Outdoor brand Berghaus has increased its focus on social responsibility and sustainability issues with a new appointment.
Elaine Gardiner has joined the Sunderland-based company in the role of corporate sustainability officer and will help the company to deliver its programme of action on product sustainability, reducing the environmental impact of business activities and ensuring ongoing ethical trading with the brand’s supply base.
Berghaus already has an established corporate responsibility strategy and plays an active role in the wide-ranging initiatives that are led by parent company Pentland Brands. However, the position of corporate sustainability officer is new at Berghaus and will allow the firm to enhance its existing work in that area.
In recent years, Berghaus has increased its focus on the issues of corporate responsibility and sustainability, with some important results in product development and sourcing.
For example, in one of the key growth areas of the business, insulated clothing, the brand has ensured that all of the down that it uses comes from one source which has been audited by the International Down and Feather Laboratory, giving the reassurance of full third party traceability. None of that down is the result of live plucking or is linked to the production of foie gras.
Among other initiatives, Berghaus is launching a range of ECO Woven clothing in spring next year, with a production method that makes huge savings in the use of water and chemicals, while also reducing CO2 emissions.
As corporate sustainability officer at Berghaus, Elaine Gardiner will be responsible for developing more ways in which the company can address environmental and ethical trading challenges. Reporting to chief operating officer James Harris, she will work closely with the product and sourcing teams to review each stage of the design, development and production processes. Gardiner will also coordinate Berghaus’ ongoing contribution to Pentland’s work in this area, as well as collaborating with the sustainability team at the European Outdoor Group, which coordinates efforts on behalf of the outdoor sector in Europe.
Elaine Gardiner is an experienced sustainability professional, with a background in the product development and manufacturing of consumer goods, who has worked on projects around the world. Gardiner joins Berghaus from the University of Melbourne, where she completed advanced studies in the area of corporate responsibility while undertaking research on various sustainability issues.
Previously, she had worked at Procter & Gamble, WWF, the Carbon Disclosure Project and Net Balance Sustainability Consultancy.
Gardiner is also a keen outdoor enthusiast, with a passion for hiking and cycling.
James Harris, Berghaus chief operating officer, said: “We are incredibly pleased that Elaine has agreed to join Berghaus. She has a wealth of very relevant experience and a great global perspective on the sustainability challenges that we – and all businesses – face. “Our focus on the area of corporate responsibility has increased a great deal in recent years and we can continue to enhance our approach now that we have someone of Elaine’s calibre driving the programme from within the business.”
Elaine added: “This is a great opportunity to help an iconic brand take a lead in an area that is coming to the fore for all businesses operating in the sector.
“Berghaus has made good progress in its approach to corporate responsibility, but there is a real appetite at all levels of the company to do more and I look forward to playing a role in achieving that goal.”
For more information about Berghaus visit www.berghaus.com