The Outdoor Industry Demands Climate Policy

The European outdoor industry sits in a key position in the fight against climate change. Its customer base alone is seeing the impact of climate change on a daily basis, from the shrinking glaciers and decreased snowpack to increased rockfall and extreme weather events.

While this customer base continues to raise their voices on the issues they are experiencing first hand, two things remain clear: the vitality of the industry’s economic future is fully dependent on a stable climate, and the industry itself plays a role in climate breakdown through operational emissions (over 80% of which are produced outside of Europe).

As we speak, the more progressive sections of the outdoor industry have already taken steps to cut their impact, improve sustainability, and do business differently – moving ahead of legislation. But this is not enough.

Understanding the need to unite as a unified front, a group of these businesses have now come together to work with Protect our Winters and formulate a list of demands that ask policy makers to catch up and produce policies that support increased sustainability while penalising bad practices.

These demands will be presented in an open letter to European policy makers ahead of COP27.

The time to act is now.

Protect Our Winters is calling for all those in the outdoor industry – the people and business that care about the planet, the outdoor places our community relies on, and the economic future of their sectors, to sign the letter and join this movement for a better future.

”We don’t have time to fall further behind. Every chance to speed up emission reduction must be taken. As part of the Outdoor industry who live by and for nature, as business leaders, we stand united with strength in numbers asking political leaders to radically ramp up ambition and back it with regulation.” David Ekelund, co-founder/co-CEO Icebug

“At Burton we’ve worked hard to model a sustainable business of the future, but individual action is not enough to address the global threat of climate change. We urgently need bold legislation to shake up business as usual. The Outdoor Industry must unite to preserve natural spaces that sustain our businesses and life itself. We can wait no more. Please join our collective call for climate action at COP 27.” – Ali Kenney, Chief Strategy Officer, Burton Snowboards, Burton Snowboards

“The climate crisis needs leadership to solve, the outdoor industry; with its deep rooted connection to nature, must be that leader for its commercial sector.” – Joe Murray, CEO Internet Fusion Ltd.

“We, as the outdoor industry, not only need to address the climate emergency, we want to. We want to be a leader in this space and to do that, we demand legislation that rewards us to be a force for good.” – Julien Durant, co-founder, Picture Organic Clothing

Read the full letter here and add your organisation as a signatory below ⤵⤵⤵

The outdoor industry demands bold action from COP27 to reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability.

As representatives of the European outdoor industry we’re already taking bold action to reduce our impact – but we need stronger policy support to do more. 

Right now, companies that take action to reduce their impact are at a disadvantage in the market. As delegations from around the world meet in Sharm El-Sheikh for COP27, we believe it’s the right time to address the issue.

Why? The conference’s theme this year is loss and damage – and our industry is already seeing climate change’s effects. We’ve seen shorter winters, melting glaciers, droughts and floods. We’re losing green and blue spaces. Local communities are being devastated. And biodiversity is dwindling rapidly.

This isn’t about the effects on our industry of losing outdoor spaces. It’s about climate breakdown threatening our entire way of life.

Why does the outdoor industry need to act?

We’re a strong sector in an uncertain world. Our industry expects a consumer base of 195 million people by 2025 and a wholesale value of over 6 billion Euros. Our impacts are global, with over 80% of our emissions outside the EU – so we can only tackle our climate footprint by acting globally.

Our industry is already embracing existing legislation – but we need stronger policy to restrict heating to +1.5°C. We’ve identified three outcomes we need from COP27:

1. Incentivise the increased sustainability of business practices.

We need legislation that encourages industries to choose sustainable options over growth at all costs. This means offering incentives for businesses to create built-to-last products, offer repair services, support second hand options, provide rental programs and more. We need to give companies compelling reasons to choose business models that reduce emissions and encourage their customers to reduce their consumption.

2. Standardise measurements for products’ environmental impact.

Currently businesses can use a variety of methods to calculate the embodied carbon emissions of their products and choose which sustainability standards to apply. This makes it almost impossible for anyone – business or consumer – to compare products against each other. It also means regulators can’t incentivise products with lower emissions and better sustainability attributes or discourage less sustainable products with higher emissions. We need standard, mandatory ways of measuring these.

3. Help businesses move to renewable energy for manufacturing.

We need to incentivise renewable energy to accelerate manufacturing – and this needs to be done fairly for the emerging and lower-income economies where so many outdoor businesses manufacture. This means offering the support these countries need to move to lower carbon energy sources. Businesses which choose renewable energy to manufacture shouldn’t be at a market disadvantage compared to those who use fossil fuels. 

How can the outdoor industry help?

We want to help policy makers reach our climate goals – but we need their help to do it. We’re ready and willing to work together, and we want to keep on advocating for strong, practical and pragmatic policy.

Members of the outdoor industry have been working hard to improve how we do business, but we need policies that both support positive action and penalise harmful practices. We’re ambitious, we’re ready to collaborate and we want to push the agenda. Now is the time to create the policies to let us do it. We the undersigned demand maximum ambition from those negotiating at COP27 that matches the scale of the climate crises we are all facing.

Yours the undersigned.

Sign-up to the open letter here.

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Drafting Signatories 
Picture Organic ClothingJulien Durant, co-founder
IcebugDavid Ekelund, co-founder/co-CEO
Burton SnowboardsAli Kenney, Chief Strategy Officer
Internet Fusion GroupJoe Murray, CEO
The North Face EMEAJan Van Leeuwen, Vice President and General Manager
Supporting Signatories 
Cool BusOwner
MICROXTREME LTDGerasimos Avramidis  CEO
Houdini SportswearNanny Bergstedt Intergrated marketing manager
KitUp AdventuresBruce Leishman, Founder & CEO
Delayon EyewearFounder & CEO
PictureGuillaume Robert Export Manager
Jordnära Upplevelserwithout nature I am nothing.  Without nature, I have nothing – and neither does anyone else
Lupus OutdoorKristoffer Olsson, CEO
Blue TomatoAdam Ellis Managing Director
Bodag Shoes & Sports SAUrs Wullschleger, Owner
Svenska bergsguideorganisationen/Swedish Mountainguide AssociationJosef Westerlund, President
Golden Ride MagazineEditor in Chief
CREENSTONEJanet Thurston Agent
Suppaa TampereRoosa Ritola, founder
Outdoor Buddies ABMagnus Sellberg CEO
NOIR.GLOBALMicke Gomes, co-founder
Sustainable Mountain Alliance (SMA)Ingrid Beutler, Co-founder
Eivy | Unbored OnboardMartin Vister – CEO
Oskar Mountain Professional ABOskar Brodén
VindpinadOskar Knubbe, Founder & CEO
FUBUKIChristofer Ljunggren, CMO
PUSU SkisJani Ahvenainen, founder, CEO
Skitouring ScandinaviaCarl Lundberg CEO
MiePer, CEO
ellis-brighamMark Brigham, Director
Brim & TindarEinar Soviknes, CEO
Ice Guardians IcelandKish Patel- Co-founder & Guide
Adventure with JonasJonas Höglund, Founder
Peter Glenn Ski and SportsCecilia Garcia Store Manager
Montaz.comGaelle Darmaisin Directrice
Sport ConradStefanie Buchacher, Head of Corporate Sustainability
BAD UNICORNJeremy berhin Owner
Realise Design LtdAndrew Redman, Founder & MD
Baguette BoardsBenoit Caillaud, founder
Freeride StreetshopDamien Legrand, Director, Manager
Gstaad Saanenland TourismusPatrick Bauer, Head of destination development & sustainibility
Mammut Sports Group AGHeiko Schäfer, CEO
Husstainability ABErik Huss, CEO
Peak 63Joel Svedlund, Managing partner
Crystal Mountain Ski ResortEnvironmental Sustainability Manager
Little Snow Cloud SàrlRondelet Mathieu _ sales agent
O2 MaxDercq Frédéric – CEO
YES. SnowboardsBrand Manager
CroconutsGuillaume Neff
Planete SportsDominique Henchoz
La GlisseCampione Aldo
Esam AbAngela Ekman-Nätt, partner
Snow Lab UK LtdEdward Longton, Managing Director
Northcore LimitedFounder
Môma Surf ShopAlexandre Tuffin
JonesXavier Nidecker, Brand Director
Nidecker SnowboardsMarketing Manager
Adventure UncoveredJames Wight, Co-founder/Director
Allegra Trails GmbHDomenico Bergamin, CEO Allegra
Pro-Fit Ski & Boot Service, Inc., dba Pro-Fit Ski & Mountain SportsNancy Deely, Owner, VP
AIR coopThibault Liebenguth – Associate & Consultant
Connys Sport+Mode GmbHKonrad Margreiter, CEO
PIC BLANC SPORTSAnthony Zogheib  Managing Director
Ski and sport of WestportPamela alberino, managing member
Norm’s Ski & Bike ShopApril Reynolds, co-owner
jolisJonas Nilsvander, CEO
Les Petits Baroudeursceline lacombe CEO
Fux Dream AG Cesar Sport AlpinGuido Stalder
Aeschbach Chaussures SaIsabelle Terrasse Acheteuse
KOZZEVirgile EVE / Chairman
Espace Montagne St EtienneRomain COTTIER DG
Sylbe sportsManager
GreenroomVoiceCira Riedel
Cirkel Supply Co.Anders Bergenstrand, Founder & CEO
Wolff FabienWolff Fabien, CEO
CampingRocksVladimir Ralchev(Managing Partner)
Craigdon Mountain SportsKarla Mason Managing Director
SNOW PERFORMANCESRené Waligora Directeur des achats
B URBANPascal Bonnet CEO
Andréanne Grondin, consultant and expert, outerwear & mountain sportsAndréanne Grondin, consultant
Presca SportswearRob Webbon, CEO
ST. BERGWEH Outdoor BlogFounder & Editor-in-Chief
BASE Adventure MediaMatthew Pink, brand director
Hannah Mitchell WritesHannah Mitchell, Founder
World Wise TouringJack McCutcheon – Founder
TealsNick Sinfield, Founder
ChangeNOWTanguy MARZIN, KAM.
Studio Casey JoyCasey Joy Hatherly Creative Director
The Last Ride projectWill Tucker, Director
The Ski PodcastIain Martin, Owner