Thule backpacks

Thule and sustainability

At Thule, we want to contribute to a more sustainable world through innovative, high-quality products, manufactured responsibly, that inspire people to live an active life outdoors. For us, that’s sustainability.

Thinking sustainability 

Having climate and the environment in mind is a given for us. We’ve made this approach part of both our daily work and our long-term plans, following the ideas and spirit of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.

For the great outdoors. Always.

Working at Thule, we look to steadily reduce our impact on climate and the environment. Because that’s our business, now and in the future: Our consumers, customers and employees being able to enjoy an active life in the great outdoors – today and tomorrow.

“Acting ethically and with climate and the environment in mind is a given for us. We’ve made this part of both our daily work and our long-term plans. In fact, it runs throughout our business.”


The foundation of our ongoing sustainability efforts:

Our products and consumers – We’ll continue to offer products that inspire a healthy and active lifestyle, are safe and easy to use, and have minimal impact on the environment throughout their life cycles. Read more.

Efficient and reliable manufacturing – We ensure climate-smart and efficient manufacturing. Always in a safe and secure working environment. Read more. 

• Responsible sourcing and logistics – When choosing suppliers, we take into account the environment, human rights and good working conditions. Making our logistics more efficient, we lower transportation distances, optimise packaging and make the best use of capacity. Read more.

• Responsible business practices – We have strict ethical standards in our business relationships, open and inclusive workplaces, and we get involved with the community around us. Read more.


Our products

We’re passionate about developing smart, innovative products that make it easier for you to enjoy an active life. Our product development builds on four cornerstones: a good understanding of how people use our products, a sustainable design philosophy, advanced development and manufacturing skills, and, last but not least, high-quality, extreme testing.

Sustainable by design

It’s pretty simple: Products that last longer are better for the environment that’s why smart, high-quality technical solutions with a sophisticated product design are the foundation for our sustainability efforts. We also continually make improvements to lower our products’ impact on the environment. While at the same time, we make sure that they meet our high demands for user-friendliness, quality, consumer health and safety.

Only the toughest survive

To make sure that our products meet our high function and quality demands, we test them at the Thule Test Centre in Sweden using our Thule Test Programme, which includes vibration, crash, fatigue and environmental tests to name a few. In addition, there are always plenty of volunteers among our employees and partners who want to test the latest child bike seat or hiking backpack in real life.

Product development with a climate and environmental focus:

Reduced impact in manufacturing – conscious choice of materials, energy-efficient manufacturing, optimised packaging, and high usage of recycled materials.

Longer lifetime – improved corrosion resistance, easier product repair thanks to replacing or repairing key components.

Lower impact from product use – e.g. lower air drag on car-mounted carriers to save fuel and cut noise. Or easy attachment and removal of vehicle-related products.


 


Smart and efficient manufacturing

Thule has a number of factories across Europe, Brazil and the US. But no matter where they are, we’ll make sure of climate-smart and efficient manufacturing, in a workplace where our employees feel positive and safe.

Reducing climate impact

In our factories, climate impact comes mostly from energy for heating, ventilation, cooling and production itself. Our goal is to reduce this energy consumption, as well as using more renewable energy. So we’ve adopted an ambitious goal for 2020: 100% of our electricity is to come from certified renewable sources. We’re also looking to reduce CO2 emissions from our facilities by 65% compared with 2014. To make this happen, we’ve been investing over the past few years in ways to become less dependent on fossil fuels.

Climate-smart by example

Solar panels on our buildings in Connecticut, USA cover around 25% of the electricity needs. And, at our assembly and development unit in Hillerstorp, Sweden, we’re using renewable energy for both heating and electricity.

Our goal for 2020 is 100% electricity from renewable sources


Responsible sourcing and logistics

A sustainable supply chain and cost-efficient, climate-smart distribution are high on our agenda.

Taking responsibility at source

At Thule, Our Code of Conduct spells out what we demand from our suppliers concerning human rights, labour law, health and safety, and the environment. We obey the principles of the UN Global Compact, as well as ILO and OECD guidelines. While our own and independent audits monitor compliance with our requirements and show where improvements can be made. We’re also members of bluesign® system, an international standard for sustainable textile production.

Smart logistics. Close to you.

We source from 32 countries, manufacture in seven countries, and sell to 140 countries. So it’s no surprise that the flow of materials and products is responsible for most of our climate impact and more than half our total CO2 emissions. To make our logistics more efficient, we’re continuously working to reduce transportation distances, optimise packaging and make the best use of capacity. We also do what we can to replace road freight with rail shipments and cut down on air transport.


Responsible business

Our values define who we are and what we stand for. And they also serve as a compass to guide us in what we do and how we behave responsibly towards each other.

Getting involved and benefiting the community

Our desire to be involved in society can be seen throughout our business: It’s an important part of our culture. For instance, we support organisations that help children and adults with disabilities and other difficulties. Giving support in various ways to make it easier for them to live active, healthy and independent lives.

Local and global activities

We cooperate internationally with committed athletes in our Thule Crew in various projects around the world under the umbrella name Thule Pathos. Our initiatives include helping disabled young people in Sweden to try out new sports, building a bicycle park at an orphanage in El Salvador and supporting school food programmes in Nepal, as well as many other local initiatives.


Want all the details?

Download our most recent Annual and Sustainability Reports to get a more detailed look at our commitment to sustainable business. Including the latest facts and figures on the steps we are taking today.

 

“ I'm delighted that we improved all of our environmental indicators in 2016 – a large step towards our ambitious 2020 environmental goals.” – Magnus Welander, CEO




Thule Group Annual and Sustainability Report 2016

Thule Group Annual and Sustainability Report 2015