Our Commitment to a Healthy Planet

Nothing is more important to Outside and the hikers, skiers, climbers, runners, and other active lifestyle enthusiasts we serve than fresh air, clean water, and a stable climate. The future of our trails, peaks, waterways and natural playgrounds depends on the actions we take today to reduce the environmental impact of our business. To that end, CEO Robin Thurston publicly committed Outside to three sustainability targets with a letter to the outdoor industry in December 2020.

Sustainability Commitments

Become climate positive by 2030 by reducing our manufacturing footprint and neutralizing carbon beyond net-zero

Convert our Boulder, Colorado, headquarters to a zero-waste and switch to green energy suppliers*

Minimize the use of virgin polybags and educate our readers on the importance of and logistics for recycling them*

*We have modified these commitments due to new information.

Sustainability Actions

100% carbon-neutral in 5 years. In January 2022, Outside launched a five-year climate initiative to measure, lower, and neutralize our footprint. We will continuously examine our supply chain to identify reductions, and we will purchase carbon permits to address what remains – starting with 20% of our footprint in year 1 and increasing our investment to 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% in 2026.

Green Business Bureau Platinum certification. Outside has joined the Green Business Bureau and achieved platinum certification (the highest level) for our Boulder, Colorado, headquarters. Our facilities team is also pursuing green energy procurement. We will be pursuing the same status for all our other locations in the coming months.

Minimize virgin polybags and educate on recycling. On rare occasions, Outside must polybag magazines together for mailing. In December 2021, we switched to a bag with a chemical additive designed to make the bags biodegrade. We have since learned that this was a mistake. (More to come in our year-end Impact Report.) We have reverted back to virgin polybags, but we will also launch a campaign that educates our readers how to properly recycle them and will continue to look for recycled and fiber-based options.

Sustainability Actions

OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Working with Cooler, our climate partner, we calculated the total emissions produced by Outside in 2021. This analysis and breakdown gives us a roadmap for improvements and serves as the basis for our investment in carbon permits. We intend to update our footprint every year or whenever there are substantial changes to our business.

Outside’s 2021 Carbon Footprint

23,170,505 kgs CO2e annually

carbon footprint graphic

OUR CLIMATE PARTNER

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Cooler is led by CEO Michel Gelobter, a 25-year climate analyst who helped author America’s first carbon legislation and is an expert in climate justice issues. Cooler uses peer-reviewed modeling developed at Yale and Berkeley that is based on Nobel Prize-winning science.

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How we neutralize our carbon
Following best practices, we will only invest in carbon-neutralization methods that meet the following standards:

To eliminate emissions equal to our annual targets, we work with Cooler to purchase carbon permits from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a government consortium that regulates pollution in the Northeast. For every permit we purchase at RGGI’s quarterly auctions, we reduce the permits available to polluters. This immediately prevents the pollution that would happen otherwise – 1 ton of carbon at a time.

Outside.io
The first carbon-neutral marketplace for outdoor NFTs

outside.io

A Low-Impact Platform
Our new Web3 initiative is built on the Solana blockchain, whose proof-of-stake approach dramatically lowers its footprint compared to well-known competitors. One Solana transaction consumes the same energy as 2.5 Google searches.

Carbon Neutralization & Transparency
We will calculate, report, and neutralize 100% of our NFT footprint – in addition to the actions we’re taking to make the entire company carbon-neutral. We’ve already purchased enough carbon permits to neutralize far more transactions than we expect in 2022.

Outside’s Gear Up Give Back Program

We believe that good, used gear should be diverted from the landfill and passed along to others who will enjoy it. Our Gear Up Give Back program encourages people to send us their pre-loved gear and apparel (clean and in need of only minor repairs). Our partners at The Gear Fix will clean and repair it, then sell it at a discounted price. All proceeds will be donated to our nonprofit partner, The Outdoorist Oath, which works to protect the planet and build inclusive outdoor spaces. The process is simple and shipping is free.

Learn More
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Plastic Impact Alliance

Co-founded in 2019 by Outside Head of Sustainability and Community Partnerships Kristin Hostetter, the Plastic Impact Alliance (PIA) is a community of 420+ outdoor companies looking to reduce and ultimately eliminate single-use plastic from their businesses. This leadership initiative has had the following positive results:

Coming soon in partnership with Eco-Cycle: A Tool Kit for Responsible Polybag/Soft Film Usage in the Outdoor Industry 

Read more about the PIA.

Join the PIA
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Outside’s Sustainability Task Force

The Task Force is responsible for designing and driving a roadmap that enables Outside to achieve its sustainability goals, reduce operating costs by finding planet-friendly solutions, and create a culture of continuous climate awareness among the company’s staff and audience.