SAM Magazine—Denver, Jan. 29, 2020—The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) unveiled its new climate and sustainability initiative, the Climate Action Corps, at its annual sustainability meetings in Denver ahead of the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show. The aim of the Climate Action Corps is to support outdoor brands, retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers of all sizes that take a proactive approach to reduce their footprint and commit to doing business more sustainably.
“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. “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.”
Companies and organizations that join the Climate Action Corps must meet four deliverables:
1. measure their current carbon footprint
2. set greenhouse gas reduction targets
3. create company-specific plans and reductions over time
4. publicly share their progress annually
The Climate Action Corps was developed in part with the guidance of OIA’s Sustainability Advisory Council, which is comprised of representatives from companies such as Burton, REI, and The North Face. The founding members of the Climate Action Corps include Biolite, Burton, Columbia, Hydroflask, L.L. Bean, Klean Kanteen, MEC, Nemo, Orvis, Oxo, Patagonia, PMI, Primaloft, REI, and The North Face. Snowsports Industries America (SIA) was the first trade association to sign on.
At last year’s Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, OIA, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), and SIA introduced the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership (OBCP) to inspire action and raise the business voice of the $887-billion outdoor recreation industry on climate solutions.
NSAA had already founded two long-running sustainability programs for its members: Sustainable Slopes, which provides an overarching framework for ski areas on sustainability and enhanced environmental performance; and the Climate Challenge, a program designed to help ski areas inventory, target, and reduce their carbon emissions, similar to the Climate Action Corps.
Bringing such initiatives to the enormous gathering of executives, thought leaders, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts who attend the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show creates immediate momentum. “This is one of the largest gatherings of outdoor and snowsports industry businesses in the U.S., and the fact that we’re speaking first about climate and prioritizing climate action is critical,” said NSAA president and CEO Kelly Pawlak. “It’s critical to the future of our business, and the future of the planet.”