OIA Expands Sustainable Business Innovation Programs

Sustainability has been central to OIA’s mission since 2007, when the first sustainability working group launched. Since then, our sustainability programming has continued to grow, fostering a culture of collaboration where members take the reins, determine the agenda, invest personally, and encourage partnership without succumbing to competitive barriers. 

Last week at our OIA Sustainability All-Member Webinar, we unveiled several exciting new opportunities for all members to connect and collaborate with peers grappling with similar challenges. Through these collaboration opportunities, we can join hands and address the complexities of chemicals and climate together.  

New Goals: OIA is leading the charge for a sustainable future

CAC Goal 

Take bold, collective action against climate change by reducing and removing greenhouse gas emissions across the outdoor industry, carving a bold new path for others to follow.  

Why the change? CAC’s old goal was to “Become the world’s first climate positive industry by 2030, setting a bold example for others around the world to follow.” While we still stand by this goal in spirit, the sustainability landscape is rapidly evolving. The term “climate positive” is no longer widely used and, in some cases, is even prohibited under certain rules and regulations concerning sustainability claims. Our updated goal reflects the evolving sustainability landscape, the need to align with science, and the focus on greenhouse gas reduction in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.  

CCMC Goal

Blaze the trail in the innovation and adoption of safer chemicals that deliver functional, durable, and trustworthy materials and products to our customers.  

CCMC is approaching its one-year birthday. Chemical regulations continue to progress at a rapid and disjointed rate. However, our members are now more prepared than ever to comply thanks to CCMC’s community and expertise. This goal represents all of the progress that CCMC has made in the past year, and the coalition’s future aspirations for safer chemistry in the industry.  

New Program Requirements 

  • Commit to Program Goals  
  • Share Annual Progress  

New Resources: Our Evolved Offerings for OIA Members

For both CAC and CCMC, we aspire to offer our members:  

  • Guidance – Approachable guidance with the basics of what you need to know in order to make progress towards the program goal.  
  • Trainings – Virtual events to engage and instruct members on addressing chemical and climate impacts.  
  • Tools – Recommended and discounted tools to help you measure your impacts and keep track of important legislative timelines.  
  • Community – Online communities, in-person events, and other opportunities to connect with your industry peers.  
  • Collaboration – CoLabs aimed at specific impact reduction initiatives and Task Forces where members roll up their sleeves to discuss innovative solutions to shared challenges.  

We hope that through these two programs, our members will:  

  • Comply with upcoming regulations  
  • Reduce industry emissions  50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050 (UNFCCC)  
  • Replace harmful substances with clean chemistry and materials  

New Collaboration Opportunities: Let’s Work Together

As we move towards our sustainability goals, we must move together, as an industry. It’s in this spirit that OIA is launching more collaboration opportunities for our members to investigate challenges, implement solutions, and progress the industry.   

OIA Impact CoLabs: Pre-Competitive 

Existing CoLabs (not recruiting): 

  • Tent Flammability (CCMC) – Change outdated laws in 7 states to no longer require flame retardants in tents   
  • Drinkware (CAC) – Carbon auditing, target setting, and decarbonization action planning for suppliers   
  • Clean Heat (CAC) – Creation of a decision support tool for the electrification of heating in textile plants    
  • Vietnam Renewable Energy (CAC) – Aggregated solar procurement for suppliers in Vietnam    
  • Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (CAC) – Aggregated solar procurement for owned and operated facilities (Scope 2)     
  • Carbon Leadership Project (CAC) – Carbon auditing, target setting, and decarbonization action planning for suppliers  

New CoLab (recruiting): 

  • Developing: Philippines RE (CAC) – OIA is collaborating with Allotrope Partners once again to give members the opportunity to explore clean energy at the Dong In Entech facility in the Philippines  

 

OIA Task Forces 

Task Forces are member-led and member-driven teams dedicated to addressing specific challenges and producing specific deliverables within a set period of time. Here are the task forces OIA is currently offering members: 

  • Aluminum Task Force 
  • Hardgoods Task Force 
  • PFAS Testing Task Force 
  • Supplier Climate Principles Task Force 
  • TSCA Task Force 
  • Sustainability Policy Task Force  
  • Recycled Inputs Task Force  

 

To learn more about OIA Sustainability, visit our OIA webpage, or reach out to sustainability@outdoorindustry.org 

Comply Worldwide Webinar Series: Preparing for EU Sustainability Requirements

Register for the webinar series in your member portal

The European Commission has passed several pieces of legislation that will impact the apparel, footwear, and outdoor industries worldwide. Companies importing products into Europe will need to comply with rigorous new requirements. These laws may also serve as a model for future requirements closer to home. “Comply Worldwide: Preparing for European Sustainability Requirements” is a webinar series that will teach attendees what legislation is here, what is coming, and how to prepare. Data collection on various sustainability topics is no longer a nice-to-have; it is a must-have to grow – or even keep – your business. We invite you to learn how these regulations impact you now and in the future. 

 

Open to Everyone 

Intro to European Union Legislative Framework for Sustainable Innovation

June 26 at 10:00AM MT

Register Here

The European Union (EU) is cracking down on sustainability in the textile industry. If your outdoor brand is producing products or doing business in the EU, you need to begin your compliance efforts now.

Join our webinar with EU policy and textile industry experts for an overview of the most critical policy files that will impact the textile and fashion industry in the next years, including updated policy timelines and anticipated timelines for compliance for business. Most recently, the EU Commission has proposed a policy framework that would ensure the delivery of the vision laid out in the March 2022 EU Strategy for Sustainable Circular Textiles, which would require all textile products on the EU market to be durable, recyclable, made of recyclable and hazard-free materials, and produced with respect to social and environmental rights. Altogether, this policy framework will drive major shifts in terms of operation, production and corporate governance in the sector. You’ll leave this session with actionable insights on how your brand can best prepare for and comply with upcoming sustainability legislation in the EU and beyond.

Speaker: Pascale Moreau, Founder and Managing Director, Ohana Public Affairs.

 

Open to OIA Members

Greening the Game: Navigating the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism for Equipment Manufacturers

July 11 at 9:00AM MT

If your company does business in the EU and imports steel, aluminum, iron, electricity, hydrogen, fertilizers, or cement from non-EU countries, you need to be aware of the new rules resulting from the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) Regulation issued in May 2023. Beginning in 2026, economic operators will be required to purchase certificates to cover the emissions of these imports. Join our upcoming virtual education session to hear from Foundation of Energy and Security Innovation (FESI) experts about the impacts of this regulation, including which economic operators are currently affected and how your company can take steps to ensure compliance.

Speakers:

Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary General
Chiara Mingozzi, FESI Junior Sustainability Policy Officer 
Vittoria Salcuni, ZPC Consulting Trade Compliance Project Manager

 
Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) Framework: Product Performance Requirements and Unsold Goods

July 23 at 11:00AM MT

Is your outdoor brand selling textile products in the EU? Join our webinar for a deep dive into the implications of the upcoming Eco-Design for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), which will significantly impact eco-design requirements for textile products sold in the EU. You’ll gain insights from public affairs experts on the key obligations companies must meet, including disclosing the amount of unsold goods and adhering to bans on destroying unsold textile products.

Speaker: Analoli del Cueto, Junior Public Affairs Consultant, Ohana Public Affairs

 
Digital Product Passports (DPPs): The Concept That Will Make Your Products Communicate

August 6 at 10:00AM MT

As defined in the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), a Digital Product Passport to be required on almost every product sold in the EU. Join this webinar to learn what this concept is, when it needs to be implemented, and how it aims to support decarbonization, a circular economy, and value chain traceability. It is recommended to attend the previous webinar on the ESPR for useful context.

Scope of the legislation: Market access legislation – The rules proposed under ESPR, including Digital Product Passports, will apply to all products placed on the EU market, whether produced inside or outside the EU.

Speaker: Jan Merckx, Sustainability Specialist, GS1 Nederland

 
Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) & Forced Labour Regulation: Final Legislation & Implementation Recommendations 

August 22 at 11:00AM MT

It is expected that the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive will become a law during the summer with the progressive entry into application starting 2027. This legislation aims to ensure that EU companies and companies with a large turnover in the EU prevent and mitigate human rights and environmental harm within their operations globally.

The Forced Labour legislation requires EU and non-EU companies to know how the products they place in the EU market were manufactured with an implicit due diligence obligation in advance. It is expected this regulation comes into force in 2027.

Speaker: Natalia Yerashevich, Head of Transparency and Supply Chain, Ohana Public Affairs

 
Empowering Consumers and Green Claims Directive: Final Legislation & Implementation Recommendations

September 5 at 11:00AM MT

The European Union is about to finalize two important directives on voluntary sustainability claims: the Empowering Consumers Directive (ECGT) will cover generic claims, whereas Green Claims Directive (GCD) will target explicit environmental claims. The two initiatives will cover B2C claims on the product and company level made on the EU market. During the webinar, we will give a brief overview of obligations that both initiatives will bring for companies. We will present several examples of claims to show which initiative (ECGT or GCD) they would be subject to. Finally, we will give some high-level tips for implementation.

Speaker: Jedrzej Nadolny, Public Affairs Consultant in Transparency and Supply Chain, Ohana Public Affairs

 
Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD): Overview of the Upcoming Reporting Requirements

September 18 at 11:00AM MT

CSRD aims to foster streamlined sustainability reporting via European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). The reporting shall cover environmental impacts, social and human rights, and governance factors, bringing information about the impacts they may cause in the environment and society. The regulation came into force in 2023 and it has a specific transition period (2024 to 2028) depending on the type of business.

Speaker: Jedrzej Nadolny, Public Affairs Consultant in Transparency and Supply Chain, Ohana Public Affairs

 
Product Environmental Footprint (PEF): Regulation Defining Product Impact Measurement

October 1 at 11:00AM MT

Does your company manufacture textile or footwear products? Are you interested in making any claims about the environmental impacts of your products? Join this webinar to get a better understanding of why the PEF initiative was needed, what your business will need to do to make a sustainability claim in Europe, and the methodology for calculating the environmental impacts of your products.

Speaker: Joël Mertens, Director, Higg Product Tools, Cascale

 

Webinar: Consumer Products Legal Trends: PFAS, Greenwashing, and Class Actions

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Members-Only Webinar: Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. (MT)

Please join OIA and Ballard Spahr for this partner webinar. Especially in the outdoor industries, many companies have tried to improve their environmental stance and, understandably, make those efforts public.  The recent wave of litigation relating to PFAS (aka “forever chemicals”) has taken aim at common marketing claims—such as labeling products as “sustainable,” “organic,” or “natural”—when trace amounts of PFAs are allegedly found.  Federal and state regulations targeting PFAS in both the environment and consumer products have further complicated the legal landscape. Luckily, there are practical steps that companies can take to mitigate these risks while still recognizing the benefits of their environmental advancements. This webinar will discuss the unique compliance and legal challenges facing the outdoor industry related to PFAS and greenwashing claims, as well as basic steps companies can take.

PFAS Phase-Out: 5 Key Steps for Your Outdoor Brand

By James Pollack, OIA Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition Legislative Advisor, Attorney at Marten Law

Start your brand’s journey to eliminating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as Forever Chemicals.

You have probably started hearing a lot about PFAS, a large, complex group of synthetic chemicals found in various everyday consumer products like water-resistant clothing and cookware. A combination of regulatory requirements and consumer demand has created growing pressure on sectors worldwide to achieve PFAS elimination. States have proposed hundreds of potential laws and regulations targeting PFAS in a variety of consumer products. Many of these laws will impact outdoor brands that have used PFAS for durability as well as water and stain resistance. Intimidated? Don’t be. Together, we can replace existing products with more sustainable alternatives to provide customers with products that are just as reliable and durable.

1). Assemble your PFAS team

First and foremost, you have to build a dedicated team to effectively tackle PFAS phase-out. For the most comprehensive and holistic approach, I recommend bringing together a diverse group with a multiplicity of perspectives and expertise. While a chemicals expert may understand what needs to change about your product’s material composition, a designer will have insight into how materials fit into the product, marketing will help articulate why and how your outdoor brand is evolving its product, and sales will have to communicate the transition to buyers and consumers alike. Once you have a team assembled, appoint a champion who will take ownership of the initiative and lead it to fruition.

2). Understand the timeline for PFAS legislation

As PFAS chemicals are generally a state legislative issue for the time being, your brand will have to navigate different states with different deadlines for phase-out and elimination. For example, California’s ban on PFAS in textile articles goes into effect January 1, 2025, Vermont’s ban on all PFAS in food packaging, ski wax, and after-market fabric treatments goes into effect on July 1, 2024, and Minnesota’s ban on the sale of cookware, fabric treatments, juvenile products, ski wax, and food packaging with intentionally added PFAS goes into effect on January 25, 2025.

Once you have a grasp on the state regulations that apply to your product categories, it is important to align your product development cycle with upcoming regulatory deadlines.

Pro Tip: CCMC members have access to a constantly updated Regulatory Tracker to ensure members are aware of new and evolving deadlines around PFAS and other harmful chemicals.

3). Work with your suppliers on a PFAS phase-out plan

After aligning your product development cycle with your state’s regulatory timeline, you should work to communicate key deadlines with your suppliers. There’s a good chance that your suppliers are addressing similar requests from other brands and distributors, so leverage their expertise. Ask them about the alternatives to PFAS they’ve been using and the options that exist for sustainable material evolution.

4). Draw on expertise within the outdoor industry

The outdoor industry has a long history of working together to catalyze broader change and drive innovation. As catalysts, we know that we go farther, and faster, when we work together. In addition to your suppliers, you can leverage the expertise of lawyers, labs, consultants, and other outdoor brands to crystalize your PFAS phase-out strategy.

OIA’s Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition is designed to support retailers, brands, manufacturers, and distributors in a way that is unique to their PFAS phase-out stage. We provide our members with scalable action plans for eliminating and replacing harmful chemicals and materials, delivering supply chain transparency, addressing recycling and emissions disclosures, and more. CCMC members also gain access to a community network of other brands working on the same challenges, and technical and legislative advisors (like myself) who are here to offer support. For more insight into how CCMC can support your brand, watch our introductory webinar.

5). Design and implement your ongoing PFAS and chemical compliance efforts

The last step, of course, is execution. Now that you have a team, a timeline, and a supportive community of peers and experts, it is time to begin the process of altering your products and supply chain to ensure they are compliant with a variety of state sustainability regulations. This may include steps like testing your product’s material composition, obtaining appropriate certifications, and implementing a restricted substance list. It is important to ensure that all your outdoor brand’s products meet regulatory requirements, so I recommend establishing inventory management practices to track different products’ PFAS phase-out life stages.

The path towards PFAS elimination is not linear–nor easy–but if we take one step at a time and work together, we can be catalysts for sustainable growth. If you’re looking for more robust support and a community to lean on, join me and the Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition.

About James Pollack

James Pollack is an attorney at Marten Law based in Seattle, WA, whose practice focuses on consumer product regulatory compliance, emerging contaminants, and environmental review. James leads the firm’s consumer products regulatory practice and helps consumer product manufacturers in a wide array of industries that are working to understand the complicated and shifting regulatory and litigation environments surrounding emerging contaminants. He has extensive knowledge on PFAS regulatory compliance at the federal and state level. James’s clients include textile and apparel manufacturers, outdoor recreational product manufacturers, food product manufacturers, and retailers. He also works with industry associations to update membership on regulatory developments.

Read more from James on PFAS:

About James

Can Orange Juice Claim to be Green?

PFAS in Consumer Products are Targeted by State Regulators and Class Action Plaintiffs

What Is in EPA’s Billion Dollar PFAS Reporting Rule?

California Bans PFAS in Apparel, Textiles, Cosmetics

Washington is Latest State to Ban PFAS in Consumer Products 

Regulation of PFAS in Consumer Products 

Webinar: Measure Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions with Climate Neutral’s BEE Tool

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Members-Only Webinar: Wednesday, September 27 2:00-3:00pm MT

Are you looking to begin measuring your company’s greenhouse gas emissions, but don’t know where to start? Join the OIA Climate Action Corps team and the Climate Neutral team to learn how to measure your emissions with Climate Neutral’s Business Emissions Evaluator Tool (BEE Tool). Participants will receive a brief overview of greenhouse gas measurement, and then will receive an overview and demonstration of the BEE Tool. Q&A will follow. All OIA members are welcome. A friendly reminder: OIA Support + Members receive 25% off the annual BEE Tool License with their membership. We hope to see you there!

Webinar: Going Green, For Real: What the FTC’s Green Guides Mean for Your Brand

Members-only Webinar

Live Date: July 25, 2023 at 10 am MT

Consumer interest in supporting environmentally conscientious products continues to influence purchasing decisions and, with it, brands’ product development and marketing strategies. The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Green Guides provide information to brands and retailers on avoiding unfair or deceptive environmental-related marketing claims. As the number of claims has been increasing on more types of products, concerns about consumer fraud have also grown.

The FTC issued record million-dollar penalties against some major retailers for deceptive environmental claims in 2022 and began an overall public review process of the Green Guides late last year.  The claims  being assessed include those that related to: Carbon Offsets and Climate Change, Compostable, Degradable, Ozone Safe / Ozone Friendly, Recyclable, Recycled Content, Energy Use / Energy Efficiency, Organic, Sustainable and Regenerative. As part of its ongoing review, FTC held a workshop on “recyclable” claims on May 23.

Experts Allie Sauers, associate, international trade at Sorini, Samet & Associates, Akshay Sinha, senior advisor, global policy development and Asia-Pacific affairs at Sorini, Samet & Associates, and Maria Celis, Of Counsel at Neville Peterson LLP and General Counsel at JO Cosmetics will provide background on the current Green Guides, the FTC’s objectives in the review underway and scope for public comment, and the likelihood of revisions and rulemaking.  The webinar will also look at developments at the State level and related developments in the European Union. Attendees will leave this session with a better understanding of the current Green Guides landscape and how it could impact their brand strategy.

 
Together we are a force for collective action. Join us.

Webinar: Introducing OIA’s New Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition

Explore CCMC

Watch on-demand!

Live Date: July 13, 2023 at 1 pm MT

Are you ready to engage and support the outdoor industry’s journey to phase out and eliminate harmful chemistry in outdoor products? Watch our webinar to learn more about OIA’s new sustainability program, working group, and consulting service: Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition (CCMC). 

 

Whether you are just starting out on the trail or cresting the summit to PFAS elimination or other sustainability measures, OIA’s CCMC supports outdoor retailers, brands, manufacturers, and distributors with scalable action plans for eliminating and replacing harmful chemicals and materials, delivering supply chain transparency, recycling and emission disclosures, and more. 

 

Watch our July 13th webinar to gain insight into what you can expect to achieve as part of OIA’s CCMC community. We introduce our team of technical experts and share why clean chemicals innovation is imperative for your brand, steps you can take towards PFAS elimination now, what that phase-out journey will look like, and how you can engage directly with our consultants and working groups to uncover reliable and durable alternatives.  

 

Together we are catalysts for sustainable growth. Join us.

Panelists:

  • Sarah Rykal, Director of Sustainable Innovation, OIA

  • Michelle Legatt, Technical Advisor, OIA CCMC

    • As the Technical Advisor for OIA’s Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition, Michelle assists OIA members in navigating chemicals management and sustainability initiatives throughout their supply chain. Prior to working with OIA, Michelle has spent the last 18 years working in innovation, product development, and sustainability roles at a variety of companies in the consumer goods sector.

  • James Pollack, Legislative Advisor, OIA CCMC

    • James Pollack serves as the Legislative Advisor for the OIA Clean Chemistry and Materials Coalition, assisting OIA members in understanding and navigating chemicals and sustainability compliance legislation and regulations. He is also an associate with Marten Law, leading the firm’s consumer products regulatory practice. He helps consumer product manufacturers in the apparel, outdoor, and food products industries who are working to understand the complicated and shifting regulatory and litigation environments surrounding emerging contaminants. James has extensive knowledge on PFAS regulatory compliance at the federal and state level.

Follow-Up Q&A

Suppliers have said they can provide C0 chemistry. Should we test these to the Total Organic Fluorine 50ppm threshold? Should we test these for individually testable PFAS?

Your testing decisions will depend on several factors. First, what is your goal and intention for the data? Testing C0 chemistry for ToF (Total Organic Flourine) may provide you with verification of supplier representations, or it can provide you with indications of PFAS unintentionally added or cross-contaminating your products. Testing for individual PFAS, in comparison, may help you understand what specific compounds are found in your products.
Second, what is your overall risk tolerance and communication strategy with regard to PFAS? Different laws have set different thresholds based on either ToF or particular PFAS. For only one example, California’s AB 1817 includes a phased set of ToF thresholds, including 100ppm and 50ppm depending on the year. If you are creating a compliance strategy, you may want to follow the thresholds provided by law. However, if you are looking to make marketing representations related to PFAS content, you may be interested in implementing a different set of thresholds. We look forward to discussing testing best practices and how different brands are approaching these issues at future CCMC events.

Are chemical companies working on alternative chemistries?

Yes, most chemical suppliers familiar with textile applications now offer PFAS-free alternatives. Other chemical suppliers, newly entering the market, have expertise in the alternative chemistry (ie silicones or polyurethanes). Additionally, a handful of new start-ups, incorporating other environmental co-benefits, have also launched PFAS-free solutions.

Can we expect to hear from experts at testing labs in upcoming webinars?

At least one of our upcoming Working Group Monthly meetings will focus on PFAS testing. We are exploring options for working with testing labs and will have more information available in the near future.

Will you have guidance for PFAS regulations in Europe?

Yes, we are partnering with the European Outdoor Group to provide updates on legislation in the EU. EOG staff will attend a CCMC Working Group meeting in October to provide information to CCMC members.

What materials/resources are available for CCMC members now?

  • Educational one-pagers
    • Legislative One-Pager with a summary of PFAS regulations
    • Background and Business Case
    • Formulation Assessment/What to ask your chemical suppliers
    • Supplier engagement
    • Testing
  • Regulatory timeline with key dates for compliance
  • Regulatory tracker with detailed information all enacted PFAS laws by state
  • Weekly group office hours with technical advisor, Michelle Legatt
  • Monthly group office hours with legislative advisor, James Pollack
  • Monthly CCMC Working Group meetings
  • Monthly Sustainability Policy Strategy Working Group meetings
  • Online Member Community to share questions and best practices with other outdoor companies
  • Quarterly webinars
  • Coming Soon: CCMC Guidebook for PFAS Phase-Out

Coffee and Climate: SBTi Reduction Target Setting Challenges and Solutions

woman pours hot coffee in mountains near campfire

Register Now

Monday, October 24, 2022, 11 am MT Climate Action Corps members, join us for another edition of the Coffee and Climate series! In this live discussion, we will discuss setting an SBTi-aligned emissions reduction target. We will dive into strategy, tools used, gaining CEO/stakeholder buy-in, challenges, and solutions, and answer common questions brought up by Corps members. As opposed to more formal Corps training webinars, Coffee and Climate sessions are a candid but guided conversation on a chosen topic. They include facilitated group discussion to share tips, tricks, and strategies, as well as an opportunity for Q&A. Be ready to bring your questions (and coffee) to the table! Speakers Kari Shafer, Climate Action Corps Manager, Outdoor Industry Association Kaytlin Moeller, Sustainability Manager, Royal Robbins (parent organization – Fenix Outdoor) Mara Ley, Sustainability Manager, Vuori Michael Sadowski, Sustainability Strategy Consultant This Coffee and Climate session is for Climate Action Corps members only. If you’re a Corps member, you can register here. Not a member? Contact our team to learn more and join today.