We share its values and support its goals so, as media partners of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, we’re delighted to share with you that it’s celebrating its most successful year to date in so many ways. Record number of new members, more money than ever in one year spent on conservation projects, over 2/3 of funds raised already for its public fundraiser project and the launch and the enthusiastic uptake of its Plastic Pledge.

Clean-up in Gosaikunda
Clean-up in Gosaikunda in Nepal’s Langtang National Park - Credit: Ajit Parajuli

All have combined to ensure that 2019 will be remembered as the year the association moved from being a ‘nice to do’ to becoming an essential part of corporate social responsibility strategy.

31 new members have joined the association over the last 12 months, reflecting the broad scope of ‘outdoor’ and EOCA’s global reach. These include being team building and mountain skills company Adventure.ie, Spanish eco ski wax producer NZero, Spanish ski wear company Söll World, Italian performance clothing company Redelk, Asian zip manufacturer HSD Zipper, German Merino wool headwear attire company Altidude, Polish fast and light outdoor clothing and equipment producer Cumulus and Italian neck and headwear producers Wind X-treme. This brings the total number of EOCA members to 158 – an impressive 23% increase over the last year.

Following the large increase in membership numbers, EOCA has also seen a leap in the amount of funding it has been able to put into conservation projects this year. Further, contributions from The North Face, KEEN, Pomoca and Smartwool via EOCA’s Summit Membership programme have meant that in total EOCA has been able to commit €510,000 of funding for conservation projects this year.

A number of members have run specific campaigns to raise further funds for the association via consumer events (Original Buff, Arc’teryx), Black and Green Friday events (La Sportiva, Salewa) and other events (Gregory Packs and Ternua).

These actions, combined with the record-breaking conservation fundraisers at the ISPO and OutDoor by ISPO trade shows of many EOCA members, have resulted in an additional €60,000 being available for project funding in 2020, on top of membership fees.

Finally, EOCA’s current focus on single use plastic – Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea – has seen the launch and take up of the trade show Plastic Pledge, aimed at reducing the amount of single-use plastic used during trade shows, as well as during stand build and removal.

Perry Laukens, Sales & Business Development Director for KEEN Footwear EMEA and the newly-elected President of EOCA, commented, “We have exciting plans for the organisation going forwards and this increased confidence and support from the outdoor sector will ensure that proactive care for our wild spaces will start to take centre stage in the minds of the leaders of our industry.”

Congratulations on a great year’s achievements!

Tereblya rive
Single-use plastic garbage causes appalling pollution of the Tereblya river in western Ukraine.

About EOCA
EOCA is an initiative from the European outdoor industry with the objective of protecting the wild areas it cares so passionately about. Designed to harness the power of the outdoor industry and to raise money to donate to grassroots conservation groups, it is funded by membership and other fundraising activities within the outdoor industry. 100% of membership fees go to the support of projects. Membership is open to anyone that can demonstrate an involvement in the European outdoor industry.

From January 2015, a select group of ‘Sustaining Members’ have pledged their support to EOCA by committing to fund the sustainable growth of the organisation with an extra €10,000 per year over and above their annual membership fee. This money will be used to finance the running of the Association and support its sustainable growth, also enabling a move to 2 funding rounds per year.