RECORD BREAKING SUCCESS FOR EOCA IN 2019

The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is looking forward to 2020 by celebrating its most successful year to date in more ways than one. 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 enthusiastic uptake of its Plastic Pledge have all 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 a business’s CSR strategy.

31 new members have joined the association over the last 12 months, the most recent 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 Altitude, 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 a 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. In addition, 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 ISPO and OutDoor by ISPO, thanks to the generosity 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, to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used during trade shows, as well as during stand build and removal. To date 69 companies, including 8 non-members have signed the Pledge for ISPO in January, a 57% increase on OutDoor by ISPO in June. OutDoor by ISPO also saw a 75% reduction in carpets used and the provision of water fountains in all halls at the show, thanks to Messe München.

Perry Laukens, Sales & Business Development Director for KEEN Footwear EMEA and newly elected President of EOCA commented, “The last 12 months have been a really exhilarating time for EOCA in terms of growth, fundraising and significance in the mind of the industry. We have exciting plans for the organisation going forward 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.”

About EOCA

The European Outdoor Conservation Association (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 incredible power of the outdoor industry and to raise money to donate to grassroots conservation groups, the European Outdoor Conservation Association 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.

The current EOCA Sustaining Members are Pertex, KEEN Footwear, The North Face, Nikwax, ISPO and OutDoor by ISPO (Messe München), and the European Outdoor Group (EOG), which is also the Founder Member of the Association.