Environmental, Social, Governance
Implus believes sustainability is core to our future and that building superior products means building responsible and sustainable products. This means getting smarter and more resourceful in how we ideate, design, produce and bring products to consumers. Building products that are Fit for the Planet is a critical part of our Double Down strategy and incorporates best practices and key goals that are both align with our values and commitment to communities and environment we live in. By creatively developing what is both commercially advantageous and sustainable for people and planet, we believe we can create a resilient and vibrant business that truly offers competitive, sustainable value.
We have significantly advanced our climate strategy, materials management, and human rights due diligence through establishing new best practices and processes, enabling and hiring key staff, and building the institutional muscle to support these programs and goals. The strategies below highlight some of these best practices and results but these and many other key activities will be further detailed in our first annual ESG report and other future public reporting.
& Sustainable Products
Our teams are working with the supply chain to transition our production to more sustainable and ethical materials, such as Responsible Wool and Recycled Polyester in our Balega socks. This also includes removing materials of concern for human health or environmental impact.
Achieve Climate Benefits
& Operational Success
Implus has begun to measure our footprint across all our direct operations and activities as well as specific brands and products. We are testing alternative approaches that are both cost effective and climate conscious in our logistics & product shipping, and employee commuting.
Unlock Growth through
Efficiency & Waste Reduction
As we dedicate time to redesigning our packaging for materials reduction or efficient shipping, the more waste reduction and hard dollar savings we discover. We expect our early activities across will save 360 tons of plastic, paper, and packaging waste reduction in the first 12 months.
Strengthen Diversity & Inclusion
Our goal is to enable and empower all people, irrespective of their life experiences and backgrounds, to live active, healthy and fulfilled lives. Implus is committed to leading in an inclusive way with our employees, our consumers, our partners, and our communities.
Respect for Local & Global Supply Chains
We participate in several stakeholder initiatives dedicated to improving the conditions and impacts of the supply chain on workers, communities, and the environment. Implus suppliers are regularly audited and Implus collaborates with suppliers to develop improvement & opportunity plans.
Innovating for our Future
Innovation is key to our ESG commitment. Whether designing a new product for the first time to use less material or rethinking an existing product to make it more repairable, our product developers are focused on exceeding consumer expectations and delivering our ESG goals.
Build Responsible & Sustainable Products
Our dedicated innovation and sourcing teams are driving our company to think differently and lead product differentiation in our quest to double our company while simultaneously reducing our impact on the environment. We are also looking at sourcing decisions that lead us to materials that are more ethical and socially conscious in both how and where they were produced and how they impact the consumer community.
For example, our Balega socks incorporate post-consumer plastic waste in the production of our Drynamix™ moisture-wicking yarn. We are also working with our partners to source and verify certified Responsible Wool and Mohair to ensure that animals are treated humanely in the production of these raw materials. We have also worked with our supply chain partners to remove any laminate finishes that prevents packaging from being recyclable and increase the responsibly sourced materials we are sourcing.
In other products, we are looking at how to reduce and eliminate materials of concerns such as Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS), also referred to as “forever chemicals”. Implus has already worked with our suppliers to reformulate specific products to exclude intentionally added PFAS often referred to as “forever chemicals”. This and other initiatives are part of our advancing a Restricted Substances List to meet not just the legal minimums, but also focuses on overall best practices.
This is just the first of many activities we are implementing across our products and brands to provide the quality of products you deserve, made with the care and concern for the planet we share.
Achieve Climate Benefits & Operational Success
Implus has made a commitment to measure our brand level carbon footprint and has begun work to reduce our impact by brand and product line. Our primary goal is to directly reduce our emissions by being smart about our packaging material and product design choices, while supporting our suppliers to make their manufacturing operations more energy efficient and optimizing the transportation of product from their factories to our distribution centers and ultimately consumers. Where our improvements in efficiency and sourcing are not enough, we will pursue opportunities to offset the carbon it takes to make and deliver our products.
Two examples include:
- Transportation & Logistics to our retail partners: Implus has worked with several of our retail partners on better approaches to reduce the number of trucks needed to deliver the same number of products. With one customer, we increased the pallet height build from 6 ft to 8 ft and changed the pallet orientation when loading in the truck. These changes resulted in truck utilization increasing from an average of 45% to 89%. These are simple, thoughtful strategies that reduce both carbon and costs.
- Impact of Hybrid and Remote Work: Implus has learned over the last few years how to work differently. We have embraced hybrid and remote work which has allowed us to attract talent to the company from all over the world, strengthening the diversity of the team while also attracting world-class team members. Our approach allows for a new suite of work practices that reduces our employees’ time away from their family and home as well as their commuting-related emissions.
Unlock Growth through Efficiency & Waste Reduction
We are reviewing all of our products and packages for potential material, carbon, and cost reduction. We have focused our initial efforts on 5 brands, and estimate that our first projects will result in 360 tons of plastic, paper, and other packaging waste being produced and having to be managed or landfilled. We have simultaneously unlocked hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings. These early successes are very encouraging and have energized the team.
We are now re-negotiating contracts with our suppliers to drive for more recyclable materials, to remove non-recyclable raw materials and to third party verify the recyclability of our products. As a member of How2Recycle, we have begun to remove elements of our products and packs that would otherwise inhibit recycling of the packaging such as laminate coating.
Strengthen Diversity & Inclusion
Implus Employees & Culture: Implus is committed to creating and sustaining a culture of diversity and inclusion. We believe inclusion fosters an environment where the talents and differences of employees are respected and valued. We are resolved to recruit and retain talented and committed employees from diverse perspectives where differences can be integrated into a work environment that drives innovation and creativity. We have a mutual responsibility to treat each other with dignity and respect, and to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusive behaviors during work, at work functions and company-sponsored events.
Implus Products: Our purpose is to enable and empower all people to live active, healthy and fulfilled lives. We do this by developing the essential accessories people need in their everyday quest for fitness, athletic performance and well-being. We believe everyone can achieve wellness no matter where they are, where they live, or how they do it. We strive to execute strategies that help us supply more suitable products that reflect the various ways our communities nurture their overall wellness and well-being.
Implus Marketing: Designing more inclusive products, marketing, and customer experiences is essential to our success in offering the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle to as many people as possible. We want to continue putting the work in to make sure our company, brands, and products are equitable for all. This includes using images and language that reflect our culture of inclusion for our employees, community, and consumers.
Respect Local & Global Supply Chains
Implus actively supports and engages a number of stakeholder initiatives to learn best practices and build partnerships with like-minded companies and third-party organizations that help us meet our goals. A key learning partner has been the Responsible Packaging Movement which supports companies sharing their learnings on how to reduce and eliminate single use plastic and create smart packaging solutions that lowers the need for excess packaging overall while still protecting the product and supporting marketing communication.
Implus is committed to fully executing our human rights and supply chain due diligence, which includes audits or engagements in alignment with UN Guiding Principles. Implus and our partners use the audit findings to strengthen the health and safety practices, employee relations and overall management best practices of our suppliers and their factories. These audit findings and subsequent improvements, the results of our origin investigations regarding forced labor and child labor
Finally, we are inviting our suppliers to join our leadership and strategic environmental initiatives. Some of our suppliers are already independently on their way. We are working to bring all of our supply partners into the process and expect to kick off our goals at our annual vendor conference and highlight our progress over the coming year in our first ESG report.
Innovating for the Future
Innovation is critical to meeting our ESG goals and specifically reducing our carbon footprint. Whether designing a new product for the first time to use less material or rethinking an existing product to make it more repairable, our product developers are driving our company to think differently and lead product differentiation in our quest to double our company while simultaneously reducing our impact on the environment.
We are working on truly embedding our goals by creating specific stage gates for first imaging what is possible and then ensuring it is realized through the development and ultimately the sourcing & manufacturing process. Our brand managers and product developers may focus on any number of innovations – perhaps producing concepts for an entirely new product or simply making end of life recycling of packaging more consistent. This conceptualizing can start 2 or more years before products hit retailer shelves or websites for consumer purchasing.
During this early conceptualization, our ESG and legal teams are brought into the conversation to determine what it takes to make certain claims, how we may get there and what is necessary to review in the next development stage. We continue to iterate to find the balance between hitting new innovative targets, finding the right price point for our customers, and achieving ESG goals. Through this collaborative process, we are pushing our own boundaries, building new skills across our teams and supply chain partners, and taking steps each day towards meeting our sustainability goals.