100 outdoor companies are pioneering a collaborative model to accelerate science-based climate action and influence policy.
BOULDER, Colo. June 29, 2020– Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) Climate Action Corps unveiled today its first Annual Impact Report to mark year one progress and announced an unprecedented goal to become the world’s first climate positive industry by 2030. A diverse group of more than 100 companies including Patagonia, YETI, Osprey, Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI and representing more than $25 billion in annual sales revenue have already united through the Climate Action Corps to address the threat of climate change. The Corps’ new goal seeks to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with outdoor gear and harness the power of nature to remove more carbon than its members emit –two decades ahead of Paris Agreement-aligned targets. To enable these goals, the Corps also encourages its members to advocate for robust climate policy.
“There’s no denying that climate change is an existential crisis for the outdoor industry. The question is no longer ‘what will we do about it?’ – it’s how far can we go, and who wants to join us? We want the outdoor industry to lead the charge and inspire other industries. Our efforts alone will certainly not solve the climate crisis – we need every business, government, and individual to act. With this new strategy, we’ve established a credible, practical pathway, supporting resources, and interim milestones that will guide and accelerate progress for companies no matter how far along they are on the path,” said Amy Horton, OIA senior director of sustainable business innovation.
In its inaugural year, 84% of Corps members measured the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their owned or controlled operations (known as “scope 1 and 2 emissions”), 78% have set or are setting targets to reduce these emissions and 49% are actively reducing them through improved energy efficiency and sourcing renewable electricity in the U.S. Recognizing the GHG emissions from the value chain (known as “scope 3 emissions”) as the largest portion of a typical outdoor company’s footprint, 69% of Corps members measured, or are in the process of measuring scope 3 emissions, while 28% are taking actions to reduce this impact – a number due to grow greatly in the coming years through targeted supply chain collaborations. In addition to the guiding principles to “make better,” “run cleaner,” and “transport smarter” – the Corps encourages its members to “grow creatively” – that is, to move from business-as-usual approaches to models that increase revenue without necessarily making new gear.
“The outdoor industry is a vital contributor to local economies and communities across the U.S., and that makes it a hugely influential business voice in the push for climate policy,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres, which counts OIA as a member of its BICEP Network of business organizations advocating for better climate policy. “Ceres strongly commends the Outdoor Industry Association’s plan to be climate-positive by 2030, and we are excited to see that policy advocacy will play such a central role in that mission.”
Matt Thurston, REI’s director of sustainability and chair of OIA’s Sustainability Advisory Council highlights that collective impact in the outdoor industry is needed like never before: “Decarbonizing our industry requires changes at a scale we’ve never experienced. We need ambitious targets, bold leadership and concerted action. The good news: you’re not alone. The OIA Climate Action Corps provides the expertise and community to advance our collective efforts.”
Corps members commit to share progress annually, demonstrating accountability toward a shared industry-wide climate positive goal and emphasizing progress over perfection. The group’s working definition of “climate positive” means its members reduce their carbon footprints according to science-based targets, remove their remaining carbon emissions from the atmosphere (ideally, through nature-based projects), and advocate for robust climate policy.
Alongside announcing its 2030 climate positive goal and year one progress, today OIA also announced its first annual Path to Positive (P2P) Climate Leadership Award winners, recognizing Climate Action Corps members that demonstrated leadership in the categories of transparency, partnership, community and impact in 2020, including:
Transparency: Klean Kanteen
Partnership: Nemo Equipment and DAC
Community: Troy Jones, Specialized
Impact: Burton Snowboards
Companies interested in accelerating their progress on climate action and contributing to the industry’s climate positive ambition are invited to join the OIA Climate Action Corps by visiting outdoorindustry.org/climateaction. OIA also welcomes fellow associations interested in partnership or sharing insights and resources to reach out to email@example.com.
Climate Action Corps
The OIA Climate Action Corps was founded in January 2020 to bring together brands, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and supporting organizations to harness the power of collaboration to address the threat of climate change to the outdoor industry. In partnership with PeopleforBikes, the Corps unites a diverse mix of outdoor businesses of all sizes, product types and in varying stages of climate action to accelerate progress toward reducing GHG emissions, harness the power of nature to remove more carbon than we emit, and advocate for robust climate policy.
Outdoor Industry Association
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. The OIA is based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org.