MEC and Quiksilver Ramp Up Support of the Outdoor Industry’s Sustainability Work

May 16, 2012

Topic: Sustainability

Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) members Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and Quiksilver have joined forces to fund continued work by the Chemicals Management Working Group, an effort under the umbrella of the OIA Sustainability Working Group.

The Chemicals Management Working Group (CMWG) formed in spring 2011 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.

“We are pleased to add continued financial support to this valuable work,” said Jeff Wilson of Quiksilver. “It is important that we learn what chemicals are being used and at what stages of the production process so that we can move towards chemistries that create a safer and healthier future.”

“Collaboration entails purpose, trust and determination. MEC is committed to reducing and eliminating hazardous chemical emissions and human health risks throughout our supply chain and in finished MEC-brand products,” said Greg Scott of Mountain Equipment Co-op. “We are resolved to doing our part through collaboration with outdoor industry peers toward responsible chemicals management and safe chemistry.”

The injection of funding provided by MEC and Quiksilver will enable the CMWG’s continued work on two important projects: 1) A framework and set of indicators for companies to benchmark chemicals management policies and practices, which will integrate with the index tools for apparel, footwear and equipment being developed in conjunction with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition; and 2) an equivalency matrix that will provide an inventory of existing tools for chemicals management and an objective view of what is addressed by each.

Established in 2007, the OIA Sustainability Working Group (SWG) is a collaboration of more than 250 outdoor industry companies voluntarily working together to develop solutions that will help companies identify and improve the environmental and social impacts of their products. The OIA SWG focuses on four key work areas:

  1. Index development – building indexes to measure the sustainability of apparel, footwear and equipment
  2. Responsible chemicals management
  3. Materials traceability in the supply chain
  4. Social responsibility and fair labor

MEC has been involved with the OIA SWG since its inception and has provided ongoing financial support for these efforts. Quiksilver joined OIA in 2010, in part to get involved in the industry’s sustainability efforts and the OIA SWG.

If you want to learn more about the CMWG, you are invited to attend the next full group update call (held via webinar), on Thursday, May 24 from 10:00-11:30 am MDT.  Contact Stephanie Bennett for more information about this call or to join.