Petzl is honored to be a part of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group, recently selected by the White House as a Champion of Change for Corporate Environmental Sustainability. The OIA Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) is a volunteer collaboration among more than 250 outdoor industry brands, retailers and suppliers working to identify and improve the environmental and social impacts of their shared global supply chains.

Kevin Myette of REI, Jill Dumain of Patagonia, Betsy Blaisdell of Timberland and Sandra Cho of Columbia Sportswear at the White House to accept the Champions of Change award for the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group.
Representatives of the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group at the White House
to accept the Champions of Change award.

The OIA SWG was selected as a Champion of Change because the efforts of the group have shown that making sustainable choices makes good business sense and protects our natural resources. The OIA SWG is being recognized for its ability to take tangible action to address corporate sustainability challenges, as well as for showing that it is possible for competitors to work together toward meaningful, business-driven change.

The White House Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, the program highlights a different sector and group of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, and recognizes them for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities. On Thursday, April 12th, a small group of representatives for the OIA SWG attended the White House to be honored and share their ideas with the future.

Petzl has been a part of the Sustainability Working Group since the group’s founding in 2007 and is a member of the group’s Advisory Council.

Petzl is convinced that sustainability in the supply chain can only be real and successful if approached collaboratively, says Anne Girard, Petzl Sustainability Manager and Advisory Council representative. By sharing best practices, using common tools and common language, and working in the same direction on social and environmental priority issues in the supply chain, each individual company can make a difference and improve as part of a global effort.

For more on Petzl's sustainability actions, visit the Petzl Social and Environmental Responsibility page.

As a part of the OIA SWG, Petzl worked on the Eco Index, a shared tool that provides a standardized framework and language to assess product-level sustainability. Starting in 2011, Petzl was involved in the creation and piloting of a another tool, using the Eco Index as a basis, for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) — a broader coalition of brands representing 30 percent of the global apparel and footwear supply chain.

Products account for the majority of a company’s environmental and social impacts -- directly, through materials and transportation use, or indirectly, through the subcontracting of manufacturing to suppliers, says Girard. "Reducing the impacts of our products is one of the priorities of Petzl’s sustainability action plan.


 Additional Information 

- The Petzl Social and Environmental Responsibility page
- A blog post from OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer on the site 
- More on the Champions of Change Program  
- More on the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group  
- More on the OIA Eco Index