united nations climate change
(Photo/Grisha Bruev via Shutterstock)

Dozens of Outdoor Brands Commit to Ambitious Climate Accords

The Scandinavian Outdoor Group’s 70 member brands like Dometic and Thule voted unanimously to commit to the United Nations’ climate change program.

“There is no time to waste.” That’s how the Scandinavian Outdoor Group’s (SOG) recent announcement about its new membership requirements begins — and if brands want in, they’d better get with that program, too.

On Tuesday, the coalition of 70 Scandinavian outdoor brands aligned its membership with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) global warming recommendations. SOG will now require member brands to commit to a maximum 1.5-degree C global warming target in 2022.

The organization staked out its position in a directly worded statement: “The latest IPCC report makes it painfully clear: the world needs to halve greenhouse gas emissions in just 7.5 years to have a chance to stay below 1.5° Celsius global warming, then halve [that again by] 2040 to reach net-zero by 2050. If these targets are not achieved, there will be severe to catastrophic consequences for civilization, depending on how close the tipping points come to being triggered.” The organization added, “Every tenth of a degree will matter.”

So, what will members have to do? SOG says it will support and guide brands internally to a degree, but the United Nations will handle the majority of the regulatory duty.

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SOG Climate Program Mechanics

First, the group will advise and guide its members on “commitments and practical work” to achieve climate goals. Each brand will commit and set its own goals, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will then vet its efficacy.

Specifically, the brands will comply with the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero Campaign. The program, in short, rallies leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a “zero-carbon recovery.” It seeks to prevent future environmental threats, create jobs, and focus on sustainable growth.

Race to Zero currently comprises 5,235 partner businesses, 120 countries, and multiple other actors. Participating members must commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

SOG’s 70 member companies will now join them. With many heavy hitters on the roster, the group figures to bring a lot to the table: Dometic, Thule, Fjallraven, CAKE, and more fill out the list.

SOG Brands Choose Measure Unanimously

For some, the change may be relatively minor. Dometic, for instance, has pursued its own goals in line with limiting emissions since 2019. The brand publicly maintains a list of its key initiatives, like increasing recyclability and repairability in its product line.

According to SOG, members voted unanimously to approve the UNFCCC compliance measure at a recent meeting. The group’s leadership characterized the changes its brands will undergo as matters of “alignment.”

“Sustainability is at the top of SOG’s agenda,” said Maria Frykman, Chair of the SOG Board. “[M]embers are passionately committed to aligning their climate goals with the UN 2050 climate pledge. By making this important commitment, we can work closely as a team to make our sustainability work within the SOG group both standardized and transparent.

“It will also be easier for SOG as a group and organization to support its members with a clear predefined structure,” she concluded.

SOG started in 2001 to bolster its members’ success in export markets. It has operated its internal sustainability initiative since 2016.

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.