Weekly Now: An Industry’s Plan to Fight Climate Change

The Outdoor Industry Association puts forth bold goals for building a “climate positive” industry. Also: The clever strategy California breweries are using to raise money to support their association.

The outdoor industry is well-known for being ahead of the curve on environmental issues—and with its trade group’s latest initiative, the industry hopes to go even further.

Last week, the Outdoor Industry Association announced plans to make the industry “climate positive” by the year 2030—a step beyond “climate neutral,” with the idea that industry members will take action to improve the climate by working together.

“There’s no denying that climate change is an existential crisis for the outdoor industry. The question is no longer ‘what will we do about it?’—it’s how far can we go, and who wants to join us? We want the outdoor industry to lead the charge and inspire other industries,” said Amy Horton, OIA’s senior director of sustainable business innovation, in a news release.

The group’s initiative will bring together many of its prominent members, such as Patagonia, YETI, Osprey, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and REI, as a part of its Climate Action Corps, which will take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the production of outdoor gear, removing more carbon than the industry emits. More than three quarters of corps members have set targets to reduce emissions, and nearly half are already taking steps to do so.

Horton added that OIA is aiming to inspire others, even in other industries, to take similar action.

“With this new strategy, we’ve established a credible, practical pathway, supporting resources, and interim milestones that will guide and accelerate progress for companies no matter how far along they are on the path,” she said.

Other recent headlines:

A craft beer with California’s name all over it. Brewers all over California are now brewing collaborative beers as part of a large-scale effort to support the California Craft Brewers Association, reports BrewBound. The profits will assist CCBA as it bounces back from a difficult year in which it had to cancel multiple events. “As we pull through the pandemic and look forward, CCBA is launching a celebratory and unifying beer that any CCBA member can brew to continue to tell the story of craft beer across the state of CA and fundraise for the association,” CCBA Executive Director Lori Ajax told the outlet.

Good (if imperfect) signs for fundraising. The first three months of 2021 outpaced the prior year by 10 percent from a donor standpoint and 6 percent from a dollar standpoint, according to new data from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. But it wasn’t all good news, FEP chair Jon Biedermann told The NonProfit Times. He emphasized that the devil was in the details: “The overall growth is real, but this doesn’t reflect the typical organization’s experience during this turbulent time. We also saw this in 2020, where the average growth in donations and dollars was positive, but the median was negative—meaning some organizations experienced some tremendous growth, while others saw anemic or decreasing giving levels.”

Build for Participation

Getting people to engage and volunteer in your organization isn’t just a side effect of wishful thinking. It’s something you can build for, and it can make the end result even more powerful.

A blog post from We Are Open Co-op breaks down the “architecture of participation,” a term describing the way that people engage with a project and stick around after completion. The firm has fun illustrations to underline the point—and your association might find the concept appealing when trying to boost member or volunteer engagement.


Sponsorship opportunities are shifting thanks to the rise of virtual meetings—and as a result, your strategy might have to shift as well, Rasheeda Childress writes.

Embrace healthy disagreement within your ranks. A little difference of opinion is good—as long as it doesn’t go too far.

Don’t let things fall apart when a person leaves. Knowledge-sharing documents, if built correctly, can help make sure everyone is on the same page.


(Philartphace/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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