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Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Announces the Climate Action Corps

January 28, 2020

Media Contact

Jennifer Pringle
Outdoor Industry Association
303.859.0331
jpringle@outdoorindustry.org

OIA announces the industry’s largest and boldest collaborative effort to take action on climate change and to demonstrate collective, measurable and meaningful carbon reductions by 2030.

DENVER, Colo. – January 28, 2020 – Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has announced the Climate Action Corps, an unprecedented, collaborative model for alignment, action and accountability to achieve industry-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in accordance with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines.

The Climate Action Corps will support any brand, retailer, manufacturer or supplier — regardless of size or internal resources — to take a real, immediate, proactive and individualized approach to shrinking its own footprint, and it will signal the company’s earnest commitment to doing business better.

By joining the Climate Action Corps, outdoor brands, suppliers, retailers and manufacturers are committing —and will be held accountable — to four critical deliverables:

  • Measure their current carbon footprints
  • Set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets
  • Create company-specific plans, and pursue reductions over time
  • Publicly share their progress annually

“The Climate Action Corps is not just another promise, pact or pledge. This is our industry’s commitment to take action to address the most pressing issue of our time, and to hold ourselves and our peers accountable,” said Amy Horton, OIA senior director of sustainable business innovation. “We recognize how daunting a commitment of this kind can feel, especially for companies new to sustainability or climate work. It’s about progress over perfection. This program is specifically designed to provide industry-relevant, guided support — from subject-matter experts and from our uniquely collaborative community — so that every member of the Climate Action Corps has the resources they need to set and achieve aggressive targets.”

Horton announced the Climate Action Corps at the OIA Sustainability meetings, which are held each year in Denver immediately prior to the Outdoor + Snow Show in January. A record 250 sustainability professionals and business executives representing 100 outdoor companies —that collectively represent billions of dollars in annual revenue — attended this year’s sustainability meetings. Eric Artz, REI CEO, delivered a powerful opening keynote address and stressed the need for all companies — not just the industry flagships with deep benches and pockets — to participate.

“We are not choosing to focus our efforts and resources on climate because it’s fashionable, we’re doing it because we’re scared — scared that our outdoor playgrounds may face the threat of extinction if we don’t act in meaningful ways,” said Artz. “We know we’ll go further together. If we all join in this fight, I have no doubt that we will have an impact and that others will follow.”

REI is one of 15 founding companies that have already committed to and joined the Climate Action Corps. Among them are several longstanding members of OIA’s Sustainability Advisory Council, who championed and provided critical guidance and input in the development of the Climate Action Corps. The Founding Members include Biolite, Burton, Columbia, Hydro Flask, L.L. Bean, Klean Kanteen, MEC, NEMO, Orvis, Oxo, Patagonia, PMI, Primaloft, REI and The North Face.

“Burton pioneered the sport of snowboarding, and it remains core to our business,” says Jenn Swain, global senior sustainability manager. “A changing climate is a direct threat to this sport we love and the mountain lifestyle that we and our customers lead. As a manufacturer, brand and retailer, we are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint through changes to product design, operations and business practices. However, our impacts as an individual company will not put a dent in global emissions and is why Burton is proud to be a founding member of the OIA Climate Action Corps, building on a strong history of industry collaboration on issues impacting our community and the outdoor playground we share.”

Snowsports Industries America (SIA), the trade association representing over 600 winter sport suppliers, retailers and resorts, representing $72.7 billion in consumer spending annually, signed on as the first association partner to the Climate Action Corps.

“The outdoor industry is continuing to unite against climate change, and we’re leveraging the momentum of the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership to create greater impact through this new alliance with the Climate Action Corps. Through this platform, SIA is providing its members with a clear road map and expert guidance to reduce their carbon emissions,” said SIA President Nick Sargent.

Later this year, the Climate Action Corps program will release the Climate Action Corps Guidebook — an interactive roadmap that will guide members on their journey to set and meet aggressive GHG reduction targets. Most notably, membership in the Climate Action Corps provides a dramatically faster and significantly cheaper path to meaningful reduction than any company could achieve on their own.

Climate Action Corps members get exclusive and unprecedented access to outdoor-relevant guidance, tools and trainings, including on-demand webinars, free online workshops, and biannual in-person community learning opportunities in conjunction with the industry trade shows. In addition, members will have the option of participating in Climate Action Corps Impact CoLab projects, specific initiatives — such as widespread renewable energy procurement in the U.S., mill energy efficiency improvements in China, and increased use of recycled content — in which OIA will lead or facilitate partnerships to drive greenhouse gas reductions through collaboration, helping participating members to meet their targets in less time and for less cost and effort.

The OIA team will continue to communicate about the Climate Action Corps and expects to bring more companies on board throughout the week of the Outdoor + Snow Show and over the next several months. The Climate Action Corps Field Guide — a digital overview of the program, cost and timeline, and a preview of the Climate Action Corps Guidebook — are available for download at outdoorindustry.org/climateaction.

Media interested in interviews with founding members or OIA staff should contact Cody Wertz at cody@freestone-strategies.com.

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About Outdoor Industry Association

Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves 1300 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org.

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