Sustainability Working Group

OIA Sustainability Working Group Vision Statement and Core Purpose:

“We continually seek out and assess, collaboratively evolve, and assist our member companies in adopting global environmental and social best practices to benefit the operations and communities in which we conduct our business.”

The OIA Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) is a collaborative effort among more than 300 outdoor brands, retailers, suppliers and other stakeholder organizations working to identify and implement better business practices throughout our shared supply chains.

This collaboration has resulted in the development of tools and guidance documents that are used far beyond our own supply chains, establishing the outdoor industry as a leader in responsible business. The OIA SWG includes chemicals management, materials traceability, social responsibility and product indexing within its scope and offers a platform to engage with fellow outdoor industry professionals on these issues.

By targeting supply chain management and reengineering it to reduce resource consumption and increase transparency, companies are better able to mitigate risk, increase efficiency and continuously identify opportunities for innovation.

The group’s work has also resulted in close partnerships with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the European Outdoor Group and has won the notice of national and international agencies, including the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the White House – which awarded the OIA SWG its “Champions of Change: Corporate Environmental Sustainability” Award in 2012.

The OIA Corporate Responsibility Department, which leads and facilitates the outdoor industry’s sustainability initiatives and oversees the OIA Sustainability Working Group, is focused on the following priorities:

  • Impact Reduction: development, harmonization, adoption, and education around supply chain tools
  • Community Building: build and house the outdoor industry’s ongoing “Community of Practice” on key supply chain topics
  • Communications and Storytelling around the outdoor industry’s supply chain sustainability leadership

Materials Traceability Working Group

The Materials Traceability Working Group focuses on establishing and promoting traceability systems and standards for specific raw materials supply chains. By providing a platform for the industry to collaboratively establish best practices and tools, the MTWG helps to promote and support the broader use of ethically and responsibly sourced raw materials throughout the industry.

Chemicals Management Working Group

The mission of the Chemicals Management Working Group (CMWG) is to drive continuous improvement in chemicals management practices, and to accelerate the development and use of sustainable chemistry/green chemistry.

By establishing shared approaches and tools for the management of chemicals and their potential impacts on humans and the environment across product life cycles, the CMWG helps companies get out in front of impending regulation, mitigate supply chain disruptions, share information and drive necessary research around chemicals of concern.


  • Increase the adoption of the Chemicals Management Module
  • The integration and mapping of tools that support a harmonized industry approach
  • Provide education and training around chemicals management through webinars, onsite trainings and academic curriculum in key institutions
  • Gather and support research as well as tracking and communicating legislation around priority chemicals

Social Responsibility Working Group

The Social Responsibility Working Group leads the development of fair labor tools, programs, education and communication in order to help direct sourcing, product life cycle and purchasing decisions.


  • Develop common fair labor, health and safety code elements to be used within the outdoor industry’s shared global supply chains
  • Educational programming to provide outdoor companies with guidance on how to start a social responsibility program
  • Provide input into the development of the social/fair labor indicators for the apparel, footwear and equipment indexes, in conjunction with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Equipment and Accessories Working Group

The Equipment and Accessories Working Group is dedicated to developing the equipment and accessories content around product indexing, ensuring that any indexing tools provide sustainability guidance for all product categories represented by the outdoor industry.

Communications Working Group

The Communications Working Group is focused on creating consistency and guidance on collaborative industry topics. The group provides a platform for industry communications professionals to vet communications issues with peers and develop optimal strategies for responding to challenges and opportunities.

Higg Adoption Task Force

With the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s launch of Higg 2.0 Web Tool, the Higg Implementation Task Force was established to provide training resources and help ensure that SWG member companies are aligned around Higg 2.0 Web Tool implementation strategies.