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OIA Sustainability Working Group Launching New Index for Equipment Makers

OIA Sustainability Workgroup to launch new “Equipment” Index

As a tool to gain insight, on current supply chain production

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group (SWG) is launching a pilot program to test drive the Equipment module of the Higg Index, a new tool to help companies gain insight into the supply chain for outdoor equipment (bicycles, skis, snowboards, backpacks, tents, camp stoves, water bottles, etc.) and how to make more sustainable products. OIA is offering a free webinar on May 16 to introduce the tool and get companies involved.

“This is the culmination of many years of work and collaboration among dozens of outdoor industry companies,” said Beth Jensen, director of corporate responsibility for OIA. “This tool was developed by and for the industry in order to help companies closely examine their supply chains and identify tangible steps to improve the sustainability of their products. We hope a diverse array of companies will participate in the pilot.”Equipment manufacturers are encouraged to participate in the pilot, which is designed to provide a testing ground for the tool and to gather feedback on how to make it better.

The Equipment Index builds on Higg Index modules for Apparel and Footwear that have already been launched to the industry. From the early days of the OIA Eco Index in 2007, the outdoor industry wanted to ensure that its sustainability indexing tool was applicable to gear products as well as to apparel and footwear. The Higg Index for Equipment will fulfill this purpose, providing indicators tailored specifically to hardgoods while employing the same format as the other Higg Index modules.

The Equipment Index Pilot launches May 16, with feedback due July 15. For more information on the new equipment index, please visit http://www.outdoorindustry.org

About the OIA SWG
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.