Having a positive impact at a large scale begins at home.
Under Armour has incorporated high-impact sustainability criteria in many of our corporate facilities. We look for leased real estate that is sustainable and located close to public transportation. We also partner with our landlords to implement energy-saving projects and aim for sustainable operations—as in our Sustainability at Work-certified Portland offices. When Under Armour’s design and construction teams lead the work in new building or renovation, we include our sustainability vision as part of construction decisions. When we have less control in the construction process, Under Armour prefers the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification for new construction. This gives us external assurance that sustainability features important to Under Armour are incorporated.
Our Global Headquarters
Our renovations at Under Armour’s Tide Point headquarters are sustainably reviving industrial-heritage manufacturing buildings. We seek to reduce energy use and associated environmental impacts by including features like LED lighting, low-flow water/plumbing fixtures, and no/low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paint. Since moving into these former factory buildings, we’ve implemented and continue to install a variety of energy-saving improvements like LED lighting, HVAC efficiency and cooling towers, highly reflective roofs, building envelope retrofits, occupancy and light sensors, and timed power outlets. In 2018, we executed an agreement to purchase power from an off-site solar farm in Maryland, expected to begin production in 2019. This project is unique because we’ll be sourcing power in our region of the electrical grid, lowering carbon production in our home state.
Under Armour Distribution Houses
We pursue sustainability features and annual energy efficiency improvements in our new and existing distribution houses. For example, our historic facilities have installed lighting upgrades, energy conservation programming for automated conveyors, thermostat timers, and an industrial overhead fan, among other measures. Our Nashville distribution house was certified LEED Silver and purchased Renewable Energy Certificates to equal 70% of its designed electrical energy use. Our new facility in Baltimore also aims for LEED Silver, with state-of-the-art efficiency and many features aimed to support both the environment and our teammates.
UA North American Retail Stores
Since 2010, Under Armour has built the majority of our new stores largely following LEED Certified specifications, including controlled LED lighting. All of our stores are wired with energy management systems, enabling us to use remote control to set more efficient schedules for lighting and HVAC equipment. Our current required store specifications also include dye-free, polished-concrete and and recycled rubber floors; paint with no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), aimed at protecting occupants against exposure to certain hazardous particles; and wood certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). We seek to apply this standard to all the international stores we own.
Packaging & Containers
We strive to reduce Under Armour’s packaging environmental impacts while ensuring that we don't compromise the quality of our customers' experience. We’ve reduced product plastic bag packaging use and labeling, revised our specifications for corrugated boxes worldwide, and work with suppliers to ensure that, when possible, our cartons are made with recycled content and use minimal fiber. (All cartons bought in North America, for example, are 100% recycled content.) All Under Armour cartons are fully recyclable, and we require water/soy-based non-toxic inks. We’ve also collaborated with our factories to optimize product case and carton use, tailoring their size to contents. This, too, is part of our effort to avoid wasted materials and associated transportation emissions.
To reduce our environmental impact, we first try to reuse many of the cartons received from our factories for shipping product to retail; those that we can’t reuse are recycled along with paper, boxes, and plastic bags. Many of our offices have transitioned to community waste stations, including the ability to compost.