Nikwax , global leader in high performance, environmentally-friendly waterproofing solutions, has become the first outdoor brand ever to receive a Queen's Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development . The award is the most prestigious British environmental award and is testament to Nikwax's clean waterproofing technology and its commitment to promote sustainable practice. As a winner of The Queen's Award, Nikwax will be invited to attend a special reception at Buckingham Palace in London, and will be proud to use The Queen's Award emblem on Nikwax packaging. The awards are made annually by HM The Queen, and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category. Nikwax also has been voted number one by users in four recent outdoor industry awards in Europe, which recognized Nikwax products as the leader in both ease of use and durable performance. Breathable jackets can be waterproofed in the washing machine at home, using Nikwax TX.Direct in place of normal detergent. There is no need for heat activation - unlike the many treatments on the market that containharmful perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). Nikwax has been keeping people dry and comfortable in the outdoors since 1977, when current Managing Director, Nick Brown, founded the company. Led by Brown's vision to protect our beautiful outdoor surroundings, the company has always identified environmental and social responsibility as a priority. "We must stop to think about the fuel we burn to arrive at our walk, the energy and materials consumed in the clothing that protect us from the elements, and even the wear on the pathway," said Brown. "We may be destroying the very hills that we care so much about. Restoring the waterproofing of your outdoor clothing is in itself a sustainable act; using far less energy and money than replacing equipment; and for us, it all counts." Nikwax's stringent restricted chemicals policy sets it apart from other aftercare manufacturers. Nikwax prohibits the use of flammable and aromatic solvents and potentially persistent materials like PFCs - chemicals widely used by other brandsin the waterproofing of outdoor clothing. In contrast to the industry norm, Nikwax is the only established aftercare business in the world never to have used PFCs, knowing that they persist in the environment and can bioaccumulate, building up at higher ends of the food chain. As tighter legislation kicks in and environmental awareness heightens, Nikwax is fast becoming the go-to brand for environmentally safe waterproofing technology for leading outdoor gear manufacturers worldwide. The latest Nikwax innovation – Nikwax Hydrophobic Down – is about to hit retail stores in Rab's new range of down-filled sleeping bags and jackets. Delivering sustainable processes is a fundamental part of Nikwax's day-to-day rhythm. The company harvests rainwater for use in the manufacture of core products, and has invested in a solar generation system that provides virtually the entire electrical usage of its main office unit, and is carbon balanced though the World Land Trust. Nikwax's waste reduction initiative has already seen the company's proportion of waste recycled go from 16-percent in 2006 to 71=percent in 2013. With an 80-percent target for 2014, the company aims to become waste and landfill free in five years. But it doesn't stop there. "Taking the ethical route rather than the easy-money road is a difficult decision for some, but minimizing our environmental impact was always the way for me," said Brown. "I feel immense pride when I see our product on the retail shelves – it's a win for the customer and conservation. The Queen's Award is a great endorsement that says, yes, you're doing alright, keep going." About Nikwax Nikwax® was founded in 1977 by Nick Brown, a keen mountain walker and traveller, who designed his own product, a waterproofing wax, to keep his leather mountain boots dry. Subsequently Nikwax has become the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions that extend the life and performance of technical footwear, clothing and equipment. Nikwax care products are distributed to 50 countries. Nikwax® is the only major aftercare company to have never used aerosols or fluorocarbons. Nikwax products are all fluorochemical-free, use advanced elastomer technology, are not tested on animals, and are non persistent in the environment. Nikwax has received numerous awards including the prestigious Queen's Award (4x), Sunday Times Best Green Award (3x), and the Green Apple Award, and is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified. The recent global awareness of serious environmental problems with PFC based products has stimulated Nikwax to refocus on the development of a "PFC Treatment Free" industrial standard for Outdoor brands, and to promote the concept of waterproof directionality internationally.