June 16, 2019 OutDoor by ISPO: A Step Change
There’s a lot of excitement building before OutDoor by ISPO opens its doors for the first time. Expectations are high that the platform will deliver a step change in showcasing new products and services, reaching new audiences, networking and of course, doing business.
Our sector continues to experience rapid, accelerating change, and OutDoor by ISPO must reflect this and champion the three fundamental pillars of the outdoor industry: doing business right, protecting and restoring the natural world, and helping people to experience the outdoor mindset in a responsible way. These are our sector’s biggest points of differentiation from the competition and are key to its sustainable future.
We can be rightly proud of some of the initiatives that are already underway. But we can, and should, do more. Will it cost money? Yes. But we’ll have to spend that money anyway due to consumer awareness and ever-increasing legal requirements. So, let’s stay ahead of the curve and show true leadership while we’re at it.
For example, following all efforts to reduce our impacts, a net positive approach should go beyond just carbon to look at the bigger picture. By offsetting where our foundation lies – nature conservancy and active people – we can do good for both people and planet. Credible ways of documenting such offsets are in the making as I write.
As general secretary at the European Outdoor Group, I’m fortunate to learn of some great ideas and initiatives that are in line with the principles outlined above. I hope that the first OutDoor by ISPO will prove to be a vibrant showcase for many of these. If that happens, it can become the start of an exciting new era for trade events, providing a platform for demonstrating and inspiring best practice in CSR and sustainability, and that could be the most important step change of all.
– Arne Strate, EOG General Secretary
Illustration: Susan Larsen