The launch of the new EOG Association for Conservation during the 2006 OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, represented the first significant step from the European outdoor community to ensure its members work to preserve and to protect the outdoor environment for future generations.
"The true success now lies in the number of companies becoming members. We have had a lot of companies saying they will join," said Hervé Chabert of Patagonia, the first president of the EOG Association for Conservation. "This industry seems to be ready for such an initiative, so I'm very optimistic."
Chabert’s slide presentation at the press conference and official launch of the association underscored many of the effects that global warming is already having on the outdoor environment, showing how half the volume of Europe’s alpine glaciers have disappeared since 1850. His presentation also revealed that by 2100 the sea levels around the globe may have risen by between 15cm (5.9 inches) and 95cm (37.4 inches) – an important fact when you take into consideration that almost 66 percent of the world’s population live within 60 kilometers (37.28 miles) of the coast. His presentation went on to show how the exploitation of resources and excessive development are affecting the environment, and endangering wild places and species.
Like the U.S.-based Conservation Alliance, the EOG Association for Conservation is funded by membership and other fund-raising activities within the outdoor industry with 100 percent of membership funds going to the support of member-identified projects. Membership is open to anyone that can demonstrate an involvement in the outdoor industry.
Nike ACG’s General Manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Nigel Griffiths, who signed his company up immediately following the press conference, said that his reason for joining was simple, "Companies within the outdoor sector can ill afford not to become members."
By the end of the OutDoor show, Nike ACG, ispo, CamelBak, Haglofs, Nikwax and Paramo had joined the founding member ranks of Patagonia, Cascade Designs, The North Face, and the Mammut Sports Group to ensure the future success of the organization. Stefan Reisinger, show director for OutDoor, told SNEWS® that Messe Friedrichshafen, the show management group, would be joining as well.
Managing Director of both Nikwax and Páramo, Nick Brown said he felt strongly about membership in the association: “I believe that the outdoor industry should have a special concern for the protection of the environment. The EOG Association for Conservation has the potential to harness that interest to communicate key environmental issues”.
Brown was also the speaker at a press conference that took place on the second day of OutDoor show covering climate change in the mountains and how it can affect business in the outdoor sector. Looking at what has already happened to the climate Brown discussed its affect on Nikwax’s business and how it is essential for businesses to consider climate change affects when planning for the future.
In addition to joining the association, CamelBak sold its new CamelBak Bottle for 10 Euro each during OutDoor, selling out of the bottles by the end of day three of four days and raising $31,976 USD (25,000 Euro), which it then donated to the EOG Association for Conservation
To find out more about the EOG Association for Conservation click on www.eogconservation.org