A Climate Call to Action

Patagonia “Facing Extinction” campaign, featuring faces of young climate activists, appeared along strike routes.

A teenager from Sweden was in the spotlight at the UN Climate Action Summit this week in New York City. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” said Greta Thunberg, the 16 year-old climate activist who dared dignitaries and world leaders to ignore the urgency of the climate change. “If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you.”

The outdoor industry has heard Thunberg’s call to action; advocacy is on the rise with leading brands and non-profits alike doing their part. Both Patagonia and Burton closed stores on September 20th so employees could join the strikes organized by youth activists worldwide. To amplify its message, Patagonia’s “Facing Extinction” campaign appeared along strike routes in select cities globally and across print, digital and social media platforms. The campaign features photos with “Facing Extinction” emblazoned across the faces of youth activists calling on elected officials to take action. Burton used flagship stores as Action Centers for strikers. Additionally, for 24 hours on the 20th, Burton.com directed visitors to the site to the Global Climate Strike website instead of taking orders or making sales.

Consumer facing climate impact initiatives that highlight the need for carbon reduction measures are also taking shape within the industry. Carbon labeling has yet to achieve wide-scale recognition, but Climate Neutral plans to change that. The new independent non-profit is bringing to market its “Climate Neutral Certified” label which will begin appearing on the packaging, hang tags, and websites of certified brands in early 2020 to verify the achievement of a net-zero carbon footprint.

The intent of the new label, according to the firm, is to deliver a new standard of trust and transparency when it comes to corporate action on climate change. Companies that elect to become “Climate Neutral Certified” are required to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint for the company’s upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions. Once the certification process is complete, a company may use the Climate Neutral Certified label across all consumer channels to communicate the company’s commitment toward a global climate solution.

“Consumer brands today offer many credentials to a prospective buyer, but none of them directly addresses the brand’s climate impact,” said Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral. “Even worse, most brands don’t know how much they contribute to climate change. Climate Neutral exists to address both of these gaps so that we can make headway in the climate crisis.” For more information visit climateneutral.org.