On the heels of launching its new 2022-23 ski collection just a couple of weeks ago, Faction Skis today announced that the brand is now B Corp certified. As a certified B Corp, Faction meets high standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
FREESKIER caught up with Faction’s Head of Supply Chain and ESG—former Volvo engineer Sara Asmoarp, live from Sweden—to discuss the brand’s latest achievement.
FREESKIER: Hi Sara. First off, congratulations on becoming certified B Corp.
Sara Asmoarp, Faction: Thank you very much. Speaking on behalf of our global team, we are so proud to join this collective of future-thinking brands who want to make a difference. We appreciate what B Corp does to set benchmarks for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. We have been working towards this certification for more than three years. Being certified is a fantastic validation of our efforts, yet we recognize that we are still at the beginning of our journey.
FREESKIER: How does the certification process work?
Asmoarp: To become B Corp certified we underwent a rigorous review. It’s called the ‘B Impact Assessment.’ The assessment poses over 400 questions and takes a critical look at our social and environmental performance at every layer of our operations. The minimum score to become certified is 80 points, with Faction scoring 93.5 points. This is our baseline as we push for constant improvement, we are always striving to increase our certification score.
FREESKIER: Your 22022-23 ski collection emphasizes eco-conscious construction throughout the lineup. Will you summarize some of the key construction elements?
Asmoarp: Yes, we are very proud to produce skis in a 100 percent renewable energy factory in Austria. This alone cuts product carbon emissions by nearly 50%. We’re also pushing limits producing skis with wood cores that are harvested sustainably with FSC-accredited partners. We’re sourcing our raw materials locally to reduce the carbon cost of transporting goods across great distances, and we’re also using recycled materials that are both qualitative and durable in our skis’ topsheets, bases and sidewalls. Finally, we’re using a plant-based resin in a number of our skis.
FREESKIER: How is Faction measuring its carbon footprint?
Asmoarp: We measure our emissions annually with the expertise of Climate Partner. We look at everything from raw materials sourcing to manufacturing, to shipping, to our global offices’ energy use, and employee travel. We’re calculating our carbon footprint to make informed decisions on how to reduce our emissions. Where it’s impossible to reduce, we offset using high quality carbon offsets—specifically we are investing in sustainable energy production. Our goal is to offset all of our direct and indirect emissions, to ultimately become net zero.
We are also partnered with the specialist group Albert, the industry leader for sustainability in film, to measure, reduce, and offset any remaining costs related to Faction’s movie productions. This has been a real eye-opener and changed the way we plan and produce our films. Our latest feature, Roots, is a certified carbon neutral film.
FREESKIER: B Corp is as much about people as it is about the planet. How are you taking social values into account?
Asmoarp: Yes, the ‘B’ in B Corp stands for Benefit for All. We believe our brand and the outdoors should be accessible for everyone, which is why we will continue to push for representation within our sport, and continue emboldening and creating space for under-represented groups to push the boundaries of freeskiing.
Leaders build and nurture communities, not just profits, and that’s what we’re committed to. To achieve B Corp Certification, our collective of hundreds of shareholders voted to amend the fundamental legal framework that our business is based on, our corporate articles of association, stating that our business decisions always take into account people and the planet.
We believe that collaboration catalyzes change. We’ve created impactful relationships with partners such as 1% for the Planet, Protect Our Winters, Coombs Outdoors and Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. By supporting and donating to organizations, individuals and events that bring about a positive environmental and social impact, we commit our business to the goal of building a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative future for all. We’re committed to doing the best we can for our workers, our fans and customers, our retail partners, our suppliers, our communities, and the environment.