Sustainability - Making Environmentally Responsibility Decisions

Sustainability Topics
Orvis and Sustainability
Carbon Credits Explained
Sustainable Products
Responsible Mailing Practices
Best and Worst Seafood

In 2008, Orvis is initiating a broad sustainability initiative that is designed to complement the success of our conservation efforts, improve our management and use of critical natural resources, and seek out innnovative solutions to the critical environmental issues that affect our business and our customers. This page will be updated throughout the year as we pursue those goals, and we invite you to visit often, engage us in dialogue, and join us in our efforts.

Introduction: Orvis and Sustainability

Navigating the latest information on environmental sustainability can be tricky—whether it’s paper versus plastic, incandescent light bulbs versus compact fluorescents, or wild versus farm-raised salmon—there are lots of facts and even more opinions to wade through in order to make a decision that you think is the right one.

Orvis believes that environmental responsibility is a key component to our future success, and that a holistic approach to sustainability will create long-term value for the company’s owners, shareholders, associates, and customers. As a result, Orvis is committed to integrating sustainability into our core business practices.

Orvis is contributing to a restorative global economy by:

  • Identifying and implementing opportunities to integrate environmental sustainability throughout our business and supply network.
  • Serving as a model for sustainable business practices by measuring the success of our initiatives through profits and carefully defined benchmarks.
  • Educating our customers about what they can do to promote sustainability in their own lives and communities.

Orvis strives to be a responsible corporate citizen and to demonstrate to the world that private enterprises can—and should—be a positive force in addressing the environmental challenges we face as a society.

Carbon Credits Explained: Written in Cooperation with Native Energy

What are Carbon Offsets?

Carbon offsets are relatively simple. Using energy results in carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), because most of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels: oil, coal, and natural gas. Carbon offsetting is the act of counterbalancing the carbon emissions from your energy-using activities (called your “carbon footprint”) by helping to reduce an equal amount of carbon somewhere else in the atmosphere. In addition to the passive generation of CO2 resulting from natural processes, such as breathing and organic decay, we are all responsible for additional carbon dioxide emissions from driving, heating and cooling our homes, watching TV, etc. It is this additional, human-generated carbon that scientists conclude is a major cause of global warming..

High quality carbon offsets allow you to reduce your carbon footprint by supporting projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions that otherwise would be in our atmosphere. You balance out your own carbon footprint, so your net impact on global warming is zero; and you are “carbon neutral.”

Think of it like planting trees for their lifetime environmental benefits, only you’re helping to “plant” new wind farms for their many benefits—particularly, energy without the associated CO2 pollution.

Your car probably uses petrol or diesel fuel, and your home likely burns heating oil or natural gas for heating and hot water. Your home, your office, the factory that produces your clothes, your favourite restaurant, your local theatre, and other places we visit every day use electricity that generally comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels, contributing to global warming.

While most people can—and should—reduce their energy use by improving the efficiency of their homes, buying cars capable of better fuel economy, and making other positive changes, which we strongly support, reducing your carbon emissions to zero through individual actions is nearly impossible. Carbon offsets are a cost-effective way to reduce the remainder of your carbon footprint from the energy you have to use.

We’re particularly excited about the work Native Energy is doing to bring new renewable energy sources onto the US energy grid. One specific wind-development initiative, the Owl Feather War Bonnet Wind Farm, is a 30-megawatt wind farm being developed by the Rosebud Sioux tribe for installation in 2008 near the town of St. Francis on tribal land in South Dakota, USA. To learn more about carbon offsetting and Native Energy's work, visit

Sustainable Products from Orvis

Making Earth-Friendly Choices

While we endevour to be environmentally responsible in our manufacturing and purchasing practices, there are some products that truly "stand out" as environmentally beneficial. This section provides our recommendations for earth-friendly products:

Organic Cotton: Pesticide free without genetic modification

Hemp Clothing: Easy-care, strong and grows well without herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides

Responsible Mailing Practices

How do I modify the amount of mail I receive?

We believe in environmental stewardship, and understand environmental issues are important to you, too. To modify or eliminate the mail you receive from us, e-mail Customer Service with your e-mail address and ask to be removed from the e-mail list. Also, we make our mailing list available to those companies whose products we believe will be of interest to you. If you prefer not to get these mailings, visit

Guide to Best and Worst Seafood Choices

By Oceans Alive

Oceans Alive has put together a guide to help you choose fish that are healthy for the oceans and safe to eat. To learn more, visit the Oceans Alive website at

Best and Worst Seafood Choices
Best Seafood Choices Worst Seafood Choices

Abalone (U.S. farmed)
Arctic char (farmed)
Catfish (U.S. farmed)
Caviar (U.S. farmed)
Clams (farmed)
Crab - Dungeness, snow (Canada), stone
Crawfish (U.S.)
Halibut - Pacific (Alaska)
Herring - Atlantic (U.S., Canada)
Mackerel - Atlantic
Mahimahi (U.S. Atlantic)
Mussels (farmed)
Oysters (farmed)
Sablefish/black cod (Alaska)
Salmon - wild (Alaska), canned pink/sockeye
Scallops - bay (farmed)
Shrimp - northern (Canada), Oregon pink, (U.S. farmed)
Spot prawns
Striped bass (farmed)
Sturgeon (U.S. farmed)
Tilapia (U.S.)

Caviar (wild)
Chilean seabass/toothfish
Cod - Atlantic
Halibut - Atlantic
Orange roughy
Rockfish/rock cod (Pacific)
Salmon - Atlantic (farmed)
Shrimp/prawns (imported)
Sturgeon (wild)
Swordfish (imported)
Tuna - bluefin

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