2021 has already seen some great new green initiatives
that move the industry forward in reducing its impact on the environment. We have rounded up the latest batch of announcements that are intended to help lower cycling's impact on the planet.
Endura Partners with Trash Free Trails
Scottish clothing brand Endura has partnered with Trash Free Trails to reduce single-use plastic pollution in and around trails by 75% by 2025.
Alongside their lofty goals, Endura will also be kitting out Trash Free Trails' volunteer regional representatives from across the UK with clothing and helmets while supporting the group financially.
This isn't Endura's first move into green initiatives - they planted 1.3 million trees in 2020 and recently announced their goal to be carbon neutral by 2024.
Shimano Looks to Lower its Water and Plastic Usage
2020 saw Shimano cuts water usage by 7%, continuing a four-year trend for their overall water intake.
Shimano's ESG sheet revealed that last year saw a drop in water intake for Shimano as they used 1.57 million cubic meters in 2020, down from 1.69 million cubic meters for 2019. The same report also showed Shimano's CO2 emissions, which have risen in the past year to 142,000 tons. This emissions total sees a 0.4% rise from 2019, but it marks a 4.7% drop from 2016.
Shimano is starting to explore other materials for its packaging. Currently, they use plastic throughout the packaging of their products, so if they can switch to more sustainable options it could make a large impact. Trek found that if they switched the packaging on just their Marlin hardtail to a more sustainable choice they could save 23,000 kilograms from landfill.
UCI Sustainable Development
As part of its continuing work with the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework, the UCI have revealed the main ideas behind their ongoing aim to make cycling one of the most sustainable sports.
The current strategy has four categories:
- UCI Commitment to Sustainability: The Management Committee have approved a Sustainability Policy for the future integration of environmental, social and economic governance into UCI operations and decision-making processes.
- UCI Climate Action: The Federation will promote greater environmental responsibility throughout the sport by expanding knowledge of sustainable practices globally and taking action to reduce their impacts.
- The Cycling of Tomorrow: The sustainability of cycling will require not only innovation and support for a low carbon future but also measures to increase diversity and inclusion in the sport.
- Advocacy – Cycling for All and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Activities linked to Cycling for All will enable the UCI to reinforce the positive social impact of cycling and develop new partnerships in support of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The UCI has also announced that they will be announcing the full details of their sustainability strategy in June. They are also looking to produce "sustainability guidelines for the global cycling community, science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a 10-year strategic implementation plan and new initiatives to support the UCI’s sustainability objectives."
Although not applied to mountain biking just yet, the UCI has also launched a new ruling in road racing that if riders are caught dropping items outside of designated "trash zones" they will be penalised. For one-day races, this would mean expulsion, and in stage races riders would initially be punished with a 30-second penalty. The penalty is then increased to two minutes for a second offense and then expulsion for the third.
UCI president David Lappartient said, "We can not continue to have as an image of the bike when the bike passes the environment dies. Strong measures had to be taken, which were approved unanimously." While these measures are currently only applied to road racing it would be great to see something similar setup for mountain bike races with tear offs potentially being a good place to start.
Alpkit Sustainability Stats
Alpkit have released their sustainability report revealing the work they have done to lower their environmental impact.
One of the main points in the report is Alpkit prioritising products that can be used for longer and be easily repaired or recycled. In 2020 alone, Alpkit makes 2163 repairs for customers with 2.25 tonnes of old kit finding a new home through their Continuum Projects. Alpkit also revealed that their main sites produced zero landfill waste and 98% of orders were sent without any plastic.
Looking to the future Alpkit state that they plan for 2021 to double the range its clothing products made from recycled content, produce zero landfill waste at all site and to test plastic-free shipping from their factories to Alpkit itself.
You can read the full report from Alpkit here
Gore Sustainability Report
Another brand to recently release a sustainability report is GORE who has shared their 2020 Responsibility Update for 2020.
Inside their latest Responsibility Update, Gore shares their targets set in 2020:
- Creating carbon-reduction targets to help to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and help the global effort mitigating the effects of climate change.
- Reach the target of 85% of garment laminates to be bluesign approved and 100% of the laminates to be certified under OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
- Complete the goal of tripling the number of Gore-Tex laminates that feature textiles from recycled content.
- Share the environmental footprint data of Gore-Tex laminates to help customers make more informed choices about the impact of what they are buying.
- Increase the transparency around the environmental and social impacts at Gore's manufacturing sites.
- Continue working towards the removal of PFCs of Environmental Concern (PFCEC) from Gore's consumer products.