Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) launched two new supply chain tools to help companies proactively manage their supply chain and sourcing practices.

Integrated as part of the existing Higg Index Rapid Design Module Prototype for Footwear and Apparel, the Rapid Design Module for Equipment, or RDM, for Equipment now ensures the inclusion of product-level environmental indicators specific to hardgoods and accessories.  The RDM tool provides guidance to product designers around the potential environmental impacts of decisions during the product creation process.

The RDM tool serves as the next iteration of the product-level content of the Higg Index. The brand-level and facilities-level Higg Index content presently resides in a separate online platform.

OIA SWG members are currently piloting the prototype Equipment RDM tool, and OIA invites all equipment and accessories designers and manufacturers to review the tool and provide feedback on the content as well as the structure of the module.

The OIA Social Responsibility Toolkit identifies 14 essential elements that comprise a robust Social Responsibility Program, and serves as an industry reference point around how to implement each of the elements.  Ranging from basic to advanced practices, the toolkit can be adapted to suit any company or supplier to create and continuously improve their Social Responsibility Program, with the ultimate goal of improving working conditions and labor rights across outdoor industry supply chains.

The release of these two new tools is the culmination of thousands of hours of volunteer work by members of the OIA Sustainability Working Group, for which we are tremendously grateful, said Beth Jensen, Director of Corporate Responsibility at OIA.  We now shift our collaborative efforts from tool development to adoption and execution, toward industry-wide implementation of best practices.  As with all of the tools developed by the OIA SWG, the ultimate goal is collective reduction of impact within the outdoor industry supply chain.

For more information about these two new tools, and the rest of the resources developed by the OIA Sustainability Working Group, please visit outdoorindustry.org/responsibility.

Since its formation in 2007, the OIA SWG has established itself as a groundbreaking, thought-leading group of companies committed to industry-wide improvement, serving as a model for the effectiveness of pre-competitive, collaborative initiatives.  The OIA SWG has developed a number of tools and resources to help companies benchmark and measure their environmental and social footprints, identify areas for improvement, and make informed sourcing and product life cycle decisions. 

To learn more about the OIA SWG and the tools and resources it has collaboratively developed, visit outdoorindustry.org/responsibility, download the Corporate Responsibility Topline Reportor contact Nikki Hodgson at nhodgson@outdoorindustry.org.