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DAC “Poles Apart” in Sustainability, Adopts the Higg Index

Published by Mountainblog on .

Dongah Aluminum Corporation (DAC) announced it is adopting the Higg Index to measure the environmental aspects of its business and improve the supply chain impact. Higg was developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and provides a number of tools to help brands, retailers and manufacturers accurately measure and score a company or product’s sustainability performance. DAC is the first and currently the only aluminum products producer to sign onto Higg.

Jake Lah, the founder and owner of DAC, is often thought of as the “godfather” of modern tent technology. As a major force in engineering the world’s best aluminum tent poles and the architecture of performance shelters for the past thirty years, Lah’s philosophy is simple: “We choose to build the best products
in the most environmentally friendly way we can. And we keep making greener and greener choices for our employees and our customers.”

Lah has been invited by the EOG (European Outdoor Group) to present his company as an example of best practice: He will participate in the meeting of the EOG working group on hardgoods sustainability during OutDoor by ISPO.

The traditional method of anodizing aluminum has always been a chemically intensive process, requiring a number of harsh acids. Jake made the decision to find a better way. Not because he had to, but because it was better for his employees, his customers, and his grandchildren. Totally vertical from raw material to anodized poles, the family-owned business is in full control of all production steps. After eight years of investment, research and many trials, DAC developed a revolutionary and proprietary process called Green Anodizing. The Higg index’ first assessment report in February 2019 helped to confirm that in 2018 alone, DAC eliminated 133 tons of phosphoric, nitric and sulfuric acid from production. Additionally, the operation reduces the level of fuel and energy consumption versus
conventional aluminum anodization. However, the HIGG index clearly shows that further investment is needed to increase the percentage of poles produced with Green Anodizing. So the next step will be to build a new factory to increase capacity for the Green Anodizing process.

This long term commitment to sustainable practices comes naturally for Lah and does not end with production. The company recycles all aluminum scraps and all poles are fully recyclable. The factory is surrounded by green gardens and large windows to allow natural sunlight into the working areas. DAC customers appreciate the efforts. “DAC was the leader early on in developing a greener process for its pole production” notes Petra Hilleberg, CEO at Hilleberg the Tentmaker. “Hilleberg Tents have relied on DAC for more than two decades, and they keep proving themselves over and over.” Not only Hilleberg, but every
leading global shelter brand including Vaude, Exped and The North Face use DAC design and technology. And Helinox, the manufacturer of the most lightweight, durable and comfortable furniture on the market exclusively uses DAC poles.

Meet DAC at OutDoor by ISPO: C602.

INFO: DAC poles