World February 18, 2016 | 12:16 pm

Activists set up basecamp at Mammut HQ to demand end to toxic chemical use

Seon, Switzerland, 17 February 2016: More than 15 Greenpeace activists from sixcountries have today installed a conference table on the facade of Mammut’sheadquarters in Seon, Switzerland to invite CEO, Rolf Schmid, to negotiate acommitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chain andproducts.

The activists from Switzerland, France, Austria, Hungary,Slovakia and Slovenia have rigged an aerial camp on the building, while on theground, an exhibition has been set up in front of the main entrance to showMammut’s employees how hazardous PFC chemicals are.

Julia Bangerter, head of the Detox campaign at GreenpeaceSwitzerland, said: “Over 130.000 outdoor enthusiasts from around the world havewritten to Mammut asking them to get rid of PFCs, and hundreds of Greenpeacevolunteers have visited shops all over Europe and in Asia to demand change.However, they haven’t responded, so Greenpeace activists have brought anegotiating table to CEO Rolf Schmid to ask Mammut to become a true Detoxleader in the outdoor industry and take responsibility for how their actionsimpact the environment and human health. PFCs have no place in nature, food ordrinking water, and really don’t suit a company that claims to live ‘by and fornature’.”

On its website, Mammut promises to use PFCs ‘critically andonly when absolutely necessary’.A Greenpeace Germany product testing reportreleased in January showed a high concentration of toxic, long-chain PFOAs in apair of Mammut shoes and a backpack. Jackets, trousers, a sleeping bag and arope by Mammut also contained PFCs.

Many outdoor brands, like Mammut, have started switchingfrom long chain to short chain PFCs, claiming that these are betteralternatives. But recently, more than 200 scientists from 38 countries signedthe ‘Madrid statement’ which recommends avoiding the use of all PFCs –including short chain — for the production of consumer products, includingtextiles. In 2015, Greenpeace conducted expeditions to remote areas and foundthat PFCs are spread far and wide across the globe. They contaminate drinkingwater and have even been detected in human blood.

Other companies already manufacture top quality goods foroutdoor activities without any PFCs. The Italian pro-climber David Bacciclimbed two extremely challenging peaks — Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy inPatagonia — wearing clothes that contained no PFCs. The British brand, Pàramo,recently committed to banning all toxic chemicals from its entire line ofclothing; proof of the fact that sophisticated technologies that don’t requirePFCs already exist.

Greenpeace and countless outdoor fans are urging Mammut toassume a leading role in the outdoor industry. More than 50 companies aroundthe globe are already implementing their Detox commitment.

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