Analysis

Sustainability and the outdoor industry (July 2011)

Jul 2011

By Ekobai Contributor, Sustainable Textiles

The European Outdoor Group has pioneered a new environmental assessment tool to advance sustainability practices within the outdoor industry. Known as the ‘Eco Index’ it includes performance indicators, footprint metrics and a scoring system which can be used by companies to incorporate environmental considerations into product design and to manage their supply chains in a way that supports their environmental goals. 

The Eco Index is based on a life-cycle approach and applies across outdoor industry product categories including apparel, equipment and footwear. It is currently an internal/supply chain facing tool and not a consumer-facing label. However, it might be developed to include the latter in the future. The initiative is led by the European Outdoor Group (http://www.europeanoutdoorgroup.com) and the Outdoor Industry Association with the assistance of organisations including the Zero Waste Alliance (http://www.zerowaste.org/). Since its release in July of 2010 the Index has been piloted by more than 100 companies.
In March 2011 the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (www.apparelcoalition.org) was formed, adopting and developing the Eco Index for its members which include key European Outdoor Group members and other companies. During 2011, member companies will start to pilot the initial version of the Coalition’s apparel tool and to participate in the development of a tool specific to footwear. 
NOTES
European Outdoor Group
The European Outdoor Group was founded in 2003 by 19 of the world’s largest outdoor companies including Adidas Group, Columbia Sportswear, Helly Hansen, Jack Wolfskin, Lowe Alpine, Merrell, Patagonia and The North Face. European Outdoor Group’s  Sustainability Working Group seeks to provide insight and solutions to sustainability challenges facing the outdoor industry and its global stakeholders. http://www.europeanoutdoorgroup.com
Outdoor Industry Association 
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for companies in the active outdoor recreation business. It provides services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the industry. http://www.outdoorindustry.org
Sustainable Apparel Coalition 
The Coalition was founded by a group of sustainability leaders from global apparel and footwear companies together with leading environmental and social organisations. Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the Coalition seeks to develop a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance. http://www.apparelcoalition.org

The European Outdoor Group has pioneered a new environmental assessment tool to advance sustainability practices within the outdoor industry. Known as the ‘Eco Index’ it includes performance indicators, footprint metrics and a scoring system which can be used by companies to incorporate environmental considerations into product design and to manage their supply chains in a way that supports their environmental goals. 

The Eco Index is based on a life-cycle approach and applies across outdoor industry product categories including apparel, equipment and footwear. It is currently an internal/supply chain facing tool and not a consumer-facing label. However, it might be developed to include the latter in the future. The initiative is led by the European Outdoor Group and the Outdoor Industry Association with the assistance of organisations including the Zero Waste Alliance. Since its release in July of 2010 the Index has been piloted by more than 100 companies.

In March 2011 the Sustainable Apparel Coalition was formed, adopting and developing the Eco Index for its members which include key European Outdoor Group members and other companies. During 2011, member companies will start to pilot the initial version of the Coalition’s apparel tool and to participate in the development of a tool specific to footwear. 

KEY ORGANISATIONS

European Outdoor Group

The European Outdoor Group was founded in 2003 by 19 of the world’s largest outdoor companies including Adidas Group, Columbia Sportswear, Helly Hansen, Jack Wolfskin, Lowe Alpine, Merrell, Patagonia and The North Face. European Outdoor Group’s  Sustainability Working Group seeks to provide insight and solutions to sustainability challenges facing the outdoor industry and its global stakeholders. 

More info: European Outdoor Group website 

Outdoor Industry Association 

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for companies in the active outdoor recreation business. It provides services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the industry. 

More info: Outdoor Industry Association website

Sustainable Apparel Coalition 

The Coalition was founded by a group of sustainability leaders from global apparel and footwear companies together with leading environmental and social organisations. Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the Coalition seeks to develop a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance. 

More info: Sustainable Apparel Coalition website

 

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