Reducing our carbon emissions

According to the United Nations, climate change is the world’s number one threat. Our goal is to become carbon zero by 2025.

How will we get there?

The first step is to measure. Greenhouse gas emissions are grouped under the names Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.

  • Scope 1 are the emissions that come directly from the business. So a coal-fired power plant has scope 1 emissions, but we do not.
  • Scope 2 covers indirect energy emissions like the electricity we purchase from power companies.
  • Scope 3 are emissions that occur in our supply chain beyond our organisational boundary including logistics like employee travel and transport of stock.

We’ve begun to measure the carbon footprint of our Scope 3 emissions. The biggest impact comes from transporting products, so we track the emissions of all our shipments from port to port. Tracking this data will help us to streamline our operations, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce our costs.

Our organisational carbon footprint in Australia is much higher than in New Zealand. This is a reflection of our larger Australian operational footprint and Australia’s predominantly coal-based energy supply compared to New Zealand, where approximately 80% is renewable.

Our Scope 2 goal for 2020 was to have a 20% reduction from 2012 average store levels. In 2019, we reduced our average Scope 2 emissions per store by 29% since 2012 levels. 


Solar Powered Stores

Kathmandu’s opened it’s first 100% solar-powered store in Blackburn, Victoria. This follows a solar panel installation in our Melbourne distribution centre in 2016. Kathmandu Project Manager Dean Smith says the Blackburn store was a good solar project because it is a stand-alone store. “Because many stores are located in large shopping centres, it won’t be possible for solar power to be rolled out across the entire store network, but we intend to assess which of our stores can be adapted for solar power in the future to help reach our netzero carbon target by 2025.” The system has a solar battery generator that’s able to deliver 100% of the store’s annual energy or up to 92,000 kilowatt-hours. The system will eliminate up to 124 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions overall. The array will use the battery on overcast days and for backup power. A live feed of the store’s solar activities will be displayed on a monitor within the store, allowing customers to view power generation versus usage.

Kathmandu carbon offsetting infographicKathmandu carbon offsetting infographic

Green Star buildings

Kathmandu currently has three 5-star Green Star buildings including our New Zealand office. The rating measures the overall environmental impact of a building like water use, energy and emissions.

Habitat regeneration

In 2015, we started a program to offset all of our business air travel emissions through the Hinewai Reserve in New Zealand. The Hinewai project focuses on the regeneration of native vegetation and habitat for wildlife.

Carbon offsetting


Located near the Kathmandu Christchurch office, the Hinewai project focuses on the regeneration of native vegetation and habitat for wildlife. Since 1987, the Hinewai Reserve has grown from a 109 hectare block of farmland to 1230 hectares of regenerating native bush.

Hinewai Reserve Manager Hugh Wilson was known as the ‘gorse farmer’ by locals. After farmers spent decades battling invasive plants like gorse, Hugh pioneered a way to use gorse as a shelter plant for regenerating natives.

This forest regeneration, along with predator control, has helped many bird species thrive in the reserve. Bellbirds, grey warblers, tomtits and pigeons are now regularly sighted. Tui, re–introduced in 2009, are also settling in.

Action through awareness

In our stores, offices, and distribution centres, heating and air-conditioning use the most energy. We educate our staff to effectively manage these systems. The same goes for lighting — regular reminders to switch off lights helps to minimise costs and the impact of our operational footprint.

We've also working with Explorer, Environmental Scientist and climate change activist, Tim Jarvis. Tim has taken on the role of Global Brand Ambassador for Kathmandu and is committed to finding solutions to major environmental issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss.

Independent Assessment

We work with Toitu Envirocare, a carbon certification company, who verify our carbon measurements to achieve 'Toitu carbonreduce certification' and help us identify ways to reduce emissions.