At DPS, engineering and manufacturing are core parts of our identity.
DPS was founded with the purpose to create skis that didn’t yet exist: rockered and wide powder shapes that helped guide the industry to the many options of skis it has today.
We formally consider sustainability in our product design process, as a complement to our continuing performance and durability goals. We constantly work on many projects behind the scenes, calculating the carbon footprint of our products and business, and identifying hot spots where our changes can make the most impact.
A key area is material selection. A useful product must perform well and be durable, and that’s what we have focused on for the 18 years that DPS has been alive. It also matters where the product’s materials come from, and how those materials are built into it.
Here are some areas where we’ve implemented change with material selection in our factory:
Material Analysis: Using both material emissions factors and supply chain data (such as travel distance and factory data), has allowed us to accurately measure the carbon footprint of raw materials and shipping. In turn, this enables us to focus on more sustainable options.
Continuous assessment on feedstock of the materials we purchase (are materials made from oil or plants?), provides clarity on the reputation and credentials of the vendor, allowing us to determine and select the best option. Lastly, we aim to source wood for our ski cores from species with healthy forestry industries.
Waste Reduction: We constantly work to reduce waste in our factory. In the last two years through process and equipment improvements, we have seen significant waste reductions in ski base material, top sheets, and wood from our cores. We have made changes in our base cutting and assembly process, which has drastically reduced the amount of base material we scrap. By bringing top sheet printing in-house, this has given us more control of the process so we can understand the root cause of defects and issues and make changes that drive a lower scrap rate.
Material Innovation: Innovation is key to our success, and we strive to produce some of the world’s best performing and most sustainable skis on the market. In order to achieve our goals, we are experimenting with and implementing new materials such as bio-based resins into our skis. In 2021, we used bio-based PU sidewalls, and we are currently working on more bio-material changes for future skis.
Packaging: When shipping skis, we have switched from plastic foam to reusable wool felt dividers which are placed between each ski to protect them from potential damage. Taking it one step further, our skis are wrapped with Cortec® EcoShrink™ which is a 45% bio-based material that is industrially compostable. We strive to not only reduce the amount of packaging materials that are used, but also reuse specific packaging when possible.
For PHANTOM Glide, we have implemented a bottle return scheme from our dealers, and developed a new formula that reduces application volume and further improves environmental characteristics.
We are always considering future innovation potential, and by looking at multiple factors, we try to avoid trading one problem for another, and make changes that are long lasting and impactful.