PRESS RELEASE: Polygon UR Team
With all the team rumours going around during the off-season, we are announcing that CO2 will be officially cut from POLYGON UR Team in 2020. Yes, you read that right, we have set ourselves a big environmental goal as a team and we are thrilled to share that we will aim for carbon neutrality in the upcoming season. Why?
The UR team has always aimed to do more than just racing since 2011, we have been supporting a charity by giving away used or leftover gear to communities that are less fortunate. In the past couple of years, there has been a rise of consciousness around climate change. For us, it is clear that human activities and emissions of CO2 are having an impact on global warming.
On the other side, we are also aware that we are practising a sport that is far from being “green”. We know that our lifestyle generates more CO2 than most people do. We also know that the competitive world is about using all the resources available to reach a goal which couldn’t be more opposed to what sustainability means. For us, racing and pursuing our passion is very important so we don’t want to stop or even slow down. What we are doing here is just trying to neutralise the CO2 impact of our team activities. We are not trying to teach a lesson to anyone, we are just communicating our goal which hopefully will inspire more.
Our plan to try and reach this goal is divided into three sub-goals:1. Be more efficient.
This translates into a couple of different actions:
- We will be looking at smaller more efficient team vehicles.
- We will try to fly direct as much as possible and reduce the number of spares we take by finding local support.
- We will try to anticipate our team orders to avoid last-minute air freight shipping.2. Reduce. Reuse Recycle.
Maybe obvious, but not that simple!
- Eliminate single-use plastic
- We are lucky to have Camelbak as a partner to help us with this. We have no excuses to not be using reusable water bottles as well as coffee mugs. Only by using Camelbak water bottles for the whole team, we will keep around 220 plastic bottles from landfill each month;
- use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags;
- use reusable cutlery/straws;
- prioritize bulk and avoid over-packaged products
- recycle as much as possible.
- Eat produce that are in season and locally grown (this can reduce our carbon footprint up to 7%)3. Offset remaining emissions.
All the travelling we have to do to get to races and events can only be reduced to a certain point. Here’s what we forecasted for the upcoming season, per person:
- After looking at multiple calculators, we came up with an average of 2,3 tonnes of CO2 per round trip flight/per person. Knowing that we have 8 World Cup stops, 3 Crankworx and a few other events planned, we calculated that we would have around 15 flights over the season. That puts us at 34.5 tons/person.
- We are currently looking into the different options to offset these emissions: Carbon market: Buying carbon credits that put money into sustainable projects is a way to offset CO2 emissions. As the carbon market is in constant evolution and growth, we want to make sure that the money we will invest will have a real impact. Climate Care, Gold Standard and Less are some of the organizations we’ve been digging into. If you work or are involved with an organization like this, please get in touch with us!
- Treeplanting: we are also looking into organizations like Teamtree to offset some of our emissions. As we know, trees can absorb the CO2 and reduce its amount in the atmosphere. We also know that we’ve reached such a high level of CO2 that only planting trees isn’t the only solution, but it is still part of it. Especially knowing that deforestation is still happening at a fast pace.
Where to draw the line?
We know that every bit and piece of our bikes are emitting carbon emissions from production all the way to the end of their life cycle. At this stage, we cannot offset the whole process and that’s why we have decided to focus on offsetting what we can control from our team activities. We hope that by doing this, we will get the ball rolling and that more people will get involved. Also, we didn’t ask for more money from our sponsors to cover the offsetting of our CO2. In fact, our sponsors are reading this news at the same time as we haven’t told any of our partners yet.
If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let us know in the comments. What’s next for us
This marks the first announcement of the UR team 3.0 which is the evolution of our team. We will reveal more through the next month some changes with Riders, Partners, Events and more.