Design of more environmentally respectful products

  • mountain landscape

    Design

    OF MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPECTFUL PRODUCTS

In order to understand the environmental impact of our products, we have conducted Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) for them. These provide an essential starting point for making changes and improvements in the design and production of our ranges.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

LCA is the most advanced tool for the global assessment of the environmental impacts of a product. It identifies and quantifies each stage throughout the life of a product. All stages are taken into account, from design, extraction of raw materials and energy, manufacturing, transport and use, to sorting and end-of-life.

Life cycle of the products

1) LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS OF A SKI JACKET (RAPIDE JKT)

On the basis of this analysis, we have therefore focused on the two stages that account for almost all of the total environmental impact of a ski jacket: the raw (unprocessed) materials and the manufacturing process used to transform the materials into the components needed for the garment.

In order to act quickly and effectively, our first initiatives focused on the raw materials.

  • COMPONENT MANUFACTURING
  • RAW MATERIALS
  • CONFECTION
  • DISTRIBUTION
  • END OF LIFE
Focus on the detail of a Rossignol jacket
Logo Primaloft

Consequently, a collaboration has been in place since 2018 with Primaloft, an expert in advanced materials science. The aim was to use recycled materials obtained from plastic bottles for the synthetic insulation of the Rossignol Softgoods (textile) range. From winter 2023/2024, the aim is for 100% of our ski jackets and trousers to use recycled Primaloft fibres (compared to 80% at present).

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Recyclage étape 1 Recyclage étape 2 Recyclage étape 3

Plastic bottles are salvaged from landfills.

The bottles are cleaned, shredded and melted into chips.

The chips are transformed into PrimaLoft® insulated fibers.

Logo Global Recycled Standard

At the same time, some of our products are made with GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified Primaloft recycled fibres.

GRS is a voluntary international standard that establishes criteria for the certification of recycled material. This certification attests that the polyester used is 100% recycled. The GRS standard includes additional criteria for social and environmental requirements in terms of processing and restrictions on chemical composition.

Logo Sympatex

Since 2018, we have been using SympaTex, a PFC-free, 100% recyclable waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane on shell jackets and trousers (freeride/freerando).

The Rossignol Group also uses certified materials for the design of its products.

Logo certification GOTS

The GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification guarantees the organic status of the textile fibres used.

By 2023, some of our T-shirts and summer trousers will be made from GOTS-certified organic cotton.

OEKO-TEX

We use materials that are OEKO-TEX certified, i.e. free of substances that are harmful to the body and the environment. This certification ensures that the inspected textile products comply with legal requirements.

Focus on the detail of a Rossignol jacket
Focus on the detail of a Rossignol jacket

To ensure that all of these requirements are met, we have introduced a set of specifications for our suppliers. A verification process has been implemented and allows us to retrieve all the associated certificates.

We have also clarified and enhanced the requirements we place on our suppliers by publishing a new code of conduct:

  • Down, feathers and hides must be by-products of the food industry;
  • The use of down and feathers obtained by live plucking of animals is prohibited;
  • The use of down and feathers from the foie gras industry is prohibited.

In addition, the Group has not used animal fur since 2018 and also uses no angora wool (since 2020) or mohair (since 2021). 

Finally, from the 2023-2024 season onwards, we will be adopting PFC-free technologies for water-repellent treatments. At present, this is the best way of ensuring product resistance and performance while preserving the environment.

To make products waterproof, the textile industry has long used PFC (perfluorocarbon) treatments. These are synthetic chemicals used as water repellents that allow water to run off as drops instead of seeping into products. However, these chemicals have been identified as being carcinogenic and acting as endocrine disruptors. PFC treatments are harmful to both human health and the environment.

LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF AN ALPINE SKI

  • COMPONENTS (60% to 70%)
  • FABRICATION (24% to 28%)
  • DELIVERY (2% to 3%)
  • END OF LIFE (5% to 9%)

The delivery of our skis represents only 2 to 3% of the environmental impact of an alpine ski. Manufacturing, by contrast, represents 24-28% of the total (most of our factories are certified as using 100% renewable energy). Finally, the biggest environmental impact comes from the components used to make the ski, which account for 60-70%. We have therefore initially concentrated our efforts on this sector.

Our first actions in designing our products

  • Development of lower-impact products by favouring the use of recycled materials.
  • The edges of our skis are made from 20% recycled steel, while the bases can contain up to 85% recycled material depending on the article in question.
  • Recovery, grinding and reinjection of injection sprues for the production of ski boot shells.
  • 40,000 pairs for the 2023/2024 season will contain these recycled materials.
  • Choice of certified raw materials and extension of ski ranges with PEFC™-certified wood cores, thus guaranteeing sustainable forest management.
  • Reduction of polluting substances in the production of all Rossignol ranges.
  • A process of standardisation of materials has been initiated in order to reduce the number of materials and also the variety of sources of these materials in the products. The aim is to simplify the supply and manufacture of products, but also to limit the risks of raw material obsolescence at the end of the manufacturing cycle. Finally, in cases where it is difficult to reduce the number of materials used, these efforts facilitate the recycling of the products at the end of their life (see the Essential Ski).

With regard to ski decoration, the inkjet printing process has been progressively improved in recent years at Rossignol and has been implemented for significant quantities of products. This process makes it possible to use and waste less ink, and does not require the use of screen printing media or solvents for cleaning.

For our ski helmets, we now make widespread use of a new material that is more environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable. Its manufacture requires no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) or other compounds known to be particularly harmful to the environment. Our approach was recognised in January 2019 with an ISPO Award.

Photo of raw materials for the manufacture of skis
Picture of the Essential ski

Better management of the end of life of products…

At the same time, even though the end of the product’s life represents only 5 to 9% of the environmental impact of a ski, it should be noted that, at present, the worst scenario at this stage of the process is landfill, which is a disastrous method for the environment. So far, too many skis have ended up in landfill.

Over recent years, some of the end-of-life skis recovered by the Group have been broken up to obtain various types of components, with ferrous and non-ferrous metals being separated for recycling and the production of new steel and aluminium. The majority of the other components that are recovered are mixed plastics, which we use as a solid recovered fuel.

These observations gave rise to the Essential project, which has the aim of obtaining more recycled materials and promote maximum recycling of our end-of-life skis.

… Starts with a better initial design

The approach that we introduced is therefore based on a reduction in the number of materials used and the rigorous, exclusive selection of materials that can be easily recycled at end of life in order to promote a circular economy. The result is a product with a recyclability rate of 77%.

Constructed according to a simple philosophy, the ESSENTIAL ski boasts an eco-design incorporating certified natural, recycled and bio-sourced materials, a graphic design process using no solvents or water, and is produced using renewable energy. This Rossignol innovation was recently awarded the “circular economy” prize by the Union Sport & Cycle at the ÉcoSport Awards 2022.

While working upstream on the design of the skis to include more environmentally friendly materials, we also chose to partner with MTB, a leading player in the recycling sector, in order to manage and deal effectively with the specific issue of the end of life of our products.

The raw materials of a ski
Picture of the Essential ski

This co-development approach led to the introduction of a process for the breaking up, sorting, separating and reuse of materials. This is based on a technological process that improves the recycling of both conventional skis and ski boots and poles, and especially the new Essential skis.

Recycling forms part of a circular economy approach supported by organised networks. The materials recovered can be be used to supply the automotive, gardening and construction industries and, in future, will be reused in certain new Rossignol products.

Designed by MTB, the R Box is an innovative tool for recycling skis, boots and poles and is set to be launched in 2023.

By 2028, the Group’s aim is for one third of its ski ranges to be part of a circular economy approach. Other products (boots, poles, clothing) are currently being developed with the same simple, streamlined approach that is intended to permit greater recyclability.

Minimising the impact of our packaging

We are working to limit our packaging and striving to adopt more recyclable alternatives: FSC®-certified cardboard packaging, use of recycled PE polybags, reduction in the amount of ink used on packaging to reduce its impact and ensure its recyclability.

We have also designed new kraft cardboard packaging for our helmets and goggles and are now co-packaging our skis and bindings to significantly reduce packaging and optimise truck fill levels.

Finally, we have developed new “Respect” packaging which imposes new requirements on all our product lines:

Schema of the actions carried out on packaging

ROSSIGNOL GROUP SHARES COMPOSITION OF ITS FIRST RECYCLABLE SKI, THE ESSENTIAL.
ENCOURAGES FURTHER INDUSTRY COLLABORATION TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF CREATING A CIRCULAR ECONOMY THROUGHOUT THE SKI INDUSTRY

Creation of Essential skis in a workshop

To initiate a more collective industry movement, the Rossignol Group shares its plans for its new recyclable ski with all stakeholders in the mountain / winter sport segment. The aim is to actively contribute to the development of exchangeable technical solutions that will further facilitate the recyclability of products throughout winter sport markets.

The Rossignol Group aspires to create momentum and movement around the life cycle and recyclability of skis and winter sports equipment. Rossignol is emphasizing the importance of initiating a collaborative approach in order to collectively reduce the environmental impacts of the segment.

Rossignol is making the technical specificities of its first recyclable ski, the Essential, available to all, including industry peers and competitors.The details of the construction and composition of the Rossignol Essential ski are available on an open access basis. Technical plans and nomenclature are available.

Contact for further enquiry: communication@rossignol.com