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Sustainable Growth Strategies for Your Outdoor Brand this Earth Day

Picture this: a path where every step forward leads toward a sustainable future. That’s the trail the outdoor industry is blazing—one where the outdoor experience is protected, and our products resonate with purpose. OIA members are taking major strides in key areas, from climate action to chemicals management. Together, we’re working to combat the climate crisis and move our industry away from forever chemicals, and we’re delivering transparency to our consumers along the way.  

 Feeling inspired and ready drive impact? We’ve outlined simple steps, key insights, and opportunities for collaboration to help your company protect people and the planet.  

Three Steps to Start Your Climate Action Journey Today 

Climate change is an existential threat to our industry and the time to act is now. No matter where you are on your climate journey, your company can make an impact. Begin today with these key actions:  

1. Measure your brand’s carbon footprint: Understand how your brand contributes to climate change by measuring your scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.  

2. Set reduction targets: Set GHG reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement to give your brand a goal to aspire to when working on reducing your emissions.   

3. Create a reduction plan: The majority of outdoor industry brands’ carbon footprint lies in the value chain. Pinpoint where your greenhouse gas hotspots are and create a reduction plan to meet those targets.  

Looking for help? Our Climate Action Corps program and newly launched Getting Started Guide are tailored to assist OIA members in taking these crucial first steps. Dive into our comprehensive resources and join a community committed to taking bold collective action. 

PFAS Reporting Requirements You Need to Know About, and What to Do Next 

It’s no secret that PFAS is one of the largest issues our industry has faced. OIA members continue to innovate and adapt to remove forever chemicals from their products and comply with the evolving regulatory landscape. While most regulations exist at the state level, a new TSCA PFAS Reporting Rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is changing that.  

The new rule mandates businesses that have manufactured or imported PFAS since 2011 to electronically report usage, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards. This is a one-time backward-looking reporting requirement that will create one of the largest publicly available datasets on PFAS that has ever been created. There are no exemptions based on business size or chemical quantity, except for specific uses like pesticides or food-related products. Data must be submitted to the EPA by May 13, 2025.   

Don’t navigate these regulations alone! Our Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition is here to lend a hand. Get direct access to legislative and technical experts who can guide you through the maze of compliance and help you eliminate harmful chemicals, ensure supply chain transparency, and build consumer trust. 

Amplify Impact Through Advocacy: NEMO Equipment’s Theresa McKenney Takes on Congress  

As an OIA Sustainability Advisory Council leader, Theresa McKenney knows how to use her outside voice for broader change. She recently testified in front of the United States Senate Budget Committee about the impacts of climate change on the outdoor industry on behalf of NEMO Equipment: 

“Addressing climate change and public lands protection is vital for the success of the outdoor recreation economy and the mental and physical health of American citizens. From its solo beginnings on Mount Washington to our passionate team today, NEMO has always stood for the belief that time outdoors helps make us our best selves — people who are conscious, inspired, connected, and mindful. We also firmly believe it’s the responsibility of businesses (like our own), communities, and governments to ensure that all Americans have safe access to outdoor recreation.”  

Testimony of Theresa McKenney  
March 20, 2024  
Recreation at Risk: The Nature of Climate Costs  

Theresa and NEMO Equipment showcase how businesses can amplify their impact and catalyze meaningful change on a systemic level. As an OIA member, you have access to resources and support to use your outside voice and advocate for causes that matter to your business and the industry at large. Discover the power of advocacy for your brand. 

Unlock Sustainable Solutions Through Collaboration 

Collaboration is key in helping your brand move faster to meet sustainability goals and foster industry-wide change. Our Impact CoLabs—a range of pre-competitive, collaborative reduction opportunities—help outdoor brands work together to reduce emissions that are hardest to reach by one company alone. Take, for example, our Drinkware CoLab, where members MiiR, Stanley, and YETI joined forces to transition shared industry suppliers to 100% renewable electricity and develop science-aligned emissions reduction targets for supplier facilities.  

For many outdoor brands, most of their carbon footprints are embedded in the value chain. Through CoLab collaboration, you can address these embedded emissions and partner with suppliers to drive meaningful reductions. Our CoLabs offer a wide range of reduction solutions, including carbon tech assessments at supplier facilities, renewable energy projects, low carbon material studies, aggregated renewable energy procurements, heat electrification, chemical testing, and more.  

Our Impact CoLabs — a range of pre-competitive, collaborative reduction opportunities — help members reduce their direct and indirect GHG emissions. Our CoLabs include reduction solutions such as carbon tech assessments at supplier facilities, renewable energy projects in partnership with suppliers, low carbon material studies, aggregated renewable energy procurements, heat electrification, chemical testing, and more.  

OIA’s Drinkware CoLab brought together members MiiR, Stanley, and YETI to move shared industry suppliers to 100% renewable electricity and develop science-aligned emissions reduction targets for supplier facilities. For many outdoor brands, the majority of their carbon footprints are embedded in the value chain. But through our CoLab collaboration, they can address these embedded emissions and work with suppliers to reduce emissions – not only for the three brands involved, but for all businesses working with these suppliers. 

A Call to Action for the Outdoor Industry 

As we celebrate Earth Day and reflect on the strides made within the outdoor industry, the path towards a sustainable future becomes clearer than ever. From combating climate change to phasing out harmful chemicals and advocating for broader change, OIA members are at the forefront. But the journey doesn’t end here—it’s just the beginning. When you become an OIA member, you have the tools, resources, and support needed to drive impactful change within your brand and throughout the industry. Join us as we work to protect the outdoor experience upon which we all depend.