Stepping Up for Sustainability: Sustainability Working Group Awardees Honored and New Committee Members Announced

January 10, 2017

The Outdoor Industry Leads on Sustainable Business Practices Through the OIA Sustainability Working Group.

BOULDER, Colo. (January 10, 2017) — A group of leading outdoor industry companies are being recognized for their commitment to the industry’s sustainability efforts through their involvement in the OIA Sustainability Working Group (SWG).

Ten years ago at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the OIA Sustainability Working Group got its start when a few companies sat down together to figure out how they could best ensure and continually improve the high standards of environmental and social responsibility that consumers have come to expect of the outdoor industry.

Over the years, that initial gathering of a few companies has grown into a few hundred strong as the group continues to navigate some of the tougher supply chain questions. Their work has resulted in the development of industry standards and tools, like the Higg Index, that help companies assess and improve environmental and social responsibility throughout their supply chains. To date, 112 companies have registered accounts on higg.org, including 83 brands, 26 suppliers and 3 retailers.

“The OIA Sustainability Working Group would not have arrived at this 10-year milestone without the ongoing support of these companies,” said Beth Jensen, senior director of sustainable business Innovation for Outdoor Industry Association. “OIA is extraordinarily grateful for their dedication and commitment to this work that is so important to the future growth and success of the outdoor industry – and our planet.”

The companies being recognized for their longstanding commitment have put forward thousands of volunteer hours and numerous resources to help advance sustainability initiatives for the entire industry. Their hard work and collaboration have established the outdoor industry as a leader in responsible business, are a testament to the values of the outdoor industry and are a shining example that, together, we are a force.

“We are super excited and honored to receive this award,” said Valerie Presolly, director of sustainable business innovation at MEC. “Thank you for all your work in making it possible for the outdoor industry to convene and collaborate by providing a platform, guidance, direction, and so much more.”

The following companies were presented with their awards at the Ten Year Anniversary Celebration of the OIA Sustainability Working Group. These custom steel awards were designed and produced by Colorado metal artist, Lisa Issenberg of Kiitella. 

Ten-Year Award

  • bluesign
  • Black Diamond
  • Brooks
  • Cascade Designs
  • Columbia
  • KEEN
  • MEC
  • Nau
  • New Balance
  • Pacific Market International (PMI)
  • Patagonia
  • Petzl
  • REI
  • The North Face
  • Timberland
  • L. Gore

Five-Year Award

  • Burton
  • Deer Creek Fabrics
  • k. Non-Woven
  • Hohenstein
  • Indigenous Designs
  • LaSalle College
  • Nester Hoisery

New SWG Advisory and Steering Committee Members

The dedication of the SWG Advisory Council and Steering Committee members is central to the success of OIA’s Sustainability Working Group. These individuals go above and beyond to help contribute direction and guidance to OIA and to the working groups. We are pleased to announce the addition of two new advisory council members and two new Chemicals Management Working Group Steering Committee members.

New Advisory Council Members

  • Todd Copeland, Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility Manager, Patagonia
  • Valerie Presolly, Director of Sustainable Business Innovation, Mountain Equipment Co-op

New Chemicals Management Steering Committee Members

  • Bob Buck, Technical Fellow, The Chemours Company
  • Mitch Krauss, Sustainable Production Manager, Burton Snowboards

To learn more about the OIA Sustainability Working Group and the outdoor industry’s sustainability initiatives, visit https://outdoorindustry.org/sustainable-business/.

Outdoor Industry Association

Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves over 1300 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.