Icebug is the first climate positive outdoor footwear brand
The Swedish company Icebug has been manufacturing outdoor footwear with great traction since 2001. The company has also been doing emission-reducing operations for a long time, and Icebug made a pledge after the summer 2018 to become climate positive by 2020. Since then, the process has accelerated quickly and, being able to speed up, Icebug became a climate positive company already at the end of February 2019.
“When we made the decision, we plunged into the unknown. We didn’t know if it would cost 20 cents or 20 euros per shoe, but just felt that we had to do it to take our. The fact that we have put a lot of effort into sustainability work during the past years of course helped, but in the end the climate positive part was easier than we thought”, says David Ekelund, CEO of Icebug.
Being climate positive means that Icebug follows the Climate Neutral Now initiative. It is launched by the UN Climate Change Secretariat and consists of three simple steps:
1. Measure the whole company’s greenhouse gas emissions, including production, transportation, and operations.
2. Commit to reducing the emissions as much as possible.
3. Annually compensate for the emissions that can’t be avoided by using UN certified emission reductions.
The biggest challenge for Icebug has been to measure the production emissions. Icebug doesn’t have the exact numbers yet. However, there’s a best guess, and Icebug acts on it. To account for margin of error, Icebug is also over-compensating with 30 percent more than the actual emissions, which also means that Icebug is a climate-positive company. The initiative is given recognition by the UN.
UN: ''We are glad to see Icebug take a leadership position in pushing the climate agenda''
“Climate action is required urgently by everyone in society. We are glad to see Icebug take a leadership position in pushing the climate agenda within its own operations, and by supporting emission reduction projects globally. Through such actions, reduction at home and support for others to reduce further, we can accelerate the movement towards the Paris Agreement goal of a climate neutral global society”, says Niclas Svenningsen, Manager, Global Climate Action, UN Climate Change.
As to date, Icebug is the only climate positive footwear brand in the world – and CEO David Ekelund now challenges his competitors:
“Our interest is not looking so great with this and we’ve got lots of work left to do with reducing emissions, to offset is not a free card to continue business as usual. We want maximum effect and that can only be achieved if others follow”, Ekelund says.
“If we can succeed in getting climate positive, most brands around us can – if they want to. The climate debate has been focusing on the responsibility of individuals and politicians. Now it’s time for companies to step up and take responsibility”.
By the end of the Summer of 2018, the urge grew on us to do more and act faster. As business owners and leaders, our conviction became that we had the moral obligation to do what we could on our part to try and move towards a less risky place. And that meant that the ongoing work of step by step trying to minimize the negative impact was not enough. The hack we came up with to speed up towards being fully sustainable was to offset our emissions with a surplus, to not only be climate neutral but climate positive. We formulated our pledge: To become climate positive by 2020. But why wait, when we could do it right away…
Icebug has decided to be as transparent as we possibly can when it comes to our sustainability process. We want to share both successes and failures to help others follow. We welcome all companies who want to know what we have done and what they can do. Get in touch with us, and we will help you!
To be a part of the change
We're not paying our way out. This is only a small first goal achieved. Now the real job is to step by step minimizing our negative impact.