For us at Scandinavian Outdoor, corporate responsibility means respecting nature and people in everything we do. Responsible sourcing, responsible practices in our locations, staff well-being, efficient logistics and corporate social responsibility form the core of our sustainability strategy. Sustainable development supports long-term and profitable business, because only by respecting nature and people, outdoor activities and hiking will continue to be possible for all of us in clean nature. Next, we will explain in more detail how sustainability is implemented in our company.

About sustainability

We are moving towards a more responsible way of doing business. We are not perfect when it comes to sustainability, but we take sustainability issues seriously and are genuinely working to make our operations more sustainable.

Not that we have ever been totally irresponsible before. It has always been important for us to sell very high quality products that last for a long time. And when a product lasts a long time, you don't have to replace it immediately, which is sustainable as such.

The fact is that the only truly responsible thing to do is not to buy anything new. However, it is not realistic to assume that people's consumption patterns will change so radically that buying would be significantly reduced. Thus we believe it is important for us to make our own efforts to promote sustainability throughout the industry, first and foremost through our brand choices. We try to influence the things we can influence, for example through purchases.

The big manufacturers have woken up to sustainability, some earlier and some later. In fact, many manufacturers in the camping sector are even pioneers in sustainability. We want to continue to work with brands that are willing to work for sustainability. We believe that when large and well-known manufacturers in particular change their practices, this will have a real impact on the environment, on the working conditions of workers in third countries and on reducing carbon emissions.

PFC processing

For us, a responsible approach means that we try to find the most responsible option for the whole. However, this does not mean that we only offer PFC-free products, for example, as sometimes the longevity of a product is more responsible than a more environmentally friendly impregnation. DWR treatment, i.e. making products dirt and water repellent, is one of the topics that has received the most attention when it comes to the sustainability of outdoor and camping products. Traditional PFCs are still more sustainable and efficient than their more environmentally friendly counterparts Therefore, it is not always clear whether it is more responsible to buy a long-lasting PFC-impregnated product or a shorter-lasting, more environmentally friendly garment?

Manufacturers have already developed a number of more environmentally friendly water and dirt repellents. The main challenge with PFC-free impregnations is that they wear out faster, which means that the garment has to be impregnated more often, which puts a strain on the environment. In general, the overall life cycle of a PFC-free impregnated garment is also shorter than that of a conventionally PFC impregnated garment. In this way, you have to buy clothes more often, and that also puts a strain on the environment.

However, manufacturers are moving away from PFC impregnation altogether and more environmentally friendly impregnations are being developed. Gore-Tex has set a time limit until 2023 by which time Gore-Tex has set a target date of 2023 by which environmentally friendly impregnations should be at a sufficient level (i.e. sufficiently efficient and durable) to completely phase out PFC completely. This will also be reflected in Scandinavian Outdoor range. It should also be remembered that currently PFC-treated products account for only a few percent of all our DWR-treated products.

Responsible sourcing

The products in our range have the greatest impact on the environment and human well-being. We have therefore increased our focus on responsible sourcing, as it is the most significant sustainability action we can take in terms of impact.

We have examined the sustainability of brands on sale by the end of 2020 in three areas: carbon footprint (climate change mitigation), environment (chemicals and animal welfare) and labour (human rights in producing countries).

The research was conducted by having brand representatives respond to our questionnaire on the above-mentioned aspects of sustainability. Information was also sought from the brands' own websites.

Based on the survey, brands were divided into different groups according to how well they perform in different areas of sustainability. There are three levels of what is known as the traffic light model: green means that the brand is actively taking action to promote sustainability. Yellow is a sign that the brand is going in the right direction, but there is still room for improvement. Red means that the brand does not take a position on this aspect of sustainability at all or is acting unethically. The criteria for the different areas and colours can be found in the adjacent figure:

Responsibility criteria for brands by industry



38% of brands scored green in all three areas (carbon footprint, environment, labour). 62% of brands scored yellow in one or more areas. The study found that none of the brands we examined were red, and we will not be adding them to our range in the future.

This means that many of the brands in our portfolio have at least a reasonable level of sustainability, and some are even excellent. We will continue to monitor the sustainability of our brands, and in the future we will review their sustainability performance once a year.

Animal-based materials

There are no furs in our selection. We only accept down products that have been responsibly produced. All the merino wool garments in our range are produced from mulesing-free merino wool. If a product in our online store does not have a "Possible animal materials are certified" label, it does not mean that the product contains non-certified animal materials. In this case, there is nothing of animal origin in the raw materials of the product.

More Responsible outdoors - Labelling in the online shop

In the More Responsibly Outdoors category, you will find all the products that have been made with sustainability in mind. Products in this category must pass a rigorous screening process, and at least three out of five criteria must be met for a product to be awarded the More Responsibly Outdoors label.

All products awarded the More Responsibly Outdoors label meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • The proportion of recycled and/or organic fibers in the manufacturing materials is significant. 
  • Chemicals that are harmful to the environment have been replaced by more environmentally friendly substances.
  • Any materials of animal origin are certified (e.g. RDS-sensitive).
  • The manufacturer has calculated its carbon footprint and is actively working to reduce it.
  • The product is manufactured in a country where laws are generally respected, or if the product is manufactured in the Far East, for example, the factory is regularly audited by a third party.

All products labelled with the More Responsibly Outdoors label are marked with the green sustainability label in the online shop.

Responsible practices at head office and in stores

We recycle all recyclable waste at our different sites. In stores, we do not automatically offer bags to all customers, but sell them at a low price. After some research, we have decided to stick to plastic bags, which are more environmentally friendly than paper bags, for example, if recycled correctly. In 2021, we will move to fully recycled plastic bags, which contain 80% recycled plastic.

E-commerce logistics

Making logistics more efficient is essential not only for the customer experience, but also for environmental responsibility. In line with our strategy, we are working to improve and streamline logistics. We also aim to map emissions from logistics and make a plan on how emissions from logistics could be reduced. We use responsibly operating transport companies. Posti has been carbon neutral since 2011 and aims to be completely emission-free by 2030. Matkahuolto aims for carbon neutrality by 2030. Our long-term goal is also to reduce emissions from all our operations and our carbon footprint.

Naturally, products returned to us or complained about are not thrown away, but returned, saleable products are returned for sale and defective products are repaired.

Corporate social responsibility

We are a domestic company. Our ownership base is 100% Finnish and we employ over 100 outdoor experts in Finland. We strive for long-term sustainability and to provide a good and inspiring workplace for our staff.

We have been working closely with the Finnish Scouts for years, and we are, among other things, the Scouts' contract supplier. We also want to give as many children as possible the opportunity to get involved: in 2020, we donated 1% of the profits from the sales of targeted campaigns to the Friends of Scouting fund and supported membership fee waivers for Scouts based on economic and social grounds. The 2020 campaign donations will help around 40 Scouts to have a Scouting experience for a whole year.

Information on different certificates

What do the certificates of different textile manufacturers mean? We have compiled information here on some of the different certifications available for the products in our range.

Bluesign standard

Bluesign is a standard that takes into account the entire textile production chain. The purpose of Bluesign is to ensure that the product causes as little harm as possible to people and the environment. The Bluesign label can only be awarded on the basis of well-defined criteria that cover the entire production chain. They apply to the raw materials, the manufacturing process and the finished product itself. The whole Bluesign system is based on the following principles: resource productivity, consumer safety, air emissions, water emissions and occupational health and safety. The Bluesign label can be applied to the whole product or to some of its raw materials. Labelling is always product-specific, so if a manufacturer's product is Bluesign-labelled, it does not mean that all other products from the same manufacturer are.

RDS-certificate - ethical down

The RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certification guarantees that the down used in the product has been ethically produced with respect for animal rights. According to the RDS certificate, birds must not be subjected to unnecessary stress at any stage of production and must have free access to food and water. Forced feeding of birds is prohibited and no down or feathers are plucked from living birds. Only a product containing 100% certified down or feathers can be RDS certified.

All down products sold at Scandinavian Outdoor contain only ethically produced down.


BSCI, the Business Social Compliance Initiative, is a company-led scheme that encourages and guides member companies, particularly in promoting ethical working conditions. BSCI member companies are committed to the BSCI Code of Conduct, which includes freedom of association, adequate wages, fair working conditions and working hours, occupational health and safety, prohibition of child labour and environmental protection. BSCI also commissions audits of companies' factories. However, for the time being, the results of the audits are not published to non-member companies.

B Corporation

B Corp Certification is a certification awarded by B Lab, an international non-profit organisation, covering both environmental friendliness and ethical working conditions. B Corp Certification is based on accountability and transparency and, for example, a public report is published on certified companies. B Corporation takes a very broad view of how companies operate and also requires that a certified company has a mission beyond making money to make a positive impact on the world around it.