Why outdoor industry needs to be seen as pioneers of sustainability

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 15.28.02Many makers of clothing and equipment for camping, climbing, hiking and mountaineering already get sustainability, such as one of the world’s most iconic sustainable brands, Patagonia. However, argues Alan AtKisson, President & CEO of AtKisson Group in a post on Greenbiz that resonates for all of tourism, “the outdoor industry could, and should, be doing a lot more.”

While the outdoor industry’s business is selling the necessary products for enjoying such pursuits, its strategy should be “get people to fall in love with the natural world.” Trouble is, adds AtKisson, “the health of that self-same natural world is under serious threat from climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution and poverty.” This results in less “natural world” for people to fall in love with, which is bad for the outdoor industry.

In Brief
  • The industry should set higher goals: “The whole outdoor sector could be a sustainability pioneer and leader, not just a few star companies. (Think about the impact that an industry-wide commitment to sustainability could make.)
  • It should get more involved: The outdoor sector should make more effort to connect with organisations pursuing the same goals. “This would be especially timely, considering how the new U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be calling on these companies, and everyone else, to really raise the bar on partnership and engagement.”
  • It should be more communicative: Setting high sustainability goals, and talking about what they are doing to reach those goals, can add some “oomph” while synergizing beautifully with “normal” marketing messages — and helping these companies differentiate and stick out.

“Want to save the planet? So do we. But first, try climbing it.” (Happy to sell that idea, so contact me if you want to buy it. Proceeds go to conservation efforts.)

In Depth
In the Future
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smithhttp://www.jmcsmith.com
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

Related Articles

- Sustainable Tourism Crash Course -spot_img

Useful resources