January 30, 2019 Our three pre-competitive pillars
Today, companies in many industries boast CSR and sustainability departments reflecting the wider social and political climate, and the increasing economic realities. This is, of course, also the case for outdoor businesses. But I think that for our sector, there have long been deeper roots and an even broader perspective.
When I look at the outdoor sector, I see an industry that is fundamentally entwined with nature. Many of the biggest outdoor firms in the world were founded by passionate outdoor enthusiasts. And still today, thousands of people are drawn to work in our sector by their deep love of the great outdoors. We know that without nature, there would simply be no outdoor industry.
But our efforts shouldn’t stop there. Conservation of nature is just one pillar of the European Outdoor Group’s (EOG) work, with the others being Doing business right and Getting Europe active outdoors. These are all pre-competitive issues that should be addressed before the first product is designed. They’re not just marketing tools or the focus of a single business, but the foundation of the whole outdoor industry itself!
Our industry increasingly recognizes that the best approach to such overarching topics is to address the challenges together. For example, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and the It’s Great Out There Coalition are doing a lot of great work on behalf of our sector. Both organizations were created by the EOG, and we continue to support their projects.
That’s what the EOG stands for and why it exists – as a neutral hub, founded by and working for the entire outdoor sector. I believe that finding the right approach to sustainability, conservation and activation will provide the biggest point of differentiation between the core outdoor industry and those other sectors who are striving to profit from the megatrend that is “outdoor.”
– Arne Strate, EOG General Secretary
Illustration: Susan Larsen