Fashion Updates | Sustainability

Theresa McKenney NEMO’s Director of Sustainability & Government Affairs Testifies Outside

Published: March 21, 2024
Author: Fashion Value Chain

Theresa McKenney, Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs for Dover, NH-based NEMO Equipment, testified in front of the Senate Budget Committee in a hearing titled “Recreation at Risk: The Nature of Climate Costs”.

McKenney was accompanied by members from the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) & Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), and other outdoor industry businesspeople & athletes.

Chairman Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget have held 13 previous hearings on the economic toll of climate change. The Committee has examined a range of climate-caused budgetary effects, including inflation, disruption in insurance markets, infrastructure damage, and threats to ocean industries. Today’s hearing focuses on the impacts on the $1.1 trillion outdoor industry.

“Our drive to address climate change at NEMO comes from a combination of moral and practical concerns,” said McKenney. “We do not only look to government to solve the monumental challenge of climate change; businesses like ours that manufacture goods are significant contributors to the problem and we are ready to take responsibility for our part. Within our company, we call this work a crucial part of our overall ‘business sustainability’ versus simply ‘sustainability’ priorities.

We do not believe there is a future for businesses like ours without taking responsibility for our impacts on the planet, both because our consumers are increasingly demanding these efforts and because the natural places where backpacking and camping take place are being threatened.“

The group highlighted the economic and social value of outdoor recreation and the real climate-
related costs that the sector is seeing. By first providing committee members with a better understanding of the risks and costs to natural areas, local communities, and governmental budgets from climate-related changes affecting outdoor recreation, they then asked for their support for key legislation designed to address these issues, including:

 Protecting the climate investments made in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to allow for implementation of the bill’s goal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

 Modernizing the Farm Bill to support the outdoor recreation economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through updates to the Rural Development Title, Conservation Title, and Forestry Title. (See the joint Farm Bill Priorities Letter issued by OIA, Outdoor Alliance, and The Conservation Alliance).

 Elevating and supporting the newly formed American Climate Corps that will provide training for careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.

 Supporting America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA) and the Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences (EXPLORE) Act, which invests in recreation and green infrastructure to enhance access to public lands.

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