The Climate Challenge, NSAA’s climate platform, was re-tooled this year, can you tell us about that program and the impact that it’s having?
We have been busy at NSAA! We revamped the entire Sustainable Slopes (http://nsaa.org/environment/sustainable-slopes/) program and updated our Climate Challenge program all in the same year. The Climate Challenge provides a public reporting platform for resorts who are leading the way in inventorying their carbon emissions, setting goals for reduction, taking action to meet those goals, and doing advocacy on climate change solutions. At the ten-year mark, NSAA made some exciting improvements to our reporting platform and souped up our advocacy requirements for Challengers. I have to include a shout out to Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho for joining the Climate Challenge in April in the middle of this COVID crisis. You give us hope!
What’s the OBCP and why is it important?
The Outdoor Business Climate Partnership is an incredibly important collaboration among OIA, SIA and NSAA to raise the business voice of the outdoor industry on climate change impacts and the need for broad scale solutions. Never before have these three organizations worked together so closely. We learn from each other, inspire each other, and are unified in our commitment to tackle climate change head-on. We made two trips to DC last year together to engage with Congress on the need for climate change action. This year we joined the LEAD on Climate event (see below) and are planning future advocacy opportunities as well.
What has the pandemic taught us all about climate change?
COVID has sparked a reimagining of everything. It has taught us that we can actually come together to respond to a major, reality-altering threat. We have no choice but to respond to COVID, and we have no choice but to respond to climate change. Innovation, quick response, and resiliency are key.
You recently lobbied virtually on Capitol Hill with SIA and OIA and 330 other companies. Can you tell us some more about that and what you all hoped to all get out of it?
Three of us from NSAA – Kelly Pawlak, Adrienne Isaac and myself—participated in the LEAD on Climate 2020 lobby day last week. It was amazing to join hands (virtually of course) with other businesses of all types and hear their connection to climate change. Every industry has a story to tell, and it is crucial that members of Congress hear those stories directly from us. Last year we were energized by participating in this event as part of the newly formed OBCP. This year didn’t disappoint – between the huge number of participating companies and the number of Republicans who voiced the need for action on climate change.
Are you hopeful for some kind of bi-partisan movement on climate in Washington?
I have to be hopeful. When 330 business voices are shared in 88 Congressional meetings in one day on climate change, that’s gotta leave a mark! Just today I saw some polling results shared by Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL) showing that even in the midst of the COVID crisis, Americans are still deeply concerned about climate change. We are witnessing a time of tremendous change and tremendous opportunity. I am hoping for the best.