Following the cancellation of the in-person event of ISPO in January, when the association would normally have held a fundraiser to raise money for its conservation projects, the event was moved online to coincide with Earth Day on 22nd April. With the support of a number of EOCA members, the organisation has raised nearly €27,000 to add to this year’s conservation project funding total.
The theme for this year’s Earth Day, an annual event demonstrating support for environmental protection, was ‘Restore our Earth’. This fitted perfectly with EOCA’s recently launched 5-year strategy which has climate action at its heart, and its new 2-year focus Wild for Nature: EOCA’s Landscape Legacy Project working to combat the urgent issue of loss of biodiversity. Money raised from theEarth Day fundraiser will go into projects addressing these particular issues.
Eighteen EOCA members pledged their support to help raise further funds for the organisation through a variety of online events and donations of items for sale. Non-profit community interest company Outdoor Gear For Good (OGFG), is set up to collect donations of inventory and reuse, resell or recycle them. It supported EOCA by accepting items from its members to sell, with all proceeds coming to the association for its 2021 conservation projects.
Cumulus, Deuter, Lowe Alpine, Ortlieb, ORTOVOX, Osprey, Schöffel, Söllworld, Stanley, Tentsile and Trangoworld all got involved in this way, sending items to be sold including summer shirts, sleeping bags, mugs and packs, raising €12,500 in the process.
Other companies such as KEEN, Mountain Equipment, Osprey, PAJAK, Stanley and VAUDE held their own online events, donating a percentage of sales on Earth Day itself, over the weekend or including the week leading up to the event.
LESOVIK organised a nation-wide clean up initiative as part of its fundraiser, Klean Kanteen sold a limited number of an exclusive bottle designed by Italian artist Sabrina Gabrielli, and even keeping your kit clean was not off limits as Rab offered a donation of 50% to EOCA from every Rab Wash purchased during the week surrounding EarthDay. D
Donations from these events came to just over €14,000.
Debbie Read, CSR Manager for Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd (owner of Rab and LoweAlpine) said
“Respecting the planet we rely on and the outdoor environment we spend our free time in is one of Equip’s core CSR principles. We are delighted to partner with EOCA to promote events like Earth Day which allows us to join upas an outdoors community to highlight the importance of environmental protection while raising money for a worthwhile cause.”
Tanya Bascombe, Joint General Manager of EOCA added,
“The ‘Restore our Earth’, theme of this year’s Earth Day highlights exactly the work that EOCA does and has done for nearly 15 years now. It was great to see the support EOCA received from its members for this first Earth Day fundraiser and to know that every sale made will be contributing to vital conservation projects mitigating against climate change and working to reverse the loss of biodiversity on our planet”.
Outdoor businesses are already acutely aware of these issues and unfortunately, there are no simple solutions. Those organisations with well-established and robust business continuity plans are probably best equipped to deal with these problems, but even some of them are struggling right now.