(Text from Protect Our Winters)
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.
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 productsand 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.
Join the list of signatories today : SIGN HERE