Sustainability 101 with Chris Enlow – Reducing Impact FAQs
My name is Chris Enlow and I oversee the KEEN Effect,
which is a dedicated team of individuals at our company
working to leave the world a better place than we found it.
We do this in three ways:
1. Giving Back
Supporting grassroots nonprofit partners around the world
through grant-making, board service, and shoe donations
2. Taking Action
Activating communities to protect and preserve
the places where we all live, work, and play.
3. Reducing Impact
Elevating transparency in our business practices and
innovating within how we manufacture our products.
Here are some frequently asked questions about our Reducing Impact efforts:
What is KEEN doing to reduce its impact on the environment?
Our three key initiatives to help reduce our impact on the environment are: manufacturing integrity, process transparency, and workplace responsibility.
How does KEEN ensure that the materials used in its products are safe for employees, customers, and the environment?
We call this Manufacturing Integrity and it is something that we take very seriously.
We have a restricted substances policy to ensure that our products meet all required global standards. We also voluntarily push beyond industry standards, by using sustainable chemistry in our manufacturing processes and products. One example being our use of probiotic technology for natural odor control called Cleansport NXT.
Does KEEN have a Restricted Substances Policy or RSL?
Yes, we have a Restricted Substances Policy. Our Policy is based on the industry-standard Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management Group (AFIRM) restricted substances list, and designed to ensure that our products meet all required global standards. Our Policy also includes four additional compounds restricted by KEEN as part of our efforts to proactively use more sustainable chemistry. You can download a copy of the KEEN Restricted Substances Policy KEEN Restricted Substances Policy v2017.
How are you measuring the environmental impact of your supply chain? What about supply chain transparency?
Each year, KEEN and its significant suppliers complete the Higg Index. Managed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Higg Index is a tool used by companies all over the world – including KEEN – to elevate sustainability in manufacturing by measuring impacts and monitoring progress in reducing environmental impacts. The Higg requires that we examine all aspects of our company’s operations from materials selection, to shipping, to end of use, and solicit input from employees across the company, including product engineers, operations mangers, and product developers. The Higg is a key way we increase visibility into our supply chain, gauge performance and drive improvement.
Where are KEEN products manufactured? What is workplace responsibility?
KEEN products are manufactured around the world, including in factories in the United States, Cambodia, China, India, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam. Regardless of where KEEN manufactures, we are committed to standards that ensure working conditions in our supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with dignity and respect, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible. We expect that our suppliers share these values and standards. We refer to this commitment as workplace responsibility.
Does KEEN have a manufacturing Code of Conduct?
Yes, we have a Code of Conduct, which outlines standards for our suppliers to ensure that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible. Please see the attached Code of Conduct
for more information.
Does KEEN work together with groups on sustainability?
Yes, we work with a variety of working groups, brands and retailers from around the world on sustainability. Examples include:
European Outdoor Group: The EOG Sustainability Working Group works in support of the outdoor industry in the areas of corporate social responsibility and product sustainability.
Leather Working Group: This multi-stakeholder group assesses the environmental compliance and performance capabilities of leather tanners, and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.
Outdoor Industry Association: The OIA Sustainability Working Group is a collaborative effort among more than 300 outdoor brands, retailers, suppliers and other stakeholder organizations working to identify and implement better business practices throughout our shared supply chains.
Sustainable Apparel Coalition: The SAC is transforming the apparel, footwear and home textiles industry through system-wide collaboration in pioneering assessment tools and supply chain transparency with the Higg Index suite of tools.
Do you organize volunteer activities with your manufacturing partners?
For KEEN, sustainability is not just about our Reducing Impact initiatives, it’s also about Taking Action and Giving Back, including working with local communities around the world and encouraging the people we work with to protect and preserve the places that we all live, work, and play. We organize volunteer events with our manufacturing partners and material suppliers. Bringing people together for a day of outdoor stewardship is a very real, get your hands dirty way to give something back to local community where we manufacture our products.