Outdoor Industry Funds Renewable Energy Project

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Outdoor Industry Funds Renewable Energy Project

The EUROPEAN OUTDOOR GROUP (EOG) has announced details of the first project that will be funded by its IMPACT ACCELERATOR FUND (IAF) initiative. Focusing on increasing access to renewable energy in Taiwan, the project is being led by an organisation called ACT RENEWABLE and has the potential to benefit many outdoor brands.

Launched by the EOG in 2023, the Impact Accelerator Fund is a collaborative approach funded by membership and other fundraising activities, which is dedicated to supporting decarbonisation projects and climate change mitigation actions in outdoor industry supply chains.

In founding the IAF, the EOG recognised that the scale of action and investment required for the outdoor sector to meet net zero requirements is so large that objectives can only be achieved by companies working together, with required resources above and beyond individual companies’ standard CSR and sustainability budgets.

Collectively, businesses in the outdoor industry have already demonstrated a commitment to achieve decarbonisation with better sustainability practices and through innovation. The IAF aims to harness that and upscale it through collaboration. Alongside the EOG, the brands that have funded the work of the IAF so far are Ortovox, GORE-TEX, Icebug and Vaude.

The IAF accepts contributions from brands, retailers and other associated stakeholders throughout the value chain, and reviews nominations of projects to support, which are assessed against an agreed set of criteria. The proposal for Taiwan by act renewable is the first to complete this process.

Act renewable was established in 2018 as a joint venture between renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. and the environmental consulting firm RESET Carbon. The organisation’s aim is to educate, accelerate and transact renewable energy transition for businesses.

Taiwan is a key manufacturing base for the outdoor industry with a large amount of the industries technical fabric suppliers located there. Through the IAF funded project, act renewable aims to deliver a comprehensive understanding of three potential options for procuring renewable energy in the country.

The work will also assess the feasibility of suppliers to participate, and then support the implementation of agreed solutions via individual or group processes. The EOG will help manage the project on behalf of its members and the outdoor sector.

Dr Katy Stevens is leading the IAF for the EOG, “With the support of our members, the EOG has led this new way to address the challenge of delivering the kind of impactful change that can help us achieve net zero. This ‘blended’ financial approach really is giving our industry the best opportunity, taking what can be done through a firm’s annual CSR budgets to a much higher level. The level of engagement that the IAF has generated so far is very encouraging, but to achieve proper critical mass, we need more companies to get involved.”

Dr Verity Hardy of the EOG, who will be managing the project, added, “We look forward to working with act renewable to deliver the project in Taiwan, which has very significant potential to benefit a lot of brands. I do hope that this news will encourage more companies to consider supporting the fund, and contributing to its vital work, which will ultimately benefit the whole outdoor sector.”

Outdoor brand Ortovox is a founder funder of the Impact Accelerator Fund and Katrin Bauer, the company’s director of CSR, added, “At Ortovox our aim is to responsibly reduce our negative impacts within the supply chain. Many of the projects that can significantly decrease, for example, carbon emissions are cost intensive whereas CSR budgets are limited. As a small player in the industry, we can only really foster big change when we cooperate with others.”

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