Sustainability at Outdoor Retailer

June 16-17, 2019 - The Studio Loft, Kevin Taylor, 908 14th St Denver, CO 80202

OIA’s Sustainability Working Group wants to make environmental and social best practices in the supply chain a core value in the outdoor industry. June 16 and 17, just prior to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, will be dedicated to sustainability training and meetings, focused at identifying and scaling best practices in outdoor industry supply chains. Please join us for an education packed and fun filled two days.




Sunday 6/16

8:00 am - 5:00 pm
OIA Sustainability Boot Camp

OIA Sustainability Boot Camps are designed to help small to mid-sized brands with limited to no dedicated sustainability staff or expertise to accelerate sustainability improvements and meet (or exceed!) customer expectations. They are intensive, 1-day sessions combining engaging speakers, educational content, hands-on activities, and take-home resources. At the end of the day, participants will be able to more confidently champion sustainability within their brand, establish their organization’s sustainability strategy and program, and will leave with a customized action plan to guide next steps.

Learn more and register here. 

Monday 6/17

8:30 am - 9:00 am
SWG Meeting Check-In and Continental Breakfast

Please come check in and grab some breakfast (and your seat) before our prompt start at 9.

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Opening Plenary: Shape Our Path Toward Collective Impact 

Since 2007, the OIA Sustainability Working Group has grown into a diverse community – representing a range of company sizes and product types – from socks, skis and surf to bags, bikes, boards and much more. We come from brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, government, and academia. One thing that unites us: a sense of urgency to find solutions to the greatest global environmental and social challenges of our time. Whether you’re just getting started or leading the pack on sustainability, join us along with our Advisory Council to learn and help guide the Sustainability Working Group’sstrategy to drive collective impact in the coming years. The day’s events will focus on what you can do – and where we can collaborate – to shape our path toward collective impact. 

10:30 am - 11:00 am
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
How to Map Your Supply Chain

Do you really know your supply chain? It’s a critical early step in any sustainability program. Data tells us that our biggest impacts are further back in our supply chains, where many brands  have limited visibility, leverage or direct contractual relationships.  But if you don’t know where your products and materials are made, under what conditions and by whom, it becomes challenging to effectively tackle climate change, chemicals management, animal welfare, and human rights issues – among others. Mapping out the relationships between you and your supplier network can help you to better identify and prioritize risks and hotspots, measure impacts like energy and water use, and support improvement opportunities. Join this session to gain practical insights to map your supply chain and overcome common data gathering challenges.  

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Wading Through The Waters of Sustainable Materials, Claims & Opportunities

Whether you produce soft goods or hard goods, research shows the majority of your impacts are in your supply chain – specifically, in the materials you’re sourcing and how they’re produced. Yet the landscape of material claims, such as bio-based, biodegradable & compostable, is complex, and you may be struggling to sort through opportunities and vet which will reduce the impacts you’re working to mitigate, whether for your primary materials or packaging. Join this session as we review these key terms, discuss how they relate to circularity and impacts, and begin to explore questions we can ask to better understand and prioritize opportunities as brands, suppliers & our collective industry.


  • Part I (25 minutes): Material Attributes & Their Role in Circularity
  • Part II (20 minutes): Breakout: Understanding Claims & Prioritizing Opportunities
  • Part III (15 minutes): Summary: Discussion & Resources

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
How Outdoor Industry Companies are Using the Higg Index to Measure Impacts and Set Goals

This session will provide the practical information you need to best leverage the Higg Index – a leading assessment tool for our industry – to assess your supply chain and set impact reduction goals. Get the latest information on Higg Index access and discounts for OIA and SWG Contributing Members and learn more about the supply chain data analysis available to you through the Higg Index. Then hear from outdoor industry companies who are currently using the Higg Index Facility Environmental Module and the Higg Index product tools to assess their own supply chains and set goals tied to high-impact areas. You will leave this session with guidance on how you can start using the Higg Index today to help drive and inform your sustainability goals, and how we can use it as an industry to support collective impact 

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Driving Focused Impacts with the Chemicals Management Community of Practice

Stemming from almost ten years of industry collaboration, the Chemicals Management Community of Practice (CMCoP) began as OIA’s first sustainability working group focused on driving best practices. While the players, the landscape and the issues in chemicals management have slowly evolved, knowing the chemistry in your materials, products and supply chain remains paramount. Join this session to workshop with your peers two issues with big impacts for the outdoor industry – Durable Water Repellents (DWR) and Solvents – and learn what key areas OIA will be focused on driving impact reduction this coming year. 



3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Establishing an Emissions Reduction Strategy: Tools, Tips, and Tricks

Emissions reduction can be complicated. We know that for most outdoor products, the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions is associated with our supply chains – the raw material extraction and cultivation, processing, and assembly stages (Scope 3). But operational emissions – buildings, shipping, etc. (Scope 1 + 2) can be an important place to start when it comes to learning what and how to track emissions, and where to uncover some quick wins. It’s also a great place to begin when it comes to setting targets. If you’re feeling the urgency to act on climate, but are unsure of how and where to get started, this session will give you the information you need to decide where to focus your early efforts. You will also learn about tools and programs available or in development to take more advanced steps to measure supply chain impacts and drive energy efficiency.  Whether you’re focused on your operations and/or supply chain, by the end of this session you will be equipped with an action plan and practical steps to take between now and OR Winter Market to measure and reduce emissions. 

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Closing Plenary: Our Collective Impact, Your Path Forward  

Before we break for celebration, join us to wrap up the day’s events with a short discussion of what you learned, what you’ll go do, what you need, and how OIA can help!