The Portland Development Commission (PDC) in conjunction with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) have selected grant recipients for the Eco Index matching grant program. The five Portland-area companies slated to work with the next version of the OIA Eco Index are Adidas, Columbia, Icebreaker, Keen and Korkers. The brands will be given customized training and resources to help test the Index and provide feedback.
The PDC is a group of 300 Portland firms employing more than 14,000 Oregonians and the initiative fits with the group's goal, set last fall, to promote the Athletic and Outdoor Industry in Portland. The grant from the PDC was matched by OIA.
This cohort program will be in the hands of Eric Brody, who participated in the creation of the original OIA Eco Index content. Brody is a Portland based consultant and principal at ShiftAdvantage.
The Eco Index has been in development since 2007 and serves as an environmental impact assessment tool to create a benchmark and common language to measure product-level sustainability. In the newest iteration of the Eco Index, the “Apparel Tool” uses the OIA Eco Index Framework and Nike's Material Assessment tool which helps designers make data driven development choices to reduce environmental impact. The “Apparel Tool” and the Eco Index will be tested by the cohort participants.
The larger hope and goal is that this PDC grant program will provide a model for similar index implementation to companies in other cities. An update on the program will be delivered at the annual OIA Rendezvous conference in Portland this October.