Our programs unite and mobilize the global snowsports community
against climate change.
The outdoor community has a disproportionate influence because of its profile, newsworthiness, economic influence and the passion of the participants, athletes and businesses involved. We are uniquely suited to drive a broad movement in support of climate action and our success stems from our ability to effectively mobilize the outdoor community through socially-relevant communications, led by the influencers in our sports. Outdoor sports is a way for the public to understand the consequences of climate change, and what we stand to gain by stopping it, or lose by failing to.
POW’s work is uniquely influential and important because climate activism has been missing a strong social movement, like what helped pass civil rights legislation, labor protections, women’s voting rights, or most recently, marriage equality. POW is one of only a few groups focused on building this social movement.
POW works creatively and opportunistically and focuses on three main areas: youth education, advocacy and community-based activism.
POW Policy Agenda
- Set an economy-wide price on carbon
- Transition to a clean-energy economy by investing in solar energy
- Utilize innovative transit solutions to minimize emissions from the transportation sector
Click here to learn more about our policy agenda!
Outdoor Industry Climate Leadership Summit
On May 24, outdoor industry CEOs and executives descended upon Telluride, CO to discuss how business can influence positive climate action, and what the next steps for industry leaders are. This inaugural Outdoor Leadership Climate Summit took place directly before the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, which focused heavily on climate change this year.
This summit was organized by POW and the Outdoor Industry Association, with the shared understanding that outdoor industry businesses play an essential role in positive climate change action.
Attendees included Patagonia, Burton, Clif Bar, National Geographic, Ben and Jerry’s, The National Resources Defense Council, and The Trust for Public Land. To learn more about the summit click here.
Trump Bailed on Paris. What’s Next?
On June 1, with one over-hyped, fancy announcement, Trump told the nation he’s taking the United States out of the most monumental global climate agreement.
Fortunately, cities, states, and business leaders across the country have already initiated conversations about setting greenhouse gas reduction targets to mimic what was agreed upon in Paris at COP21.
We need you to call your governor and ask them to join this movement. If our federal government won’t do it, let’s ask our governors and mayors to step up.
We’ve made contacting your governor easy, and even wrote a script for you! Click here to take action and move our nation forward, not backward, on climate change.
People’s Climate March
On April 19, 2017 over 200,000 people descended upon Washington, DC for the People’s Climate March– with thousands more participating in sister marches across the nation, and world.
POW participated in 15+ marches throughout North America and Europe with our athletes, community members, and partners. We were overwhelmed by the turnout from the outdoor sports community, in addition to the overall support for our work and the environmental movement.
Thanks to all who came out for the march, and keep up the good work!
To see pictures from the march click here
Jeremy Jones on the Hill
On April 27, Jeremy Jones headed to Washington, DC to testify in front of Congress about the impacts climate change has on the outdoor recreation economy.
Jeremy was asked to speak at a hearing held in response to the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act being passed through Congress last fall with unanimous, bipartisan support. Thanks to this bill, the outdoor recreation economy will be counted as part of the US gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time ever.
To learn more, and read what Jeremy had to say, click here
Hot Planet/Cool Athletes
In partnership with The North Face and Clif Bar, this in-school climate assembly program, led by pro athletes, educates young students about climate change and inspires them to become the next generation of environmental leaders. Since 2011, we’ve met over 45,000 students in the US and Canada. For more information or to book an assembly, please click here.
POW Riders Alliance
If we’re going to create a social movement against climate change, it will be sparked by the influencers in our community, the pro athletes. The POW Riders Alliance is a platform for over 60 professional outdoor athletes to speak for the environment and we provide opportunities throughout the year for them to do so. View The Team Here.
Our goal is to mobilize the snowsports community to create the political will for climate action. Throughout the year, we elevate the voices of our 23 million strong snowsports community, the $62 billion industry and our pro athletes at the highest levels in Washington to urge lawmakers to support strong climate policy, such as The Clean Power Plan. We continually leverage our voice to maintain a presence at the state and federal level through the most creative and effective means possible.
POW also convenes a diverse group of pro athletes, industry representatives, resorts, and trade groups to visit Washington to meet with lawmakers on key climate issues. This group has the ability gain access to the highest levels, and take the politics out of the conversation. We focus on the economic impacts on our tourist-dependent economies and the hard data, while adding a unique perspective to the typical climate discussions with first-hand, personal accounts of climate impacts.
New Belgium+Ben & Jerrys = 100 Days To Change Our Ways!
Whether it’s implementing responsible sourcing initiatives or creating a positive corporate model to make an impact, there is strength in numbers. So in 2016, we’re honored to be partnering once again with Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium Brewing on the launch of their new collaborative beer flavor, Chocolate Cookie Dough Ale, to benefit POW.
But even cooler: this partnership is focused on political advocacy – creating widespread awareness right on the product labels, inspiring people to take action on climate at events with us or at home. This year’s campaign, called “100 Days”, will be focused on urging the new administration to make a climate change a priority on their one hinted days agenda. We’ll be at beer-tasting events with Riders Alliance athletes inviting people to sign letters or for those who cant make to an event, to sign a letter online. Climate change can’t wait. Let’s get started. We’ve got 100 Days to change our ways!
Who would have thought that drinking a beer or eating a pint of ice cream could be an act of citizenship? Beer is bipartisan. Ice cream is collaborative.
Haze In Utah’s National Parks
Utah’s $12 billion dollar outdoor sports economy depends on clean air. In partnership with The Sierra Club, we’re mobilizing our membership, corporate partners and pro athletes to clean up the haze in Utah’s southern national parks caused by emissions from the antiquated Hunter and Huntington coal-fired power plants.
For this specific campaign, we helped gather 250 outdoor industry businesses and 85,000 signatures asking the EPA to require the best available technology to reduce haze-causing pollution at two of Utah’s largest coal-fired power plants.
“As a Utah-based professional athlete, I personally can vouch for the critical role that our state’s beautiful natural places play in our economy,” said professional skier Caroline Gleich. “I urge the EPA to choose the plan that will do the most to clean up our air and protect the Utah I love and enjoy.” – Pro Skier Caroline Gleich.
#UNITEFORPOW IN PARIS
From November 30 – December 11, world leaders will meet in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference/COP21 to decide the future of a warming planet and how, as a global community, we’re going to address climate change. To us, this is the tipping point: will we continue business as usual and ignore this threat, or will we work together to reduce global carbon emissions and preserve this planet for future generations? This event will give us all a glimpse into the future.
The largest US snow recreation market, Colorado has so much at stake. We’ve launched POW//Colorado to unite and mobilize the Colorado outdoor community to address local climate issues and create a legion of climate activists willing to take action as-needed on specific issues. Go to POW//CO now!
Each January, at the annual SIA ski industry trade show in Denver, we bring the industry leaders together for a breakfast keynote to learn more about climate change and how, as an industry, we need to respond. Past speakers have included EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Rolling Stone Magazine’s Jeff Goodell, Grist’s David Roberts and Tesla’s Diarmuid O’Connell speaking to over 250 industry execs and pro athletes each year.
Protecting Public Land From Coal Mining
Currently, a staggering 40% of America’s coal production comes from publicly owned land managed by the federal government. The worst part of the outdated coal leasing program is through loopholes and outdated royalty rates, coal companies are able to mine for coal on public land for pennies on the dollar.
Coal companies are not only destroying publicly owned land, polluting our air and accelerating global climate change, they’re not paying fair market value for the land itself. We are literally giving away our publicly owned fossil fuels to mining and drilling companies, disregarding the damage they cause to communities and our climate.
This antiquated policy is not only propping up a failing industry, and leading to 60 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, it’s also costing American taxpayers $1 billion annually lost revenue.
This campaign aims to ensure that the federal coal program is reformed, coal companies pay their fair share and that our public lands are protected.
Climate Impacts Report
After several trips to DC to speak to elected officials about the need for climate action, we realized we needed to be able to make a stronger economic case. So for $15,000, we commissioned a report on the economic impacts of low snow years on ski communities. It turns out the cost of bad snow years is over a billion dollars in lost revenue nationally, plus tens of thousands of lost jobs. We partnered with NRDC to release this report, and it instantly went viral, garnering over 250 hits in major international media (including the NY Times four times) and changing the national conversation on climate. The value of the press hits on this report was in the millions and it legitimizing our industry as an economic power at the highest levels in Washington.
EPA At X Games
In 2014, POW set about to make sure that the outdoor sports community understood how groundbreaking the Clean Power Plan is and why they needed to support it.
Later that year, we met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and held a Twitter town hall with her and our athletes – answering questions on Twitter together from the snow sports community about the Clean Power Plan.
Then, in January, Gina McCarthy met us in Aspen during the X Games, the epicenter of our sport each year. This was an opportunity for her to see why we all care so much, but also an opportunity for her to speak to the core of our community about the work that the EPA is doing and how the Clean Power Plan will help to not only protect our sports but the economic livelihoods in tourist dependent communities like Aspen. With us, she met with school children, pro athletes and local business leaders and then held a press conference on the slopes of Aspen Mountain to talk about the Clean Power Plan and why it’s important for everyone in the outdoor/snow community. The message: it’s cool to support the Clean Power Plan, and by the way, it makes sense for business too.
Read this op-ed written by Administrator McCarthy and pro snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler: http://www.powder.com/stories/first-chair-blog/op-ed-epa-administrator-vows-fight-skiers-climate-change-battle/#yhw61ehCpyeeFgYd.97
In partnership with SNOCRU, this short documentary illustrated the coal export issues in the Pacific Northwest to engage a broader set of voices and provide an advocacy tool for grassroots partners. As of Spring 2016, the film has been viewed more than 21,000 times and shared with community groups, universities, libraries and local television networks.
At the onset of this campaign, there were six proposed coal ports in the Pacific Northwest, not there is only one proposal left.
Phone It In
At the Burton US Open, we launched a campaign to provide anyone with an opportunity to call their Senators to urge them to support the Clean Power Plan. Provided with scripts, a cell phone and a direct number – over 200 calls were made by enthusiastic constituents to their Senators, from onsite phone booth in a three-day period. The campaign lived on our website afterwards, to let anyone participate.
Climate Action Plan: #ActOnClimate
After the announcement of the Climate Action Plan in 2014 – we mobilized our athletes and industry partners to create a movement on social media, by posting photographs of them outdoors, celebrating the announcement and illustrating what was at stake, tagged #ActOnClimate. By the end of the first week, we saw 13,000 tweets by over 10,000 individuals including Alex Honnold, Conrad Anker, Jeremy Jones, Gretchen Bleiler, Jamie Anderson, Jimmy Chin, etc. The response from Washington: “We’ve been completely blown away by what you guys have brought to life. The photos from your athletes are inspiring everyday people in a way only they could – and driving a larger audience to identify with the cause of climate change. No one could ever manufacture the content that the POW athletes are creating, and they’re reaching people in a really important way. Keep going.”
In partnership with Yale School of Forestry, we helped mobilize the voices of the Olympians on the ground to raise awareness of climate change during our sports biggest stage. We released a letter signed by over 100 Olympians calling on world leaders to take action against climate change and released a series of follow up op-eds in national newspapers such as this (http://www.huffingtonpost.
As a result, the campaign earned over 300 million media impressions. Read more: (http://www.usatoday.com/