The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is an initiative of the European outdoor industry with the purpose of helping to protect the wild areas it cares about. Designed to harness the power of the outdoor industry and to raise money to donate to grassroots conservation groups, it 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 any business that can demonstrate an involvement in the European outdoor industry. It has seen 23 new companies signing up during 2019 – more than in any other single year in the history of the association. It brings membership up to 150 and will help to enable a commitment of over €500,000 into projects.
Since January 2019, the following companies have all signed up to join the existing members to support conservation funding in the great outdoors: Sunday Afternoons, Premsons, Brettschneider Fernreisebadarf, Tarrago Brands, MIZU Europe, World of Camping, Regatta Great Outdoors, Elements, Kahtoola, icebreaker, E9, ICEBUG, ECCO, Skinourishment, Leadership & Sustainability, Mund Socks, Gumbies and OutDoor by ISPO. Unterwegs, Studio Moda Sport Trangoworld and Ahorn Communication. Afydad, the Spanish Sport Association, also joined EOCA during 2019 as a trade partner.
Catherine Savidge, Joint General Manager of EOCA said “We have been thrilled to see our membership grow so significantly this year and so, as a result, be able to support more hands-on conservation around the world. Feedback suggests that companies are appreciating and supportive of our two year focus tackling the issue of plastic pollution – both by aiming to clear 3000km of habitat of plastic pollution, and reducing everyday single use plastic used by the industry, and the fact that this focus is running alongside the association continuing to support a broad range of vital conservation issues around the world.”
On joining EOCA, Ance Bentjen from Unterwegs said, “Nature is a valuable asset, which is not only the basis for the existence of our company, but also the basis for human existence. We therefore have a great interest in protecting nature and making a lasting contribution to its preservation. The EOCA bundles many forces and the contributions of the members flow 100% into the environmental protection projects, thus we think that great things can be achieved by joining forces.”
Since 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 two 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 – also the Founder Member of the Association.