Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) Sustainability Working Group has published its first report named ‘Leading in Sustainable Business: The state of sustainability in the outdoor industry’.
The report consists of guidelines to measure the industry’s sustainability performance and provide guidance to prioritize future initiatives. It also specifies about the proactive approaches adopted by the companies so as to improve their businesses in a sustainable way which has positively impacted their bottom lines.
150 people representing 123 organizations (including small, midsize and large companies) participated in the survey. The report defined small companies as less than US $ 2.5 million in annual revenue; midsize companies having US $ 2.5 – 50 million annual revenue and large companies with more than US $ 50 million in annual revenue.
REI and MEC, Protect Our Winters (POW), Timberland, Klean Kanteen, La Sportiva, The Renewal Workshop, The North Face, were some of the names that were part of the survey.
Out of the surveyed companies, 75 per cent of companies have atleast one employee who has undertaken any sustainability efforts in the organization whereas 87 per cent of the companies have used Higg Index to monitor internal sustainability conversations or benchmarking the efforts.
Various companies have also invested in efforts to cut the carbon emissions and about 63 per cent of the companies have already invested in the technologies that are renewable in nature. Also, 69 per cent of the respondents have already prioritized the use of materials and products accordingly.
It is worth mentioning here that the sustainability report indicates about strategies set by all the companies so as to prioritize the use of materials and products. For small companies, packaging was the core area to be prioritized because it is a highly noticeable in which results can be seen easily.
Since the midsize companies know about the increasing impacts of their manufacturing practices, they chose manufacturing as the key area. For the large companies, chemical management – a more complex, advanced area mainly managed by dedicated staff members was highly ranked.
Beth Jensen, Senior Director of Sustainable Business Innovation at OIA explains, “Our goal is to use this – and future reports – to measure progress, identify areas for improvement and illustrate the importance of sustainable practices as a business imperative.”
The Outdoor Industry Association is a membership-driven trade organization for the outdoor industry.