Sustainability Working Group
The OIA SWG has an open membership. We encourage all companies throughout the supply chain to participate. There is no cost to join. OIA SWG voting members pay an annual fee, based on a sliding scale tied to corporate revenue and OIA membership.
What is Indexing?
When talking about sustainability, you'll hear a lot about indexing. What exactly does this mean? Indexes are tools that provide a way for companies to benchmark and measure their environmental footprint, identify areas for improvement, and make informed sourcing and product lifecycle decisions. They address sustainability at the product level and help you examine processes throughout your supply chain.
The Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) formed in 2007 to explore issues of corporate responsibility in the outdoor industry. Originally called the Eco Working Group, the group adopted the name Sustainability Working Group in 2011 to better encompass its work in both environmental and social responsibility.
Today the OIA SWG is a volunteer collaboration among more than 450 outdoor industry companies working to identify sustainable business practices throughout their shared global supply chains.
OIA Sustainability Working Group Vision/Core Purpose
“We continually seek out and assess, collaboratively evolve, and assist our member companies in adopting global environmental and social best practices to benefit the operations and communities in which we conduct our business.”
OIA SWG Operating Principles
- We lead and pioneer
- We collaborate throughout the full supply chain
- We work hard and smart to stay nimble
- We provide value to our members
- We partner and scale/leverage
OIA SWG Work
The work of the SWG is focused on taking action to solve some of the most pressing supply chain challenges that companies face and that are key to business survival. The industry is investing in work that can be used by companies large and small.
- One of the industry’s most notable accomplishments is the development of the OIA Eco Index, a product sustainability indexing tool that OIA member companies began developing in 2007. The industry developed the OIA Eco Index — a means to chart an organization’s progress toward sustainability — in an open-source manner to ensure broad adoption and continuous improvement.
- In 2011, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) — a broader group of companies representing approximately 30 percent of the global apparel and footwear supply chains — adopted the OIA Eco Index as the basis for the Higg Index to create a common global framework for assessing product level sustainability. The Higg Index launched on a global scale in July 2012.
This work has sparked new sustainability initiatives within the outdoor industry. Currently, the OIA SWG is focusing on four key work areas: