quantity was increased to 25 per cent. In addition to the majority of the company car park, now the roofs of Halls 1 and 2 are also covered with additional systems. (Those are the buildings for the warehouse and production, among other things.) The remaining electricity needed comes 100 per cent from green electricity sources, namely, water power.

Energy needs in production is nearly impossible to reduce. Indeed, to best use the energy produced is a significant issue for the outdoor brand. For this reason, the roofs have been thoroughly insulated to reduce needed heating energy. In the same way, a large part of the windows was covered with UV protective film so as to not heat up the halls quite as much in the summer. That resulted in a reduction in energy needed for cooling which was installed just for the employees in production. Furthermore, lighting will be changed out step-by-step to energy-saving LED technology.

RECYCLED PAPER FOR INTERNAL PAPER USE

Anyone who works in an office everyday knows a printout is not always necessary to work efficiently. LOWA too attempts to reduce its paper consumption as much as possible. Of course, it is still not quite possible to work completely paperless. For this reason, the company uses recycled paper for needed printouts. The paper has been certified with the “Blue Angel,” an eco label in Germany, and is manufactured 100 per cent from waste paper.

FOR PRESERVATION OF MOUNTAIN FORESTS: LOWA PLANTS APPROXIMATELY 500 TREES ANNUALLY

Protecting the environment and conserving resources is a real necessity. Another is active participation in nature conservation projects. Since 2001, LOWA’s employees have been involved in a reforestation project of Bavaria State Forests. In the last year, a total of 17 LOWA employees, men and women, have signed up to help plant trees. More than ever before. On one weekend in September more than 500 new saplings were planted in Bavarian mountain forests and forest slopes. These will help prevent mudslides or damage from landslides of debris. Reforestation also serves to preserve a healthy mixed forest, one of our most valuable ecosystems. The cost of the saplings, the drive, accommodations and provisions are covered by LOWA.

This reforestation project is incorporated into the “2 Million Trees Project” by the European Outdoor Conservation Association – a non-profit organization made up of companies in the European outdoor industry. The group supports and promotes environmental protection projects 100 per cent from member contributions. This illustrates how seriously the outdoor industry takes its responsibility for nature conservancy.

LOWINGO

LOWA supports the conservation organization “World Wide Fund for Nature” (WWF) in its projects protecting endangered specials with the sales of the soft toy LOWINGO. Nature conservancy, the protection of the living environment, and the preservation of wildlife species and wild plants are the core projects of the conservancy organization that is one of the largest in the world. The WWF has been involved in conservancy for more than 50 years and today is active in more than 100 countries. All total, this conservation organization currently is running 1,300 projects for the protection of biodiversity. The goal of the WWF is to halt the global destruction of nature and environment and to create a future where people and nature can live harmoniously together.

LO&WA adventure booklet

In order to impart fun and enjoyment in the outdoors with parents and children, LOWA also has its “adventure handbook” with the little children’s mascots, LO & WA. This twice-annual handbook is listed in the catalogue of the German National Library and enjoys high popularity with its young readers. In every issue, there is a neat story for both kids and adults, a lot of other things to read and to learn, as well as tips and tricks about how to make your own handicraft projects or use recipes to cook. In a playful manner, kids get to know various animals, plants and the environment. The peregrine falcon LOWINGO is also always along for the adventures with the brother and sister team of LO & WA. The three buddies got to know each other in the first edition of the adventure handbook. LOWINGO got himself tangled up in a plastic bag and could not get free on his own. LO & WA saved the bird of prey who was in dire straits and as a thank-you they got a whistle. With this whistle, the brother and sister can make themselves shrink to the size of a mouse. When they are that small, they can fly off on LOWINGO’s back to their adventures and have also visited many different countries all over the world that way. The 7th issue of the adventure handbook will appear in spring 2019.

Goals and measures regarding energy efficiency, the increased use of regenerative energy, optimisation of rubbish disposal, promotion of bio-diversity at the company location and intensification of the company's commitment to nature protection:

Ongoing measures

  • Optimising waste separation and disposal (since Q4/2016) ✓
  • Preparing an annual waste balance pursuant to the German Waste Management Act (since Q4/2016) ✓

Short-range goals

  • Thermal insulation of the roof surface area of halls 1 and 2 at the Jetzendorf headquarters (Q3/2017) ✓
  • Upgrading large windows through UV protective film (Q3/2017) ✓
  • Set up electric vehicle charging stations at the locations in Jetzendorf and Priel (Q3/2017) ✓
  • Converting office lighting systems in Jetzendorf to LED technology (Q2/2018)
  • Use of 100% green energy from hydro power at the sites in Jetzendorf and Priel (Q1/2018) ✓

Mid-range goals

  • Converting lighting systems in production in Jetzendorf to LED technology (Q4/2018) ✓
  • Convert the lighting system at the Jetzendorf warehouse to LED technology (Q4/2018) ✓
  • Install photovoltaic system on the roof of halls 1 and 2 (Q4/2018) ✓

Long-range goals

  • Renewal of all heat pumps (Q4/2019) ✓
  • Reviewing a regional nature-protection project (Q4/2019)
  • Reviewing an international nature-protection project (Q4/2018)
  • Determining and releasing key environmental figures (environmental indicators) (Q4/2020)