Performance for the Planet
In February 2024, Snowsports Industries America (SIA), the Winter Sports Sustainability Network (WSN) managed by Peak 63, and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) hosted a webinar to launch the Global Climate Pact, bringing winter sports brands from Europe and the U.S. together in a unified front to accelerate climate action. Chris Steinkamp, SIA’s head of climate advocacy, voiced the need for “an achievable set of principles and a clear path forward to addressing climate change by stepping up as an industry” since “the European Sustainability Reporting Standards will soon impact us all.”

Alternatively, members of Protect Our Winters are pushing to up voter turnout during election seasons and elect climate change champions. “We’re working to inspire more people to become advocates and take action through powerful storytelling from our alliance of athletes, creatives, scientists and brand partners,” said Stacie Sullivan, communications manager for POW. Additionally, the organization will launch a vote-tripling campaign (encourage voters to get three friends to cast their ballots) through Stoke The Vote efforts for the presidential election.

With so many organizations being introduced and a plethora of initiatives being undertaken, it can be challenging to find which are most relevant. The four options below share the same overarching goal of benefiting the planet. As companies and brands, let your mission guide your participation.

Nick Sargent, president of Snowsports Industries America


Goals: SIA, WSN (managed by Peak 63), and FESI introduced the Global Climate Pact, bringing together ski, snowboard, binding, and boot brands from Europe and the United States to advance climate action within the winter sports industry. This Pact is an evolution of the original SIA Climate Pact launched in the U.S. in 2021. “Given the urgency and scale of the climate issue and its impact on our business, we worked with our European partners to revise the U.S. Pact to bring the global industry together on this, and add more rigor to help ensure that our impact is even more meaningful,” noted Nick Sargent, president of SIA.

Progress: Seventeen brands have joined, including Burton, Atomic and Rossignol. The group is focused on addressing solutions such as political advocacy and helping the winter sports industry meet the science based targets with the Race to Zero. “Formalizing our industry’s commitment is important because as signatories of the Pact, our industry is now aligned on a set of principles so we’re all on the same page, working towards the same goal,” Sargent said. WSN hosts six working groups available to all members including: suppliers and materials, eco design, recycling, traceability, climate and lifecycle analysis/footprinting. SIA hosts monthly meetings to address various elements of the Pact.

Stacie Sullivan, communications manager for Protect Our Winters


Goals: POW Communications Manager Stacie Sullivan explained that “POW is on a mission to become the most impactful voice for climate action in the United States, and while this sounds like a big goal, our vision is becoming a reality thanks to the more than 44,000 Team POW members who have committed to this journey with us.” This is in efforts to create a just and clean energy transition to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Progress: Over the last year, POW members have developed legislation aiming to implement the initiatives in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package. This legislation will create community benefits for counties and tribal governments that host clean energy infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, libraries, and first responders, as well as outdoor recreation.

Anyone can become a member of Team POW, a free member-based program. Benefits for Brand Alliance partners include training and educational opportunities, advising partners on current policy landscape and partnership opportunities on advocacy actions that align with sustainability efforts. Some partners that are creating a more circular economy while also participating in climate advocacy are Smartwool, The North Face and Arc’teryx.

Christian Fyfe and Keri Straughn, founders of Low Impact Alliance


Goals: Low Impact Alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes transparency and environmental responsibility within the running industry. The organization was founded in 2021 by Palmetto Running Company owners Keri Straughn and her brother, Christian Fyfe, as they recognized the need to “look beyond profit to people and the planet by incorporating more sustainable efforts,” at their shop, according to Fyfe. Retailers, brand, and runner members commit to being involved in efforts to spread awareness and hold accountability within the running community.

Progress: Official LIA brand partners open up lines of communication and transparency. A brand survey lays out the rules of transparency that are required, including information about production processes and materials used in products.

LIA’s Better Bins takeback program diverts running shoes, apparel and nutrition from landfills. Partners in the effort include Recover, Sneaker Impact, GU and TerraCycle. ASICS recently signed on as an official brand sponsor of the Bins. Better Bins became available in March 2024 in 15 retail locations, with 75 other spots on the waiting list. “This program, although only in its pilot phase, is showing great promise for the future!” said Fyfe.

Julie Brown director of sustainability for Outdoor Industry Association


Goals: Climate Action Corps strives to make the outdoor industry become the world’s first climate positive industry by 2030. As defined by Outdoor Industry Association, climate positive means “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with a science-based target that addresses all scopes, to remove more GHG from the atmosphere than you emit, and to advocate for broader systemic change.”

Progress: Headway is being made in the measurement and reductions of emissions by members. However, the OIA is in the process of “updating this goal to ensure it is measurable, current and aligned with the latest science,” according to Julie Brown, director of sustainability at OIA.

Members (like Nester Hosiery, Helly Hansen and Stio) have been required to set science-aligned targets within two years (>500 employees) to 3 years (<500 employees) of joining and share their public Annual Progress Report each year. Some members need extra support measuring their emissions, where others are already investing in offsets or participating in advocacy opportunities.

“We provide time with technical consultants who can start to guide companies through their carbon measurements and target setting,” said Brown. For companies focused on emissions reduction, Climate Action Corps offers Impact CoLabs,  where members work together to reduce emissions that are hardest to reach by one company alone. For all members, OIA provides resources, training and communities to learn from industry peers and collaboratively discuss solutions.