Outdoor Industry Association

Chemicals Management

Working Group Chairs

  • Todd Copeland, Patagonia
  • Libby Sommer / Scott Echols, Nike
  • Bob Buck, DuPont

Join the CMWG!

The Chemicals Management Working Group is open to all companies within the global outdoor industry supply chain. We encourage you to get involved. For more information or to join the CMWG, please email sustainability@outdoorindustry.org.

The Chemicals Management Working Group (CMWG) formed in spring 2011 as a subgroup of the OIA Sustainability Working Group to establish shared approaches and tools for the assessment and management of chemicals and their potential impacts on humans and the environment across product life cycles.  The CMWG is a joint effort between the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

CMWG Mission

The mission of the CMWG is to drive continuous improvement and innovation in chemicals management practices, to accelerate the development and use of Sustainable Chemistry.

CMWG Vision
We envision and strive to create a world in which all consumer products are produced using Sustainable Chemistry practices, ultimately using inherently safer chemicals and reducing or eliminating hazardous chemicals, in order to preserve human health and a clean environment.

This includes:

1. Fostering knowledge

2. Facilitating integration

3. Building and maintaining a "Community of Practice"

CMWG Primary Objectives

All work of the CMWG is in service of the seven (7) Primary Objectives upon which the Chemicals Management Module is based:

1. Regulatory Awareness and Compliance

2. Restricted Substances / Substances of Concern

3. Process and Product Chemicals Knowledge

4. Chemical Hazard Assessment

5. Chemical Safety and Risk Management

6. Safer Alternatives Assessment and Preferred Substances

7. Sustainable Chemistry Innovation and Continuous Improvement


CMWG Strategic Priorities

  • Driving broad adoption of the Chemicals Management Module.
  • Facilitating education and training.
  • Promoting collection and sharing of data.
  • Identifying, assessing, and driving the sharing (and creation if necessary) of knowledge and resources around priority chemicals classes such as repellency technologies.

The CMWG is currently focused on several key projects:

  1. Development and training around the Chemicals Management Module (CMM): a framework and set of indicators for companies to benchmark chemicals management policies and practices.  The CMM is integrated into the Higg Index 2.0, in conjunction with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
  2. An "equivalency tool" that will provide an inventory of existing tools for chemicals management and an objective view of what is addressed by each.
  3. An examination of the use of Durable Water Repellency (DWR) / perfluorinated chemistry (PFC)-based treatments in the outdoor industry, including identifying use cases and performance requirements and exploring potential alternatives to traditional chemistries.  This work takes place via the "DWR Task Force" - more details below.

DWR/Repellency Technologies Task Force

The DWR Task Force was established in August 2012 as a joint effort among the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Chemicals Management Working Group (CMWG), the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group of Brands (ZDHC), the European Outdoor Group (EOG), and the German Sporting Goods Association (BSI).  Together, the members of these organizations are developing and actioning upon a long-term shared “work plan” for the global outdoor and fashion industries in the area of PFC’s, identifying the data gaps and other needs and tangible next steps to address them – against timelines that reflect both the sense of urgency felt by the industry to address this issue as well as the reality of existing business models and data gaps.


The outdoor industry is committed to using better alternatives to traditional DWR chemistries; however, we must collectively ensure that the alternatives we embrace within the industry are unequivocally less impactful on humans and the environment and will deliver the performance requirements necessary for products in our industry. A thoughtful, strategic, data-driven approach to identifying and assessing alternatives, utilizing the collaborative model pioneered by the industry via the Sustainability Working Group, will allow our industry to most effectively tackle this challenge.


DWR/Repellency Technologies Task Force - Key Resources 

Backgrounder on DWR treatments

"Chemistry for Any Weather" Supplemental Report - June 2012

DWR Foundational Research Report - November 2012

Hazard Assessment Protocol - March 2013

Durable Repellency Technologies RfP (Needs Scoping Document) - June 2013

Chemicals Management Module (part of Higg Index 2.0)



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