Hunter launches sustainability and accountability strategy

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Hunter announces the launch of its sustainability and accountability strategy and initiatives: Hunter Protect. It will detail Hunter’s special relationship with the forest and how the brand protects and supports the environment and people around it – from using innovative lower impact materials to supporting its communities.

Hunter has been working on responsible initiatives since 2011, and with the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Paolo Porta in March 2021, has produced this clear and concise manifesto to ensure progress and accountability through transparency, pledges and action. Hunter Protect will play an important role in both the day-to-day running of the business and its long-term objectives.

CEO Paolo Porta said: “Our history is rooted in protection. For over 160 years we have protected our community from the elements. We will continue to develop this legacy in two ways; by protecting the rights of every person in our supply chain, and by working with charities to protect the things that we value: our people and our planet.”

Hunter has made seven pledges to hold itself accountable and benchmark progress throughout the entire company:

  1. By 2025, all of its rubber footwear will be Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) certified.
  2. We pledge to work with World Land Trust to protect endangered forests, the species that depend on it and the people that care for it.
  3. In 2022, 65% of our collection will incorporate FSC®-certified rubber, BLOOM algae foam or recycled textiles.
  4. By 2022, 100% of its packaging will be recyclable.
  5. By 2022, the brand will offset all direct carbon emissions from global stores and offices.
  6. By 2022, Hunter will have conducted inclusive worldwide leadership training to all hiring managers in line with its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and its new HR policies and procedures.
  7. Hunter has donated over 150,000 boots to date and every year, pledges to donate a further 15,000 pairs of fully functional boots to global charities, including those that respond to natural disasters, pandemics and the refugee crisis.

The Hunter Protect manifesto is defined by three pillars: protecting forests, resources, and communities:

PROTECTING FORESTS

Hunter has a meaningful relationship with trees; the natural rubber used to craft its world-renowned protective waterproof footwear is derived from the sap of rubber trees and is at the heart of the brand. Responsible sourcing, protection and conservation of forests is fundamental.

  • Hunter recently published its Forest Materials Sourcing Policy, detailing its commitment to source rubber, wood, and paper packaging from well-managed forests. The policy was written and updated in close consultation with the Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit that works to protect forests, farmers, and forest communities.
  • Paper packaging is recyclable. The FSC label on our packaging means that the paper and card it is made from is responsibly sourced. Hunter partnered with Canopy’s Pack4Good initiative and commits to ensuring that none of its packaging comes from ancient or endangered forests.
  • In 2020 Hunter partnered with World Land Trust to help restore and safeguard the rich, biodiverse forests and critically endangered animals living in Borneo and continues to work together to support this habitat.
  • Both Hunter and independent auditors visit its rubber forests in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam to verify that they do not contribute to tropical deforestation. Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) FSC is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to promoting responsible forestry. FSC certification helps to ensure that the forests from which Hunter source meet the highest environmental and social standards on the market. (Hunter Boot Ltd’s FSC Licence Code is FSC®N003379).
  • Hunter launched its first FSC-certified wellington boot in 2019, which came from an FSC-certified rubber forest in Guatemala and meets the NGO’s standards, helping to take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home.
  • On 23rd August 2021, Hunter will be launching the ‘Protect Our Forests’ collection made with FSC-certified natural rubber. During the first month on Hunter’s global Ecommerce, 5% of profits will be donated to Hunter’s global charity partner World Land Trust to fund the annual salary of a ‘Keeper Of The Wild’ forest ranger.
  • By 2025, all natural rubber will come from Forest Stewardship Council® certified forests. In 2022, Hunter will produce 125 products in the collection with natural rubber from FSC-certified well-managed forests, this is 14% of its total footwear collection.

PROTECTING RESOURCES

Hunter is conscious about its materials and resources, how they are sourced, and their impact on the environment.

Hunter ReBoot

  • Offers a simple end-of-life solution for boots in the UK and US. The service comes at no charge to customers. All returned boots are recycled by First Mile in the UK and West Coast Rubber Recycling in the US, who grind down and repurpose the natural rubber into playground surfacing, roads, equestrian arenas, kickboxing bags and floor fillers. By using one tonne of recycled rubber to surface an arena (compared to virgin rubber), we save three tonnes of C02 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
  • In the UK, Hunter will provide a free Collect+ shipping label to customers to send their boots directly to First Mile recycling facility and in the US, Hunter is partnering with Zappos For Good to offer the recycling scheme. Zappos is providing customers with a free UPS shipping label to ship end-of-life boots directly to recycling facility.
  • By the close of 2021 Japanese customers will be able to recycle their boots too. Materials
  • High quality and protective, Hunter products are built to last. Since SS20, the design team have introduced innovative recycled and lower impact materials into the collections and will increase this year on year.
  • Recycled polyester from post-consumer plastic waste has replaced all of the lining of rubber footwear.
  • Recycled Nylon from old fishing nets to use across footwear, apparel and accessories.
  • Hunter will be introducing its most innovative material to date for SS22 with the BLOOM algae foam sandal. Every pair of sandals made from this material will help to clean 45 litres of water and 28 cubic metres of air of CO2.
  • HunterhashadaPETAapprovedveganeditsince2019andusesVegan Thermolite® Insulation, an extremely lightweight and warm alternative to goose or duck down, in its outerwear.
  • Yulex has been used in previous seasons as a lower impact, plant-based neoprene alternative.

PROTECTING PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES

Hunter fosters a culture where all voices can flourish and aim to be a force for positive change in the fashion industry. It is also proud to support the work of amazing charities that make a real

difference in the world. Hunter is actively partnered with charities on both a global and local level, supporting through staff volunteering days, cash and product donations.

  • Since 2012, Hunter has donated over 150,000 pairs of fully functional boots to global charities. The donation scheme has responded to natural disasters globally, provided boots to hospital staff in New York and Jakarta, and protected the feet of refugees in Kurdistan and farmers in East Timor.
  • Hunter is proud of its charitable partnerships with organisations including OutRight Action International, Show Racism the Red Card and The Prince’s Trust, that defend the rights, values, and welfare of its communities.
  • In 2020, Hunter established a D&I task force including senior leaders and volunteer representatives from its global offices with the purpose to create dialogue, educate and promote standard practices around diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the community. It has devised a Diversity and Inclusion strategy which comprises the following foundation:

o Inclusive talent attraction – Attracting the best talent by increasing the diversity of the talent pool whilst retaining its existing employees.

o Inclusive careers – Providing transparent career progression and development opportunities to all employees.

o Inclusiveculture-Wearereviewingourcurrentpoliciesandpractisesto ensure we continue to be a diverse and inclusive organisation and to sustain a positive working environment where employees respect and value each other’s differences