October 5, 2020 Our Common Ground
Does anyone else feel like we’re living in turbulent, confusing and crazy times? In this digital age, we have all the information, yet can’t agree in which direction we should be heading together. As much as in any other area, this challenge applies to CSR and sustainability. There is huge motivation and momentum building, but I fear that we are not making the most out of the opportunity.
Everyone seems to be charging off in different directions. What are the next steps our businesses need to take to remain relevant? Is it about carbon, or climate in general, and what about the social side? What scientific foundation do we base these steps on? And how can we measure them?
To better move forward together, I think we need to first define a very fundamental starting point: our common ground. We must address this before we talk about details or specific measures.
In our case, isn’t where we come from also part of our future – and the very best reason for why we do what we do? Our sector only exists because there are beautiful nature and active people who want to venture out into it. The outdoor industry, as we in the EOG see it, stands on three pillars: Doing business right; conserving and restoring nature; and encouraging people to get active outdoors.
If we build all that we do on these three pillars, we can prepare our sector for the future, prospering with sustainably profitable businesses, while giving back more than we take from nature and people.
Achieving this requires collective leadership, investment and sustained commitment. Thanks partly to the work of the EOG, the outdoor sector already has a very successful history of working together and is now starting to gather around the three pillars. Having defined our industry’s common ground, having it in writing as our mission and vision, that is the opposite of confusion. Now we have to make it happen and the journey has already begun.
– Arne Strate, EOG General Secretary
Illustration: Susan Larsen