Outdoors industry conference addresses the challenge of global warming.
Outdoor industry movers and shakers at a conference at Lancaster
University last week heard that the industry needs to make major
changes to meet the challenges posed by climate change and global
The Innovation for Extremes conference - innov_ex 08 - was opened
by Sir Chris Bonington and brought together major figures in the UK
outdoors industry with experts from many different fields to discuss
The conference heard that the outlook is bleak for winter sports,
many of which will lose their snow within the next 25 years, but more
generally, there's a need to make the industry as a whole more
sustainable and to encourage consumers to buy more sustainable
products and support environmental protection schemes.
The UK industry' lags behind North America, a point underlined by
contributions from representatives of US companies - notably eco
crusaders Patagonia - via web cast presentations.
The answers however, may not be as straightforward as you think.
The production of synthetic textiles, for example, is far less
significant in terms of sustainability than power generation, which
means a synthetically produced fabric made as part of a sustainable
process may, in real terms, be more ecologically friendly than a
Chris Bonington was unequical in his belief that improving
sustainability is the industry's responsibility:
'The participants in the range of outdoor activities, the
consumers, all have their part to play,' he said. 'But it is the
industry itself which needs to set the agenda for change.'
Outdoors brands are just beginning to embrace recycled fabrics and
sustainable natural resources like bamboo, but based on what we heard
from innov_ex via the live conference web feed, it's a sight more
complicated than that, so it'll be interesting to see how the
More about innov_ex 08 at www.innovation-for-extremes.org