What is The POW Pledge?

Guiding the industry on the path to Net Zero

Feature type Story

Read time 5 min read

Published Feb 19, 2021

Author Hannah Bailey

Photographer Hannah Bailey

Hannah Bailey
Hannah Bailey Hannah is an award-winning photographer and journalist who works tirelessly to shine the spotlight on women in action sports. She shows the real faces, telling genuine stories of those involved in the niche culture to inspire others to get involved and society as a whole.

Story | Hannah Bailey / Protect Our Winters

Back in October last year as we were running (relatively) free between lockdowns, Protect Our Winters UK, the climate advocacy NGO, were preparing to launch “The POW Pledge”. An initiative and digital portal, developed with Surfdome and Internet Fusion, to equip the industry and organisations to take climate action towards Net Zero. Living up to their mission to inspire the outdoor community and industry to take positive action on climate change to accelerate the transition to a carbon neutral society, here is what “The POW Pledge” is all about and why we should be proud of them for taking on the task.

As you are here reading BASE, we likely share the love of the outdoors, and outdoor sports. Our passions and extra-curricular activities need the earth. There is no skiing/snowboarding without the snowy mountains. Here in the Highlands of Scotland, the Cairngorms have had the best snow season since 2010, but it is a range which is predominantly under 1200m, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says is unlikely to have snow by midcentury. That’s a scary thought if snowsports are your passion, perhaps even more so if your business or livelihood depends on it. There is so much more to this than simply getting turns in. As governments set Net Zero target dates, by now, we know it is the time for organisations to make changes and as consumers we have the power to choose to support those who are going in the right direction.

In order to urgently protect what we love the most, POW UK is trying to make it easy for the outdoor industry to make the changes to become Net Zero. They are highlighting that the collective industry has a far bigger footprint than us as individuals, and that businesses need to be held accountable. It can be overwhelming as an individual to know where to start, and it’s the same for many organisations. The POW Pledge is like a road map for organisations to find their way to reach these Net Zero targets. With eight clear steps for them to get through; run on 100% renewable electricity, be heated by carbon zero sources, run a zero emission vehicle fleet, reduce unavoidable CO2 emissions, establish a Net Zero (zero carbon) target date, begin their divestment journey, and influence their supply chain to do the same. The POW Pledge will not only make businesses accountable for their actions, but asks them to share the message with customers and peers to impact the industry as a whole – there’s power in numbers.

So far 70 organisations have signed up to The POW Pledge but their work continues. You can sign up as an organisations or ask your favourite brands to do so here.

This is just the beginning of POW UK’s work in 2021, with COP 26 heading to Glasgow this November. As all the countries who are part of the Paris Agreement come together to discuss their plans to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, POW UK will be there to put the pressure on them, to shout loud and push them for more climate ambition.

Follow them to stay up to date and add your voice to the fight: @protectourwintersuk.

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