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Creating Sustainable Practices that Change the Way the World Does Business

Bringing industry competitors together, the Outdoor Industry Association, led by Frank Hugelemeyer, works toward identifying real solutions that companies can use to create more sustainable businesses.

Frank Hugelmeyer is being recognized as a Champion of Change for their work demonstrating that corporate environmental leadership makes sense, both for business and for American communities.

This award is a great honor for the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group as well as for the outdoor industry as a whole. The OIA Sustainability Working Group (SWG) is comprised of outdoor apparel, footwear and gear companies — large and small — that are working together to establish leading business practices in environmental and social responsibility.

Outdoor industry companies have been quietly plugging away on this work for years, recognizing that an internal focus on improving practices and performance within their supply chains would provide the most significant opportunity for scalable, measurable change. Today the work of the OIA SWG includes establishing responsible chemicals management practices, improving materials traceability methods, and addressing social responsibility and fair labor challenges.

One of the group’s most notable accomplishments is creation of the OIA Eco Index, an open-source shared product sustainability indexing tool that OIA member companies began developing in 2007. In 2011, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition — a broader group of companies representing approximately 30 percent of the global apparel and footwear supply chains — adopted and expanded this tool so brands, retailers and suppliers worldwide would have a standardized, credible framework and language to assess the sustainability of their products.

What’s so special about the OIA Sustainability Working Group effort is that it involves industry competitors sitting at the same table and working together to identify real solutions that companies can use to create more sustainable businesses. Being recognized as a Champion of Change is a welcome validation of the outdoor industry’s commitment to promote socially, environmentally and ethically responsible business practices that reflect the underlying values of the outdoor industry and our customers.

It is with great honor that OIA accepts this award on behalf of the hundreds of outdoor industry companies that have poured years of dedication and sweat equity into this effort. Together as an industry we are developing new practices that can fundamentally change the way we do business and make the world a better place to live, work and play.

Frank Hugelmeyer is the president and CEO of Outdoor Industry Association, the leading trade association for the outdoor industry.