Kathmandu was founded in New Zealand in 1987, specialising in quality clothing and equipment for travel and the outdoors. At present, it is a global outdoor, lifestyle, and sports retailer that is part of KMD Brands (formerly known as Kathmandu Holdings Limited), with stores nationwide and global branches in Australia, the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

Source: announcements.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20220316/pdf/4571q1s9lh3bkf.pdf

KMD Brands, formerly Kathmandu Holdings, is a global outdoor, lifestyle and sports company consisting of three brands: Kathmandu, Rip Curl and Oboz. Kathmandu was founded in 1987 in New Zealand and specialises in clothing and equipment for travel and the outdoors.

Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/KMD_Brands

Woke Rating

We rate Kathmandu as woke.

Woke Summary

  • Virtue Signalling – some virtue signalling found.
  • Gender Ideology & LGBTQ – Kathmandu is Rainbow Tick Certified and has Rainbow policies. Kathmandu is a participant in the annual Rainbow Excellence Awards. Supports Pride Pledge.
  • Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) – has DEI and ESG policies. Applies gender-based recruitment targets. Committed to 40:40:20 gender split.
  • Climate Change – Supports the Paris Agreement and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Has emissions reduction targets.

Woke Policies

Wokeness and virtue signalling distracts a company from its core business, which is to make a profit for shareholders while delivering excellent, affordable products and services to its customers. Businesses should not be distracted from this core purpose, otherwise there will be unnecessary costs which are ultimately passed onto consumers. Woke ideologies are typically unfriendly towards the traditional family unit.

Below are some woke policies and initiatives from Kathmandu…

Virtue Signalling

In their corporate strategy, one of the company’s pillars is to lead in ESG. ESG (environmental, Social and Governance) refers to a set of criteria used to evaluate a company’s performance and societal impact, particularly in the areas of sustainability, social responsibility, and corporate governance. The environmental criteria include impact on the environment, such as its carbon footprint, energy efficiency, waste management practices, and resource usage. The social criteria factors in diversity and inclusion metrics, as well as the governance criteria, have aspects such as board diversity. They also have an ESG officer.

“[Parent company] KMD Brands acknowledges Tangata Whenua, the Indigenous Nations, First Peoples, and Custodians of the lands and waterways on which our brand head offices reside in New Zealand, Australia and the United States.”

Source: KMD Annual Integrated Report 2023

Gender Ideology & LGBTQ+

Kathmandu supports diversity and inclusion for all LGBTTQ+ people. The company has a Rainbow Tick certification and partnered with Pride Pledge. It has been a finalist in the Rainbow Excellence Awards. Kathmandu has also sponsored Winter Pride. The company has a rainbow version of its logo.

“Kathmandu is Rainbow Tick accredited which demonstrates our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and creating a supportive work environment for our team members.”

“We are partnered with Pride Pledge, a public commitment that all LGBTTQ+ people should have the freedom to be safe, healthy and visible. We will use our voice and influence to support visibility, safety, tolerance, love, diversity and inclusion for all LGBTTQ+ people.”


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Kathmandu (and parent company KMD Brands) has DEI polices, applies gender recruitment targets, is committed to 40:40:20 gender representation

“Our commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond championing gender equality. Improving and evolving an inclusive and collaborative 
workplace culture is a shared passion across all our brands that enhances the Group’s competitive advantage.”

“The wellbeing of our people, diversity and inclusion, and ESG are key focus areas of our strategy, so we conducted targeted training in these areas.”

“We have implemented training focused on educating our teams about the importance of diversity and inclusion. Through these initiatives, we aim to raise awareness about unconscious biases and encourage a more empathetic and respectful workplace culture, where everyone belongs.”

KMD brands is committed to 40:40:20 gender representation in leadership positions (Board, Executive and Management). 

KMD Brands has targets for “increased representation in employment of local Indigenous Peoples and people from ethnic or racial minorities.”

Source: KMD Annual Integrated Report 2023

Climate Change

KMD Brands supports the Paris Agreement, and has emissions reduction targets. Committed to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The need for urgent transformative change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a significant material issue facing all businesses. Our commitment and plan to reduce the emissions connected with our business and our products is a key material issue for all our stakeholders.”

“This year we are now reporting our carbon emissions as a Group. Our Group inventory is audited annually by Toitū Envirocare and is aligned with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for Corporate Accounting and Reporting.”

Emissions Targets – “To reduce emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement goals. Reduced absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by a minimum of 47% by 2030, from a FY19 base year (4.2% per annum emissions reduction)”

Source: kathmandu.cdn.prismic.io/kathmandu/KMD+Brands+Annual+Integrated+Report+2022_digital.pdf

Supporting source: www.nzherald.co.nz/business/deloitte-top-200-sustainable-business-leadership-kmd-brands/

Kathmandu’s carbon credits …

ESG-linked Loan – Kathmandu (as part of the KMD brand) in partnership with ANZ Bank, has established a syndicated A$100 million sustainability-linked loan (SLL) facility, the largest syndicated SLL in the New Zealand market. This sustainability-linked loan commits a borrower to key environmental, social and/or governance (ESG) targets. The borrowing costs under the facility are adjusted up or down depending on the performance of the borrower to deliver against predetermined sustainability targets. 

Source: www.nzx.com/announcements/411514

Source: https://news.anz.com/new-zealand/posts/2021/05/kathmandu-sustainability-linked-loan

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  “We acknowledge the impact of our businesses on people and planet and accept our responsibility to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We consider the SDGs in our strategy and our reporting, which underpins all our business activities.”

“We have well-established strategies, policies and goals supporting sustainable development, underpinned by our commitment to the B Corp movement.” (note – B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on social and environmental factors)

Aims to lead in ESG: “We will strengthen our ESG leadership position in our sector through collaboration and transparency, and by holding ourselves accountable to stringent, verified standards of social and environmental responsibility as all our brands work towards becoming B Corp certified.”

Source: KMD Annual Integrated Report 2023

Positive Policies & Activities

Kathmandu has a partnership with the Graeme Dingle Foundation, a child and youth development charity working towards getting more young people outdoors in order to improve mental health and well-being.

Kathmandu is the major community engagement sponsor for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Note – This page was updated as of 20th May 2024. Please contact us if you’ve discovered other relevant information about Kathmandu or other businesses pushing woke agendas. You should also contact us if you discover some positively woke-free businesses.

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