Nemo makes business case for climate action before the U.S. Senate

Nemo’s Director of Sustainability & Government Affairs, Theresa McKenney, testified before a Senate Budget Committee on the impacts of climate change on outdoor businesses.

On March 20th, Theresa McKenney, Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs for Dover, NH-based Nemo Equipment, testified in front of the Senate Budget Committee in a hearing titled “Recreation at Risk: The Nature of Climate Costs.” McKenney was accompanied by members from the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), and other outdoor industry businesspeople and athletes.

Chairman Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget have held 13 previous hearings on the economic toll of climate change. The Committee has examined a range of climate-caused budgetary effects, including inflation, disruption in insurance markets, infrastructure damage and threats to ocean industries. Today’s hearing focuses on the impacts to the US $1.1 trillion outdoor industry.

“Our drive to address climate change at Nemo comes from a combination of moral and practical concerns,” said McKenney.

“We do not only look to government to solve the monumental challenge of climate change; businesses like ours that manufacture goods are significant contributors to the problem and we are ready to take responsibility for our part. Within our company, we call this work a crucial part of our overall ‘business sustainability’ versus simply ‘sustainability’ priorities. We do not believe there is a future for businesses like ours without taking responsibility for our impacts on the planet, both because our consumers are increasingly demanding these efforts and because the natural places where backpacking and camping take place are being threatened.”

The group highlighted the economic and social value of outdoor recreation, and the real climate-related costs that the sector is seeing. By first providing committee members with a better understanding of the risks and costs to natural areas, local communities, and governmental budgets from climate-related changes affecting outdoor recreation, they then asked for their support for key legislation designed to address these issues, including:

  • Protecting the climate investments made in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to allow for implementation of the bill’s goal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
  • Modernizing the Farm Bill to support the outdoor recreation economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through updates to the Rural Development Title, Conservation Title, and Forestry Title. (See the joint Farm Bill Priorities Letter issued by OIA, Outdoor Alliance, and The Conservation Alliance).
  • Elevating and supporting the newly formed American Climate Corps that will provide training for careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.
  • Supporting America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA) and the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act, which invest in recreation and green infrastructure to enhance access to public lands.
  • Protecting wild places and outdoor spaces, preserve important cultural and historic sites, and improve opportunities for recreation by supporting National Monuments.
  • Elevating recreation priorities suggested in joint comments by Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Alliance, and The Conservation Alliance on the BLM’s Proposed Public Land Rule.

 

To view the recording of the testimony, visit https://www.budget.senate.gov/hearings/recreation-at-risk-the-nature-of-climate-costs .

Theresa McKenney, Nemo’s Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs meets with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan.

 

About Nemo

Nemo is a New Hampshire-based outdoor gear company known for creating award-winning products that are built to last, comfortable, and fun to use. Named one of Outside Magazine’s and Business New Hampshire’s Best Places to Work, Nemo has also been recognized as a small business leader for the environment by New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. Nemo’s reputation for design innovation across its product lines—tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp accessories, and furniture—is an outgrowth of its design philosophy to never bring anything to market that doesn’t offer a meaningfully better experience. Nemo’s team of designers and engineers are motivated by a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainability.

nemoequipment.com

 

Images: Nemo Equipment (edited)

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jonathan.eidse@norragency.com


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