July 2021 was earth’s hottest month on record. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the combined land- and ocean-surface temperature around the world was 1.67 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 60.4 degrees — making July the hottest month since record-keeping started 142 years ago.
Changing climates will have an impact on outdoor recreation and our preferred outdoor activities. Shorter ski seasons, changing migration patterns for migratory birds or big game and lost activity days due to severe weather, such as wildfires or hurricanes. Each of these examples are some of the ways in which climate change could impact our personal lives, and our business.
Vista Outdoor has taken steps to address and adapt to the changing climate. In 2019, Vista Outdoor Vice President of Public Affairs, Fred Ferguson, testified on the need for individual, private sector and governmental collaboration during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing examining the impacts of climate change on public lands recreation.
In 2020, Vista Outdoor released its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report. In the report, we outline ways we are working with non-profit partners, policymakers and changing internal systems to better promote conservation and environmental stewardship. ESG Reporting is now ingrained in the Vista Outdoor culture, with subsequent reports being released each year as part of our Vista 2030 vision.
In 2021, Vista Outdoor endorsed the Conservationists for Climate Solutions Policy Statement (Climate Statement). The Climate Statement is a first-of-its-kind framework that offers a comprehensive climate plan based in proven, bipartisan land and water management strategies.
And more recently, Ferguson again engaged Congress in pushing for cooperation in the areas of natural climate change mitigation. This bipartisan approach prioritizes improvements in the way land and waterways are managed. If done correctly, natural solutions could mitigate 20% of U.S. carbon emissions, which is equivalent to removing emissions from all cars and trucks on U.S. roads today. And a side benefit of natural land and water management is that outdoor recreation assets, wildlife and fisheries are healthier, which supports our overall mission of getting more people outdoors. Read his letter.
Climate change is an evolving issue that requires attention and action at all levels. Vista Outdoor will continue to use its platform to advocate for solutions that ensure our business, environment and people can thrive now and into the future.