OutDoor Pushes Green Thinking
The outdoor industry depends on an intact wilderness. For some time, climate change and environmental sustainability and protection have been topics of discussion in many fields. Now, consciousness is growing in the outdoor scene that it is up to manufacturers and consumers to protect the future of outdoor sports by acting more responsibly. European Outdoor Group (EOG) and Messe Friedrichshafen have therefore designated “The Challenge of Sustainability” as the central theme of the 15th OutDoor trade fair (July 17th to 20th, 2008) in Friedrichshafen.
The outdoor scene is all about nature! Its commercial success is closely tied to the beauty and wonder of the wilderness. With this in mind, is there a growing sense of responsibility for its protection within the industry? “We want to encourage discussion about ecology among experts from sport, industry and related associations, and has therefore given OutDoor 2008 the thematic title of ‘The Challenge of Sustainability’,” explains trade fair director Klaus Wellmann.
There are a wide variety of things the outdoor industry can do to give meaning to environmental responsibility. Making durable, high-quality products that have nothing to do with the throw-away society, using natural resources responsibly, adopting materials and sustainable fibres, analysing entire production chains (including transportation), and conducting audits of companies and processes of manufacturing for ecological certification – these are some of the means toward environmental sustainability that the industry has identified. It is crucial, however, that they are actually implemented, and not simply used as marketing gimmicks.
Organisers of the 15th edition of the OutDoor trade fair in Friedrichshafen hope that this year’s theme will further sensitise individual companies, stockists and the general public about environmental sustainability, and thereby make further progress in that direction. After all, as marketing manager Sabina Hoffmann puts it, “We can hardly do without air to breathe.”