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March 8, 2022

European Outdoor Group expands membership for wider industry impact

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) is extending its membership to the wider value change which it says will greater impact the industry as a whole.

By Fi Forrest

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) works with members and stakeholders to collaborate on a range of projects of shared interest, such as market research, responsibility and sustainability, and currently has over a hundred members.   

In its 2021 Annual Assembly virtually on 17 February it said it would begin to accept new members from the wider value chain.

In the summary of the 2021 EOG Annual Report, Mark Held, EOG president, reminded members of the determination of the association to continue focusing on the major long-term issues, regardless of COVID-19, and that relentless drive to foster cooperation on the big pre-competitive challenges is what will help members to secure sustainable success for the outdoor sector. 

The report shows that in 2021, the EOG focused on the engagement of citizens in outdoor activity and sharing insights about trends emerging from the pandemic. Research showed an increasing number of European citizens planning to spend more time outdoors and in nature in the next 12 months, which is a positive for the outdoor sector as it adapts from the challenges of the pandemic. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, large numbers of European consumers declared an interest in getting outdoors more in future.  

Extending the Associated Membership category to the wider value chain reflects the way that the outdoor industry and EOG have developed, the association said in a statement. As the sector has matured, the association says it has expanded its range of services and projects and works closely with many organisations that are not predominantly rooted in the outdoor sector.  

Arne Strate, EOG general secretary, explained: “Opening up the Associated Membership category to the wider value chain provides a great opportunity to significantly enhance the work that we do on behalf of our members and the whole industry. We already work with many partners who are not outdoor companies in the accepted sense, but who influence and make significant contributions to our sector and to EOG projects. We are delighted that our members so overwhelmingly recognised the importance of facilitating closer and more formal cooperation in this way.” 

Along with five new members elected to the board, existing board member Matt Gowar, CEO of Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd, agreed to take on the role of vice president.  

Gowar said: “The outdoor industry must work together to address the big issues which are affecting us all – leading for an ethical and sustainable industry, preserving the outdoors for future generations and getting more people active outdoors. These are areas I’ve championed in my own business. This is a great opportunity for me to support the EOG and wider industry, to share my learning, and to help shape the industry we are all so proud of.”  

Key project priorities for the EOG include: 

  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability – the carbon reduction project 
  • Market insights – further development of the Outdoor Retail Benchmark Report 
  • Events – developing OutDoor by ISPO into a compelling tool for sector, and working with Outdoor Sports Valley on the successful return of the European Outdoor Summit in October 
  • Continued development of other existing projects and initiatives, and in driving member and industry collaboration 
  • Continued support of conservation of nature (led by the European Outdoor Conservation Association) and of getting Europe active outdoors (led by the It’s Great Out There Coalition).  

Last year (2021) the EOG called for continued unity and tolerance amid the sustained global impact on supply chains as a result of the Covid pandemic. 

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