Our Core Values…
While a large part of our mission is to provide customers with products to keep them safe and comfortable in the outdoors, we at Rock/Creek feel a strong duty to preserve the natural areas where we recreate and reduce our impact on the environment. These issues have always been at the heart of Rock/Creek. We have, therefore, committed ourselves to leadership in the outdoor industry and the larger community, especially with regard to environmental stewardship and improving access for outdoor recreation.
We use outdoor retail as a platform to encourage all people to get outside, become active, and enjoy our open spaces.
In order to make a positive impact on the environment, we know we need to share our own love of the outdoors with others. For this reason, the bulk of our funding and sponsorship efforts are aimed at permanently improving access to the backcountry. After all, when people have access to the outdoors, they naturally want to preserve the areas where they recreate.
As a critical element of our environmental mission, we help fund various charitable foundations such as the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, the Access Fund, the Cumberland Trail Conference, and the Lula Lake Land Trust. We also host and sponsor several major outdoor events each year, including the StumpJump 50K Trail Race, the River Gorge Trail Race, and the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, in effort to raise money for environmental and access initiatives.
What We’ve Been Up To…
In the last year, we raised over $4500 for the Cumberland Trail Conference. This money will help construct a 300-mile corridor of protected hiking trails spanning from Kentucky to just outside of Chattanooga, TN. We also raised $8000 for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition to purchase Boat Rock, a beautiful woodland bouldering area within the Atlanta metro area. In a similar effort the year before, we raised $4000 to help purchase Laurel Knob, the tallest granite dome east of the Mississippi, located in Cashier’s Valley, NC. Once threatened by development, these two areas are now green spaces that are open to all outdoor enthusiasts.
But don’t think we’re afraid of a little elbow grease. We also built a parking and camping area at the Tennessee Wall, one of the best sandstone climbing areas in the nation, to help reduce user impact on the area. And we rebuilt a bridge at the Lula Lake Land Trust to restore access to a trail system running along Rock Creek on Lookout Mountain.
As part of our ongoing efforts, we participate in the Chaco Recycling Program, encouraging customers to donate their old shoes in exchange for a discount on their new Chacos. The donated shoes are diverted from landfills and distributed to people in need. We also help facilitate Patagonia’s baselayer recycling program in our region.
How We Operate…
Part of our mission at Rock/Creek is to teach our customers about Leave No Trace practices in the backcountry; but we feel that Leave No Trace should also apply to the way we live and work day to day and to the way we do business. Rock/Creek, along with many of our partners such as Patagonia, Prana, and Chaco, constantly strive to reduce the environmental impact of our business operations. Last year we joined Prana’s Natural Power Initiative — 100% of the power used by Rock/Creek is now offset by certified green-e natural wind power. Our employees have visited Patagonia’s environmentally innovative warehouse in Reno, NV and have brought home new ideas for energy conservation and the promotion of a healthy work environment. This year we are partnering with The North Face, who will help us offset 100% of the CO2 footprint for the construction of our new retail location in Chattanooga, TN.
We also strive to reduce our impact by eliminating waste in our daily operations. For example, several years ago we approached our box maker and together designed a box especially for shipping Chaco sandals. The new box uses about 20% less cardboard than the old box. Currently, we are experimenting with shipping bags for items that do not need the protection of cardboard boxes. We are well on our way to a paperless warehouse fulfillment system, and we continue to seek new ways to reduce waste.
Enough About Us…
How do you go green? Write us at [email protected] and share your stories, plans, and tips for going green. We would love to share your ideas on our site.
Click Here for more Information on Rock Creek’s Environmental Initiatives