New member program, working group, and consulting service to support phase-out of harmful chemicals through scalable plans, supply chain solutions, and timely advocacy
BOULDER, CO (June 14, 2023) – A member-led collective and the outdoor industry’s catalyst for meaningful change, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today proudly announces the launch of its new Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition (CCMC), a comprehensive program, working group, and consulting service to provide OIA members with strategies, scalable action plans, and solutions for thoughtfully phasing out PFAS and other harmful chemicals from their products and guide members through complicated sustainability regulations across the country.
CCMC is designed to support outdoor retailers, brands, manufacturers, and distributors each in a way that’s unique to their product category and life stage. The central purpose of the program is to help OIA members balance financial and product management risks while eliminating and replacing materials, delivering transparency to supply chain, recycling, and emission disclosures. It will also inform members of future chemical and sustainability compliance laws and regulations that are likely to impact the outdoor industry.
“For the outdoor industry, the path towards phasing out forever chemicals includes finding safer replacement materials that don’t sacrifice performance,” said Kent Ebersole, President of OIA. “Recently, many leading outdoor brands have become committed to phasing out PFAS, and members like REI, Keen, and Patagonia are already supporting the cause by screening products for PFAS and eradicating toxic materials from their own product lines. With the new CCMC, OIA looks to catalyze even broader compliance by bringing the entirety of our industry to the forefront of this vital chemical phase-out,” added Ebersole.
“Our sustainability commitment has always been about balance as well as urgency, increasing the ability of our members to reduce harm, apply safe alternatives in the supply chain, and become a climate positive industry by 2030,” said Sarah Rykal, Director of Sustainable Business Innovation at OIA. “We are here to support members as they navigate and innovate on sustainability practices and continue to build consumer trust in, and loyalty to, their favorite outdoor brands and gear. For a problem of this nature, OIA is all in. We are investing in this program to share our collective resources and expertise so outdoor companies don’t have to invest in costly but valuable new sustainability measures alone.”
OIA will work to share execution plans in the form of legislative and technical resources, a roadmap of market and product restrictions by state, as well as complicated compliance timelines so that all members can comply with legislation with minimal impact and reduced risk to their hard and soft goods businesses. OIA members will also have access to CCMC technical and legislative experts for further consultation on custom approaches, including toolkits for testing thresholds, research on alternative materials, and critical information on how to identify and phase out harmful chemicals from the supply chain. Additionally, members are invited to participate in monthly working group discussions hosted by industry leaders and experts to learn more on driving existing and future strategies for chemical action. The member-led working groups will be set up to offer further guidance on crucial topics like ongoing supply chain management and testing, chemical testing labs and methods, templates, and talking points for engaging with suppliers, inventory management and disposal, consumer messaging, and marketing best practices.
“Whether our members are just starting out on the trail or cresting the summit to PFAS elimination or other sustainability measures, the CCMC is poised to provide timely, user-friendly information and ‘getting started’ insights for the industry at large,” added Ebersole. “Together we can create more sustainable practices to ensure the outdoor industry is successful for the health of business, people and the planet.”
To learn more about the Outdoor Industry Association’s Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition, please visit OIA’s website.
About Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is a catalyst for meaningful change. A member-based collective, OIA is a passionate group of business leaders, climate experts, policy makers and outdoor enthusiasts committed to sustainable economic growth and climate positivity while protecting – and growing access to – the benefits of the outdoors for everyone. For more than 30 years, OIA has catalyzed a thriving outdoor industry by supporting the success of every member company across four critically aligned areas: market research, sustainability, government affairs, and inclusive participation. OIA delivers success for its members through education, events, and business services in the form of solutions and strategies, consultation, collaboration and opportunities for collective action. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org