We all care about developing products that are safe for consumers and friendly to the environment – but how do you measure the environmental impact of that production, all the way from idea, to product development, to supply chain, to store? That’s a question that the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is planning to tackle with their new eco index – the beta phase and pilot program was recently announced, with the formal launch planned for 2011. The idea is to have quantitative data to measure how "green" your production is based on areas like water usage, waste, and carbon footprint of materials, packaging, product manufacturing and assembly, use and service, and product end of life/disposal. It’s a tall task, but I’m glad that the industry governing body, OIA, is leading the way on this.
If you’re interested in learning more and you are in Salt Lake City at the Outdoor Retailer Show, there will be a seminar on this topic tomorrow, August 5, from 12-1:30 at the downtown Marriot.