The Forever Chemicals Landscape: An Update on PFAS Regulations and Litigation

Thursday, June 30, 2022, 1 pm MT 

PFAS, or per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of over 9,000 synthetic “forever chemicals” that are used to make coatings that can resist extreme temperatures and repel grease, water, and stains. Many outdoor apparel and equipment companies have used PFAS to manufacture rain jackets, tent flies, water resistant hiking boots, fishing line, and durable climbing ropes. Research into the health effects of many PFAS have brought the chemicals under significant scrutiny from both regulators and consumers. Join OIA and James Pollack from OIA member Marten Law to learn more about developing state and federal regulations of PFAS, as well as the growth of PFAS consumer products lawsuits over the last year.

History & Accomplishments

History & Accomplishments

The Origins and Leadership of Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is a trade association born out of the industry’s desire to be individually recognized as a business community of strength.  As this new “active outdoor lifestyle” tradeshow grew, it was more and more evident that this was a group without a trade association to represent it. The initial formation meetings for the association (then called Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America, or ORCA) occurred in the late 1980s, but the association was finally incorporated in 1989 and received its 501(c)(6) non-profit status in 1992.


The original founders (Adventure 16, Backwoods, Brookwood Companies, DuPont, Eastern Mountain Sports, Elephant’s Perch, JanSport, Patagonia, Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., Recreational Equipment Inc., Sierra Designs, Summit Sports, The North Face, and Wild Country) conceived of an organization that was inclusive and far more than just a manufacturers association. Thus, the word “coalition” was included in the original name to emphasize the importance of a complete spectrum of members in the industry, ranging from manufacturers and sales representatives to retailers and suppliers. This strategic decision represents the recognition that an inclusive membership was essential, and the original agendas of building participation in outdoor recreation and reducing liability were too large to be contained within the numerous smaller segments of the industry.


As with most budding associations, OIA operations were initially driven through volunteer efforts. The Outdoor Retailer tradeshow supplied the first significant source of consistent annual funding for the association. From this funding and the growing membership dues, the first staff and programs emerged.


Today, more than 30 years later, OIA continues to serve as the trusted convenor, resource, and voice of the outdoor industry. OIA unites and serves manufacturers, suppliers, sales representatives, and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation, and outdoor participation. The association provides its members with insights, advocacy, and opportunities for action that support the long-term success of outdoor businesses and ensure the outdoor experience for all.

1989 -1996

  • Incorporated and formed the association (originally as Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America) and received official non-profit, 501(c)(6) status
  • Formed a partnership with the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s (SGMA) Washington Office and the SGMA Outdoor Products Council. SGMA provided significant funding for numerous projects, including all of ORCA’s publications and the new State of the Industry Report
  • Started the Climb Smart consumer risk awareness program with posters, public service announcements, stickers, and regional events
  • Entered into an exclusive endorsement agreement with Outdoor Retailer
  • Held the National Summit on Outdoor Recreation, the industry’s introduction to Washington, D.C.
  • Specialty Groups Form and association begins distribution of standards for climbing walls
  • Introduced the Climbing Gym Association (CGA)
  • Introduced the Climbing Wall Industry Group (CWIG) and CWIG
  • Helped form Leave No Trace, Inc., with a generous grant and in-kind support

1996 – 2001

  • Led the movement to oppose and defeat the proposed Backpack Tax
  • Completed the industry’s first Retail Distribution Study
  • Released the first edition of the Accepted Industry Practices handbook, a compilation of gym operating procedures
  • Helped form Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation, a coalition of conservation and recreation groups that support full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
  • Released the first Climbing Gym Market Data Report
  • Held the strategic planning session that refocused ORCA as a trade association
  • Released the first annual Outdoor Recreation Participation Study
  • Formed the Tornado Emergency Relief Fund and raised over $100,000 to support victims and businesses struck by the tornado during Outdoor Retailer
  • Launched the support of the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), part of the Conservation & Reinvestment Act (CARA) bill
  • Frank Hugelmeyer appointed Executive Director (April 2000)
  • Formed the Outdoor Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) to house Pew grant and future youth outreach initiatives
  • Received a $1 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trust to help lead the fight to protect America’s roadless areas
  • The revamped WebNews receives the national 2000 ASAE Gold Circle Award for association marketing excellence

2001 – 2005

  • Changed name to Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and completed repositioning of organization as a focused trade association
  • OIA chairs the national coalition of organizations focused on ensuring the permanent funding of LWCF through the Conservation and Recreation Act (CARA)
  • Launched the Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award for elected officials who demonstrate support for the industry
  • Realized the passage of CARA into law and the initial full funding of the $12 billion CARA legislation
  • Received initial seed grant from REI to begin an industry-wide youth outreach initiative within the Foundation
  • OIA’s State of the Industry Report received the 2001 ASAE Gold Circle Award for best annual report from an association
  • Launched the Roadless Postcard Campaign to help protect America’s last remaining roadless areas, and delivered over 10,000 comments to the administration
  • Challenged Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and his legal settlement with the Department of Interior that established how BLM lands were managed at a national level
  • Provided initial support to the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition (OIWC) with co-location, leadership assistance, and a generous foundational grant   
  • Provided launch and separation grants to CGA and CWIG in 2003
  • Hosted the 1st annual OIA Capitol Summit lobby event in Washington, D.C.
  • Launched the inaugural Outdoor Industry Breakfast attracting 500 attendees
  • Launched OIA education seminars at Outdoor Retailer on retail management, B2B, fair labor and marketing
  • Produced Exploring the Active Lifestyle and Participants with Potential benchmark consumer outreach research that identified how to get Americans active and which activities provided a gateway to the lifestyle (Harris Interactive and Yankelovich)
  • Launched and sponsored Get Fit with US Event with Secretary of Interior Gale Norton, Administration and Federal Agencies officials, and introduced the concept to the USFS, BLM and President’s Council on Physical Fitness

2005 – 2009

  • Launched the first-ever industry-wide international outdoor products trade initiatives, successfully defeated a petition to place safeguards on performance outerwear jackets and pants, and reduced performance footwear duties by 27.5 percent
  • In cooperation with a broad coalition of partners, successfully lobbied for the Recreation Trails Program in the 2005 Transportation Bill which increased funding from $250 million over the previous five years to $370 million for the next five, providing dollars for creating and improving trails in all 50 states
  • Released the first-ever Fair Labor Tool Kit and B2B standards for the industry
  • Hosted the first ever Eco Index Forum to develop green and sustainable outdoor product development and labeling standards
  • Launched the following successful youth outreach programs and tools to the industry:
    • Getting Women Active Toolkit for the Trade
    • Getting Youth Active Toolkit for the Trade
    • The Participation Study and Next Generation of Outdoor Participants
    • Hispanic Community and Outdoor Recreation
    • OIF website
    • Teens Outside, the Great American Backyard Campout and Outdoor Idols
  • Completed a 15-year multi-million-dollar strategic partnership sponsor agreement with Nielsen Expositions that doubled the annual investment in industry programs and expanded member input and benefits at the tradeshows
  • Launched the first-ever performance apparel trade bill designed to reduce import duties and invest in sustainable manufacturing techniques
  • In partnership with Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne and the National Parks Conservation Association, successfully passed the $200 million Centennial Initiative designed to prepare the National Parks for the next 100 years
  • Launched expanded Outdoor University retail training seminars at Outdoor Retailer, regional sale rep trade shows and the Outdoor Industry Rendezvous
  • Expanded the Teens Outside programs to 28 locations, introducing over 3000 kids to new outdoor sports adventures
  • Briefed the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns on outdoor industry policy interests regarding recreation appropriations and international trade
  • Formed the OIA Political Action Committee

2009 – 2013

  • Partnered with AAFA to introduce the Affordable Footwear Act to significantly reduce duties on technical outdoor footwear
  • Established the OIA Internet Counterfeit Task Force to support outdoor industry businesses in fighting the growing threat of online counterfeits and rogue websites
  • Formed the Sustainability & Fair Labor Advisory Council and the International Trade Advisory Council
    • Launched quarterly trade visits to Capitol Hill
    • Completed the development of the first global Eco Index for apparel, footwear, and equipment
    • Developed guidelines and metrics for water, waste, and energy
    • Launched the packaging guidelines
  • Positioned OIA as a major partner with the President’s Green Cabinet and America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, and partnered with Outdoor Alliance to host America’s Great Outdoors Homegrown Listening Sessions to focus on recreation and submitted a report to the Obama administration
  • Outdoor University launched, offering more than 30 webinars and training more than 1500 retail and manufacturer executives
  • Continued expansion of OIA Political Action Committee (OIAPAC) with a 92-percent success rate in the 2010 elections
  • Developed and launched VantagePoint, the official new point-of-sale research for the outdoor industry which provided the first near real-time, full-market view of all channels of distribution (sales data was available monthly and included tracking of nine channels and nearly 10,000 retail doors)
  • Launched Outdoor Nation to engage youth in outdoor recreation, kicked off Youth Summit with 500 youth delegates in New York City, and expanded the program the following year with a five-city tour
  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks to more than 750 industry leaders at the 2010 OIA-hosted Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Industry Breakfast
  • OIA joined Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) to show industry support for comprehensive climate change legislation
  • Eco-Index named one of the “Ten Most Hopeful Green Business Stories of 2010” by; partnerships established with European Outdoor Group (EOG) and Sustainable Apparel Coalition to continue the development, participation, and adoption of the tool

2013 – 2017

  • Established a full-time D.C.-based office for Government Affairs
  • Celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the OIA Sustainability Working Group (SWG), an industry collaboration developed to ensure and continually improve the high standards of environmental and social responsibility that consumers have come to expect of the outdoor industry.
  • The Sustainability Working Group launched new tools for chemicals management, materials traceability and equipment indexing that companies can use to reduce brand exposure and measure and improve the sustainability of their products
  • The Outdoor Foundation exceeded $2 million in annual revenue for the first time and launched the Outsider’s Ball—an industry fundraising event that attracted more than 1,000 industry leaders to the inaugural gala
  • Launched the Made in America working group to facilitate discussion about how outdoor industry companies can manufacture or source more products and/or components domestically
  • Secured significant changes to the short supply list under consideration in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to ensure outdoor products receive maximum benefits in the pending Pacific Rim trade agreement
  • Provided more than 100 educational sessions to more than 5,000 industry executives through OIA’s education platforms including online offerings, in-person conferences, and Outdoor Retailer seminars through the Outdoor University programs
  • Received a National Leadership Award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) Award as recognition for OIA’s impact on outdoor recreation and the outdoor recreation profession
  • Frank Hugelmeyer resigned as president, and Steve Barker, founder and former CEO of Eagle Creek, appointed as interim executive director
  • Introduced OIA ConsumerVue, a digital online research tool that showcases findings from a first-of-its-kind, industry-level consumer segmentation study that looks into the world of outdoor through the eyes of the consumer
  • Appointed Amy Roberts as the new executive director of OIA
  • Selected 22 aspiring leaders as the first class of the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy
  • In celebration of the National Parks Centennial, OIA launched #Parks4Kids in partnership with the Outdoor Foundation to get every 4th grader to a park
  • Reached over 60 colleges and got over 25,000 young people outside through the Outdoor Foundation’s Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge
  • MOU with Sustainable Apparel Coalition(SAC) announced providing shared objectives and goals around HIGG Index adoption, an environmental and social impact tool that is free to all members
  • Over 50 outdoor companies from Brooks Sports to Yakima signed a public commitment statement declaring their intention to use the Higg Index as the primary means to measure and communicate supply chain performance.
  • The bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact (REC) Act was signed into law calling for the federal government to annually measure the outdoor recreation economy and the industry’s contribution to our nation’s GDP

2017 – present

  • Launched the Together We Are a Force campaign showcasing the collaborative spirit of the industry by featuring outdoor industry professionals who have come together, even if competitors, to do great things
  • Released The Outdoor Recreation Economy report, the largest and most comprehensive research of its kind, that reported the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending annually, sustains 7.6 million American jobs and generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue each year
  • Launched the OIA Advocacy Center, giving members and constituents key information, access to their congressional elected officials, and actions they can take to influence change
  • Led the March for Public Lands that rallied over 3,000 outdoor industry professionals in front of the Utah State Capitol to show support for protecting public lands
  • Kicked off the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy, a six-month immersive experience for the next generation of outdoor industry leaders.
  • In collaboration with POW and Mountainfilm, hosted the inaugural Outdoor Industry Climate Leadership Summit to engage the outdoor industry voice in the crucial fight against climate change
  • Led executives from more than 350 outdoor businesses to jointly submit a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke asking him to protect national monuments and public lands that are critical infrastructure for outdoor businesses
  • Released first-ever congressional-level Outdoor Recreation Economy reports for all 435 congressional districts
  • Lise Aangeenbrug, veteran conservation champion, named the Outdoor Foundation’s new executive director
  • Released the State of Sustainability in the Outdoor Industry report surveying 120 individual small, midsize, and large companies in the outdoor industry to quantify the outdoor industry’s sustainability impact.
  • VF Foundation, Patagonia, and Thule kicked off a multimillion-dollar funding effort for the Outdoor Foundation to get more kids and families outside (less than a year later, REI and Wolverine Worldwide joined the founding donors to support the initiative)
  • Released first-ever OIA Congressional Scorecard as a part of the Vote the Outdoors program, highlighting congressional voting records on public lands, climate change, and trade issues
  • Created the 501(c)4 organization Vote the Outdoors to support the election of outdoorists to Congress and governorships across the country
  • Outdoor Foundation launched Thrive Outside Community Initiative, which awards multi-year, capacity-building grants to diverse communities to build and strengthen networks that provide children and families with repeat and reinforcing experiences in the outdoors. This community-led initiative is built with trusted local and national partners and is supported by three years of funding.
  • Held successful Sustainability Bootcamps across the country to help support small to medium-sized outdoor industry organizations to build and grow their sustainability strategies
  • Released the first comprehensive economic report showing that outdoor companies and consumers paid an extra $1.1 billion due to new punitive Trump administration tariffs on Chinese imported goods
  • Through state-level lobbying efforts and industry coalition building, supported the creation of offices or task forces of outdoor recreation in 15 states
  • OIA, REI, and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable joined together to support the creation of the Outdoor Recreation Learning Network to help governors and their staff explore strategies to leverage their unique natural, cultural and historical resources and help promote economic, social, and environmental benefits

The OIA Legacy

There are so many board members and other volunteers who have selflessly given their time over the years. OIA has their vision and leadership to thank for the growth and success of the association and industry. The following industry leaders have served as association chairpersons:


1989 to 1993

Board Chairs: Konnie Self, A16; and Denise Friend, REI (exact years unknown)


1993 to 1994

Board Chair: Dick Holcombe, Woolrich


1994 to 1996

Board Chair: Steve Pfeiffer, President, Mountain Equipment, Inc. (MEI)


1996 to 1999

Board Chair: Dunham Gooding, President, American Alpine Institute


1999 to 2001

Board Chair: Sally McCoy, President, Sierra Designs


2001 to 2003

Board Chair: Steve Barker, President, Eagle Creek


2003 to 2005

Board Chair: Lee Fromson, President, Cascade Designs


2005 to 2007

Board Chair: Kim Coupounas, CEO, GoLite


2007 to 2009

Board Chair: Mike Wallenfels, President, Mountain Hardwear


2009 to 2011

Board Chair: Dan Templin, CFO, VF Outdoors


2011 to 2013

Board Chair: Will Manzer, CEO, Eastern Mountain Sports


2013 to 2015

Board Chair: Jennifer Mull, CEO, Backwoods


2015 to 2017

Board Chair: Gordon Seabury, CEO, Toad&Co


2017 to 2019

Board Chair: Travis Campbell, GM Americas, The North Face


2019 to 2021

Board Chair: Nora Stowell, Fabric Sales and Marketing Divisional Leader, W.L. Gore & Associates


2021 to present

Board Chair: Phyllis Grove, Helen of Troy, SVP Marketing (Hydro Flask and OXO)


We’re always looking to improve and provide meaningful education for professionals in ther outdoor indsutry. Let us know how we’re doing.


Working Groups



Outdoor Industry Association has three advisory councils to lead and guide the work in Sustainability, Trade Policy and Recreation Policy. These advisory councils, made up of OIA members, influence our initiatives, educate fellow members, and help foster a thriving outdoor industry.


The Sustainability Advisory Council supports OIA sustainable business in its mission to empower every outdoor company to take bold steps to achieve positive impact. This is primarily demonstrated through their leadership and guidance of the OIA Climate Action Corps.

  • Matt Thurston, Divisional Vice President of Sustainability, REI (Chair)
  • Alicia Chin, Senior Manager, Sustainability and Social Impact, Smartwool
  • Danielle Cresswell, Senior Sustainability Manager, Klean Kanteen
  • Guru Larson, Director of Sustainability, Columbia
  • Jennifer Silberman, VP, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), YETI
  • JJ Trout, Chief of Staff, PeopleForBikes
  • John Stokes, Director Of Sustainability, New Balance
  • Kim Drenner, Head of Environmental Impact, Patagonia
  • Kristen Bandurski, Sustainability Program Manager, Red Wing Shoe CO.
  • Libby Sommer, Director of Corporate Sustainability, Bolt Threads
  • Marie Måwe, Director of Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement, W. L. Gore & Associates
  • Theresa Conn, Director of Sustainability, Nemo Equipment

To learn more about the Sustainability Advisory Council, contact the OIA Sustainability Team.




  • Cam Brensinger, Founder and CEO, Nemo Equipment (Chair)
  • Alison Hill, CEO, Lifestraw
  • Bruce Old, Vice President of Global Wholesale, Patagonia
  • Jonathan Cedar, Co-Founder and CEO, Biolite
  • Sean Cady, Vice President of Global Sustainability, Responsibility and Trade, VF Corporation

To learn more about the Sustainability Board Committee, visit our board page.


The Recreation Advisory Council is an advisory board that provides guidance to OIA on various recreation-related policy issues, such as engagement on public land funding initiatives, protection and new designations of our public lands for recreation use and ensuring access to outdoor recreation for the next generation.

  • Taldi Harrison, Senior Manager, Government and Community Affairs, REI (Chair)
  • Fred Ferguson, VP of Public Affairs, Vista Outdoors (Vice Chair)
  • Bryce Wernsman, President, Outdoor, Vasque Footwear
  • Corley Kenna, Head of Communications and Policy, Patagonia
  • Jason Sulham, Manager of Public Affairs, L.L.Bean
  • Jenny Kordick, Executive Director, Maine Outdoor Brands
  • Luis Benitez, Vice President, Government Affairs and Global Impact, VF Corp
  • Mason Smith, Head of Government and Community Relations, Hipcamp
  • Matt Liddle, COO, Snow Peak
  • Mike Mahoney, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer L.L.Bean
  • Mike Wallenfels, SVP Global Sales, Houseware Division at Helen of Troy (Hyrdo Flask Parent Company)
  • Steve McCann, Senior Marketing Manager, Toad&Co
  • Taishya Adams, Policy Director, Outdoor Afro
  • Theresa Conn, Global Distribution and Sustainability Manager, NEMO Equipment
  • Tucker Kimball, Public Relations and Social Media Manager, Orvis

For more information, contact the Government Affairs team at


The Trade Advisory Council reviews U.S. trade policy, relevant federal legislation and international trade negotiations, develops federal trade policy that may affect OIA membership, and recommends policy positions to the OIA government affairs team and OIA leadership.

  • Sara Bowersox, Global Compliance Manager, Keen (Chair)
  • Al Gapinski, Director of Sourcing, Materials, Development and Quality, PEARL iZUMi
  • Amy Whitney, Global Trade Compliance Manager, Burton Snowboards
  • Ben Christensen, COO, Simms Fishing
  • Brent Merriam, COO, NEMO Equipment
  • Dallas Hobgood, Director of Global Customs Compliance, Wolverine Worldwide
  • Drew Saunders – Country Manager, North America at Oberalp Group
  • Fred Ferguson, VP, Public Affairs, Vista Outdoor
  • Jann Futrell, Director Global Trade, The Coleman Company
  • Jeff Tooze, Director, Global Customs and Trade, Columbia Sportswear
  • Jen Kissner, Director Customs and Trade Advisory, Newell Brands
  • John Nehring, Planning Analyst, Oboz Footwear
  • Kristy Marvin, General Counsel, Timberland
  • Lisa Leffler, Senior Global Logistics Manager, Black Diamond
  • Marc Berejka – Director, Government Affairs, REI 
  • Mike DeVitto, Senior Manager of International Logistics and Trade Compliance, L.L.Bean
  • Mike Ratchford, Government Relations Associate, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc
  • Mike Rigney, VP of Operations, Orvis
  • Monica Thornton, Customs Manager, Helen of Troy
  • Patrick Fox, Director of Customs Compliance, VF Corporation
  • Quinn O’Rourke, Logistics and Customs Manager, LaCrosse Footwear Inc.
  • Scott Ermetti, President of International Business, Pelican Products
  • Tony Ferguson, Logistics Administrator, Patagonia
  • Tony Roina, Manufacturing and Sourcing Manager, Big Agnes

For more information, contact the Government Affairs team at

Get In Touch



We’re always looking to improve and provide meaningful education for professionals in the outdoor industry. Let us know how we’re doing.









Utah State University Business Certificates

The Sustainable Product Design and Supply Chain Certificate in the OIA Outdoor Industry Business Certificate program gives participants the opportunity to gain expertise in sustainable product design and supply chains through an outdoor industry lens.

The three courses that make up this certificate are designed and taught by faculty at Utah State University. You can start or enhance your sustainability journey by taking one or all of the following courses.



Hurry, this offer won’t last long.




Course Description

Historically speaking, our economy has been linear, meaning that raw materials are used to make a product, and after its use, any waste is thrown away. However, the resource-depleting nature of our linear economy has had major environmental impacts over the past century. Understanding that the resources on the planet are finite has prompted a shift toward a circular economy. In a circular economy, the materials used in the products we create are reintroduced into the supply chain to minimize the natural resources needed to create new products, thus diverting usable materials away from landfills.

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About Wistia

Course Learning Objectives

This course will look at the steps in the circular economy and address issues and
solutions in each step. Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand the Circular Economy model vs. the Linear Economy model
  • Comprehend different methods to design out waste and pollution
  • Gain insight into processes and programs for keeping products and materials in
  • Understand the various steps of the circular model including: materials
    selection, product design, manufacturing, distribution, roles of the consumer,
    repair/reuse, recycling/landfill, and regenerating natural systems
  • Cultivate the ability to evaluate products, supply chain and business based on
    their environmental and social impacts

Course Schedule

This course consists of six modules and one final exam:

  • Introduction
  • Materials, Design, and Manufacturing
  • Retail and the User
  • Reuse and Repair Programs
  • Recycling Materials, and Landfills
  • Innovation
  • Final Exam



Course Description

This class will integrate managerial and socio-ecological aspects in order to understand the relationship between sustainability and marketing in the twenty-first century. Key concepts of marketing and marketing mix decisions will be reviewed to provide students with the skills and capability to develop marketing strategies and comprehensive communication campaigns for sustainable products and services.


Course Learning Objectives

  • Increase your factual knowledge and experience with key principles of sustainability marketing and corporate social responsibility (terminology, classifications)
  • Discuss the fundamental principles and generalizations of sustainability marketing theories in its broader social and economic context
  • Identify consumer behavior and responses to the sustainability agenda
  • Reflect on sustainable forms of consumption and evaluate why consumers do and do not engage in sustainable behaviors
  • Understand the components of a successful marketing strategy for sustainable products.





Course Description

Outdoor companies face increasing internal and external pressure to pursue sustainable innovations in supply chain management (SCM). The global nature of production and distribution means that supply chain management is vital not only for a firm’s profitability, but also for the firm’s relationships to a broad range of stakeholders, including workers, communities and consumers around the world. Outdoor product consumers specifically demand a level of corporate citizenship and sustainability beyond the average requirements. This course in supply chain sustainability examines the supply chain from the stakeholder perspective. Topics include an overview of the supply chain, strategic sourcing and procurement, sustainable logistics and warehousing, supplier relationships and management and the importance of the supply chain to the product life-cycle. Students will complete the course with an understanding of the importance of addressing sustainability within supply chain management, as well as practical knowledge in leveraging supply chain benefits for both profit and increased corporate citizenship.



Since its founding in 1888, Utah State University has evolved from a small-town college tucked away in the Northern Utah mountains to a thriving research university respected around the world. It is home to the Outdoor Product Design & Development (OPDD) bachelor’s degree, in which students learn to bring innovative, sustainable, and impactful products to market in the dynamic sports, outdoor, and active industries.

Get In Touch



We’re always looking to improve and provide meaningful education for professionals in the outdoor industry. Let us know how we’re doing.





Circular Economy


Keeping products and materials out of landfills through robust product care and repair systems and guidance, increased durability and innovative materials, and design that encourages repair, recycling and reuse.




The Renewal Workshop



We’re always looking to improve and provide meaningful education for professionals in the outdoor industry. Let us know how we’re doing.


  Contact Us


Outdoor Industry Business Certificates

Outdoor Industry Business Certificates

The Outdoor Industry Business Certificate (OIBC) is a first of its kind program that brings together OIA’s deep industry knowledge with universities’ world-class faculty to provide online, self-paced, non-credit certificates that address critical outdoor industry topics.


The OIBC program is a suite of certificates offered through our accredited university partners. By pursuing a certificate, you will take three specified courses that allow you to build fluency in an outdoor industry-focused topic. The topics were chosen and the courses developed with industry input to ensure that the knowledge you receive in the online classroom is readily applicable in the outdoor business world. Start building the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career in an industry you’re passionate about. Enroll in a certificate program or standalone course today.


Sustainable Product Design and Supply Chain Certificate

Learn from faculty of USU’s cutting-edge Outdoor Product Design & Development Program about sustainable product design, the circular economy, sustainability assessment tools and metrics, sustainable supply chains and more.


Learn More + Register


  • Three non-credit courses per certificate, each led by experienced university faculty
  • All self-paced, online coursework – participate anytime from anywhere
  • Monthly enrollment – register for classes and start when it’s convenient for you
  • Flexible completion timelines for working professionals – you have up to six months to complete each course
  • No enrollment limits


“As an outdoor industry professional looking to grow in my career, this program struck the perfect balance of everything I was looking for. It allowed me the time and financial flexibility I needed while providing me with a valuable curriculum that not only touched on everything from marketing, personal and leadership development, and crucial DEI points, but also dove deep into these matters while connecting everything back to the outdoor industry. “I have never had educators or coursework so seamlessly in-tune with the outdoor industry specifically, and this was everything to me. What I especially loved was how introspective some of the course material was, forcing me to look inside myself as an industry professional, a marketer, a leader, and an individual, and evaluate what I found there. I knew I would learn, but never imagined how much I would grow from these courses as an individual. There are teachings and lessons which I will take with me for many years to come as I grow as a professional.”

Katherine Lasak

Frequently Asked Questions

There are no formal prerequisites for these courses. Students do not need to have a college degree. However, students should have at least some college or technical training or have a few years of professional experience. All students need is curiosity, willingness to learn, and a passion for the outdoor industry and the topics that are critical to the industry’s success and longevity.

You will register and pay for classes through the universities’ websites. You will see orange “Register Now” buttons throughout this site that will link you out to the respective university’s enrollment pages.

Utah State University: For Utah State University’s courses, there are no registration deadlines. You can enroll at any time and start the course as soon as your enrollment is processed. 

Western Colorado University: For Western Colorado University’s courses, registration is rolling and courses start the first day of each month. For example, if you register for a course on August 15, your course will be available to you starting September 1.

Each course has approximately 15 hours of content. To complete a certificate you will take three courses, which equals approximately 45 hours of content. All courses are self-paced, so you can go at whatever speed works for you. You have 180 days (6 months) to complete a single course.

Yes! You are welcome to take standalone courses if you don’t want or are not yet ready to pursue a full certificate.

No, we do not offer a cross-university/interdisciplinary certificate option at this time. You will only receive a certificate if you complete the three courses specified by a single university.

Yes! You are welcome to complete multiple certificates and will receive an individual certificate for each one that you complete.

No, you can take the courses in any order you want.

Tuition discounts are available for OIA members, on company bulk course purchases, and for Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy (FLA) dues-paying alumni. Please contact with inquiries.


Get In Touch



We’re always looking to improve and provide meaningful education for professionals in the outdoor industry. Let us know how we’re doing.





Greetings from the White House — Letter from OIA Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug

Outdoor Industry Association Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Executive Director Jessica Turner

On Monday, I joined President Joe Biden and a group of bipartisan lawmakers and business leaders at the signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. I’m proud to say that OIA has been a key player every step along the way, ensuring that meaningful climate provisions and other projects important to our industry were included in this new law. We should be encouraged by its many provisions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, including wildfires, droughts and floods; to expand access to and improve our nation’s parks and trails; and to enhance our nature-based infrastructure.

Just as importantly, this bill will provide long overdue improvements to America’s core infrastructure – roads, bridges, ports and airports – which will help our $689 billion industry and 4.3 million employees deliver our products to consumers and connect people with parks and green spaces.

But our work is not done yet. As Congress continues to work on budget reconciliation, OIA is committed to working with lawmakers and the Biden administration to ensure that additional climate priorities – like funding for the Civilian Climate Corps, climate resiliency projects, outdoor restoration projects and the Department of Interior – are properly supported in the Build Back Better Act.

OIA’s advocacy and policy work would not be possible without the support of our members. Thank you for your continued engagement, and please do not hesitate to reach out about our policy priorities

Together We Are a Force,

Lise Aangeenbrug
OIA Executive Director

Webinar: Use of Online Images: Copyright Basics and Best Practices


When: Thursday, September 16, 1:00 PM (MT) Presented by: Lewis Roca, law firm Join us for a discussion on common pitfalls for the use, ownership and licensing of copyrightable works. The focus of this webinar will be on the use of online images, the associated legal risks and the best ways to manage that risk.

Webinar: Budget Reconciliation, Climate and You


When: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM MDT Speakers: Rich Harper, Director of Government Affairs, Outdoor Industry Association Amy Horton, Senior Director of Sustainable Business Innovation, Outdoor Industry Association As Outdoor Climate Policy Priorities Take Center Stage, Your Business Voice Matters We know the outdoor industry is poised to become the first climate positive industry by 2030, but we also know that equally ambitious policy changes are required to reverse the worst impacts of climate change and protect our precious natural resources. The outdoor business community has a unique opportunity – and an obligation to our employees and consumers – to make our voices heard. Join this special member-only webinar to learn more about this once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass significant climate legislation with far-reaching impacts for the health of our planet, people, and our industry. New scientific data confirms virtually no part of the planet will be spared from the negative impacts of climate change, and this all comes at time in our history when more Americans are getting outside than ever before. Major legislation currently being considered by Congress promises historic efforts to tackle climate change, including a host of priorities that matter to outdoor businesses and the industry at large. The legislation – one of the cornerstones of President Biden’s domestic agenda – is being pursued through a complex legislative tool known as “budget reconciliation.” It has the potential to accelerate the nation’s transition to renewable energy, create new jobs in restoration and climate resilience through a Civilian Climate Corps, support electric vehicle production, and make unprecedented investments in environmental justice. NOTE: This webinar is for Outdoor Industry Association members only. To become a member, contact us. REGISTER NOW