Must-Have Tools For Sustainability Teams

If you head up sustainability for your company or if you’re eager to increase your company’s efforts in this area, here are a few ways you can make meaningful impact right now.

By Gareth Martins November 7, 2017

Sustainability is paramount for any business that wants to work smart these days. Responsible supply chain management leads to smart product development, efficient operations and, ultimately, cost savings. Think its too big a lift for one person or a small department? Take it one step—or meeting or webinar—at a time.

Adopt the Higg Index

This tool is where it all starts. Whether you design products, oversee operations, head up a sustainability department, or manage product development and sourcing, the Higg Index helps you ask key questions around materials selection, value chain management, chemicals impact reduction, manufacturing processes, and end-of-use programs. The answers to those questions can help you identify opportunities for improvement in your company’s environmental and social responsibility practices. The more you use the tool, the better results for your brand.

Brands can access the latest iteration of the tool starting in December 2017, and suppliers can sign up now. Check out the latest Sustainability Snapshot for details on timing and pricing. And while you’re at it sign up for the weekly Snapshot today.

Get Smart on Sustainability

Outdoor Industry Association’s Sustainability Working Group offers regular webinars to guide you through Higg Index adoption and other sustainability topics. Check out this presentation from last summer’s Outdoor Retailer on Designing with Repair In Mind.

Learn From Your Peers

Wherever you are on your sustainability journey, you have much to learn and much to teach. The Sustainability Insights Conference at Outdoor Retailer is our industry’s premier meeting of the minds, where brands of all sizes share learnings, pain points, challenges and opportunities in a pre-competitive, collaborative setting meant to lift all ships. Along with our Sustainability Working Group meetings, this annual conference held on the two days before the show start, provides strong insights into the world of sustainable business for beginners and experts alike.

Take a Deeper Dive: Chemicals Management

A key element in supply chain work, chemicals management can be daunting with its levels of complexity. We can help you break it down. Watch this video on the basics or read this recent article on evolving to newer, safer chemicals. Or visit the chemicals management page where we’ve recently posted some of our most up-to-date resources.


Feeling overwhelmed? Remember that OIA has long been a leader in pre-competitive collaboration on sustainable supply chain management. When you join or participate in the Sustainability Working group you are tapping into over a decade of development and knowledge. So dig in and remember, you don’t have to go it alone!