FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Outdoor Industry Association
MEC and Quiksilver Ramp Up Support of the Outdoor Industry’s Sustainability Work
Funding to Support Continued Work on Chemicals Management
Boulder, Colo., May 17, 2012 — Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) announced today that Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and Quiksilver have committed supplemental funding to support the work of the Chemicals Management Working Group, an effort under the umbrella of the OIA Sustainability Working Group.
The Chemicals Management Working Group (CMWG) formed in spring 2011, bringing together brands and retailers from the outdoor, apparel and footwear industries; chemical suppliers; NGOs; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and other stakeholders to establish shared approaches and tools for the assessment and management of chemicals and their impacts on humans and the environment across product life cycles.
“We are pleased to add continued financial support to this valuable work,” said Jeff Wilson of Quiksilver. “It is important that we learn what chemicals are being used and at what stages of the production process so that we can move towards chemistries that create a safer and healthier future.”
“Collaboration entails purpose, trust and determination. MEC is committed to reducing and eliminating hazardous chemical emissions and human health risks throughout our supply chain and in finished MEC-brand products,” said Greg Scott of Mountain Equipment Co-op. “We are resolved to doing our part through collaboration with outdoor industry peers toward responsible chemicals management and safe chemistry.”
The injection of funding provided by MEC and Quiksilver will enable the CMWG’s continued work on two important projects: 1) A framework and set of indicators for companies to benchmark chemicals management policies and practices, which will integrate with the index tools for apparel, footwear and equipment being developed in conjunction with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition; and 2) an equivalency matrix that will provide an inventory of existing tools for chemicals management and an objective view of what is addressed by each.
“Today, sustainability is a core business strategy,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA. “It is increasingly important for companies to take a full life-cycle approach to chemicals management, and have the tools to help them assess and act. Companies like MEC and Quiksilver that invest in this work are contributing to a legacy that will help businesses reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals in their supply chains.”
Established in 2007, the OIA Sustainability Working Group (SWG) is a collaboration of more than 250 outdoor industry companies voluntarily working together to develop solutions that will help companies identify and improve the environmental and social impacts of their products. The OIA SWG focuses on four key work areas:
- Index development – building indexes to measure the sustainability of apparel, footwear and equipment
- Responsible chemicals management
- Materials traceability in the supply chain
- Social responsibility and fair labor
MEC has been involved with the OIA SWG since its inception and has provided ongoing financial support for these efforts. Quiksilver joined OIA in 2010, in part to get involved in the industry’s sustainability efforts and the OIA SWG.
About 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 supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.
About the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group
The Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) is a volunteer collaboration among more than 250 outdoor industry brands, retailers, suppliers and other stakeholders working to identify and improve the environmental and social impacts of their shared global supply chains. The OIA SWG is currently focusing on four key areas: 1) index development for apparel, footwear and equipment, 2) responsible chemicals management, 3) materials traceability throughout the supply chain, and 4) social responsibility and fair labor issues. Through the OIA SWG, the outdoor industry is demonstrating that it is possible to effect meaningful, scalable change through pre-competitive, business-driven collaboration. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org/sustainability.