Building a partnership with Protect Our Winters started with a conversation between competitors.
The year was 2013. And although Burton had already come to realize that sustainability needed to be a bigger part of the company, those efforts were just getting underway.
As Jones and then Burton President Donna Carpenter started talking at an industry event, he asked her to consider getting involved with POW. Donna says she began the conversation unwilling to take highly visible next steps to fight climate change without ensuring Burton had made more internal progress first on the sustainability front.
"Jeremy Jones was such a visionary; he’s the one who really changed my mind," she shared in an interview with Danny Davis hosted by POW in early 2020. "He said to me, you can green your house all day long, but we have to get together as an industry if we really want to move the needle."
So in 2013, Burton signed on to become one of POW’s top tier financial supporters and began using its brand voice to influence legislators and empower its community to get involved in taking positive climate action. The next year, POW became a valued voice at the annual Burton US Open, and in 2015, Donna took the next step and joined the Board of Directors at Protect Our Winters.
We’ve continued to progress our partnership every year since with product collaborations, lobbying lawmakers, sponsoring advocacy research, and activating the outdoor community to vote in elections.
What is Protect Our Winters (POW)?
Protect Our Winters is a 501c(3) nonprofit climate advocacy organization headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, in the United States. Founded in 2007, POW brings together athletes (like Burton team riders Kimmy Fasani, Danny Davis, Kelly Clark, and Brock Crouch, and Anon skier Michelle Parker), scientists, creatives, and businesses to advance non partisan policies in support of climate protection.
They [POW] do a great job in educating all of us on how to talk about climate change, how to persuade people, and how to move the conversation forward.
With a policy agenda that includes carbon pricing, a focus on renewable energy sources and electric transport, and the protection of shared public lands from resource extraction, POW is working to fundamentally shift cultural attitudes about climate change. But this work isn’t cheap; POW’s operation is made possible by donations from individuals and partnerships with values-led companies like Burton.
Let's Get Real About Climate Change
Our winters are warming, our glaciers are melting, and the world as we know it is changing. According to NOAA, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces in 2019 was 1.71°F (0.95°C) above the twentieth-century average of 57.0°F (13.9°C), making it the second-warmest year ever recorded. Include the fact that the five warmest years on record all occurred after 2015 and the data highlights an ominous trend.
What happens if temperatures continue to climb? Can you imagine a future without snow? Unfortunately, that is a very real possibility if we are unable to minimize our environmental impact. Which is why we have partnered with Protect Our Winters to activate people, across outdoor disciplines, to unite behind the science and combat climate change.
Most recently, Burton and POW continue to partner on strategic initiatives, including supporting the development of international POW chapters in Canada and Europe, partnering on local awareness, advocacy, and fundraising. In 2020, POW Europe was formally launched, and Burton Innsbruck hosted the inaugural summit, participating in strategy sessions to help unite the POW country chapters.
During important elections cycles (like the U.S. is facing in 2020), Burton partners with POW to engage the broader outdoor community to make a plan to vote, get educated on their candidates and issues, and show up at the polls.
If you take the whole outdoor industry, it’s larger than big pharma. We have to get together as an industry if we really want to move the needle.
Despite the fact that fossil fuel lobbyists outspend environmentalists 20 to 1 in Washington D.C. according to POW, there is no discounting the potential momentum of millions of outdoor sports enthusiasts working together. We may have differences in political leanings, but we share a passion that crosses party lines. Burton will keep building towards a better future, and we encourage you to join us. Let's spark change together.
To make a donation to Protect Our Winters, please visit protectourwinters.org/donate.
To take action, please visit your local POW chapter's website.
Burton x POW
The 2020 Burton x POW collaboration marks our fourth project together and it's only getting better. Take home a piece of this collection today so you can wear your activism on your sleeve.