Round Up: 4 Eco Initiatives from Chris King, Elite, Giro and the UCI

Apr 23, 2020 at 6:42
by Ed Spratt  
Inverness Scotland.

Although the climate crisis has dropped out of the news cycle during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it's great to see the cycling industry is still trying to reduce their impact on the planet. Here are three of the latest announcements on new eco-initiatives that will hopefully help lessen the environmental damage of our sport.

Elite:
Although most cycling water bottles are reusable and can last quite a long time, they will all reach a point where they will most likely end up in landfill, which can lead to a breakdown period of between 100 to 1000 years for a standard water bottle. With Elite's new biodegradable Jet bottles, the time for the bottle to fully breakdown is between 3 months and five years, which is a significant reduction.


Elite claims that this is thanks to "additive" microorganisms that are responsible for the degrading process and are able to attack the polymeric chain of the plastic, which helps to significantly reduce the time it takes for the bottle to fully degrade. The use of an additive in the BPA-Free plastic means that Elite is able to create a bottle that they claim decomposes far quicker than any standard plastic bottle.

Find out more about the Jet bottle range here.



UCI:

This week the UCI announced that it has signed the United Nations (UN) 'Sports for Climate Action Framework' as part of the organisation's efforts to make cycling "one of the world’s most environmentally friendly sports."

The UN's framework sets out to bring together more than 100 international federations, sports governing bodies, competitions, franchises and teams with the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sports. It works in line with the Paris Climate Agreement to use the large cultural influence of sport to inspire global action on climate change. The framework was originally co-created by the UN and the IOC and was launched in December of 2018.

By signing up to the framework this week the UCI has now committed to:

- Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
- Reduce its overall climate impact
- Educate about climate action
- Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
- Advocate for climate action through communication

bigquotesThe world is in the midst of the coronavirus emergency on which we are all rightly focused, but we cannot afford to ignore the ever-constant threat of climate change. Even while the sporting calendar is suspended, the UCI – in line with our Federation’s roadmap Agenda 2022 – is working hard to rise to the challenges climate change poses to the future of our sport. It is therefore logical that we play our part in the global sporting effort to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Signing the UN’s Sport for Climate Action Framework is a big step that our Federation is proud to take. We are fully committed to making professional cycling one of the world’s most environmentally friendly sports, and to promoting cycling as a mode of transport in order to unlock a greener and healthier future for all. Amina Lanaya, UCI Director-General

bigquotesWe congratulate the UCI on the decision to join the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. As a global symbol of sustainable transportation, cycling has a unique ability to help address climate change while keeping us fit and healthy. The UCI is among 120 sports organisations that have joined the framework so far. We look forward to working hand in hand with the Union to ensure an impactful implementation of this commitment. Marie Sallois, IOC Director for Sustainability

The UCI's main commitment will be to coordinate work that is already underway across cycling to promote environmental sustainability and work its network of 196 national federations and the IOC to take their plans forward. Currently, they aim to have a detailed multidiscipline toolkit for use across the sport available later this year.

Find out more about the UN's 'Sports for Climate Action Framework' here.



Chris King:
Chris King is another company reflecting on the impact they have on the world as they have announced that they are now registered as a Certified B Corporation, the first manufacturer in the bike industry to do so.

"Since Chris founded the company in 1976 we have operated with two goals in mind; manufacture high-quality bike parts in an environmentally responsible manner, and have those parts outperform and outlast the competition, staying on bikes and out of the landfill.

We’re proud to say that we still believe in these principles and are expanding upon them. Chris King Precision Components is proud to have met the rigorous B Corporation standards and be a Certified B Corporation, joining their movement to use 'business as a force for good'."

As a B Corporation Chris King believe:

- "That we must be the change we seek in the world."
- "That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place matter."
- "That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all."
- "To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations."
- "While we are joining over 3000 Certified B Corporations, we are the first manufacturer in the bike industry to meet the rigorous standards. We hope to be an inspiration to other brands in the cycling industry."


In the press release released by Chris King, they recognise their large impact on the environment but say that because of this they must ensure they make "serviceable components that last a lifetime so they never have to be made again." They go on to add that the next step is offering their 'King Lifetime Warranty' on all their products. "Our warranty means that we will keep your parts running for life. If you ever damage one of our parts we will service it and replace the damaged components, we believe in keeping good parts on bikes as long as possible."

Chris King has also looked at their manufacturing process where they have tried to reclaim materials and make it easier to recycle waste products.

bigquotesWe capture and separate all of the chips of aluminum and steel that are made while turning barstock into our parts. We then strain and separate the cutting oil while compacting the loose chips into dense and compact pucks of material. This makes them easier to transport and more efficient to recycle.

While recapturing the chips we also recapture our cutting fluid because we use organic canola oil instead of a traditional cutting fluid which has to be changed often, creating large amounts of waste, cutting inconsistency, and can be a skin irritant for workers. Our canola oil is US sourced and has an infinite lifespan as long as we recapture and strain/centrifuge it, and can be recycled if we ever stopped using it for some reason. This oil causes us to machine slower than a traditional cutting fluid but we believe that the environmental benefits far outweigh the slower machining speed.


Find out more about the steps Chris King have taken to become a B Corporation here.



Giro:
Giro's Renew Series of apparel for men and women uses recycled nylon, polyester and elastane from fishing nets and ocean waste.

Giro believes that the global apparel industry is estimated to be the source of 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions and ocean waste creates a huge problem for the future of our oceans, because of this Giro looked to find a way to make clothing that was more sustainable. Currently, it is estimated that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste in our oceans all of which creates a hugely damaging effect on our planet. Fishing nets can stay in the water for years and even after breaking down they leave deadly microplastics.

bigquotesMost modern nets are made of nylon or other plastic compounds that can last for centuries. According to a 2018 study in Scientific Reports, ghost nets make up at least 46 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Those abandoned fishing lines and nets that do breakdown never go away; they just become smaller pieces of plastic. Marine animals mistake this microplastic for food and eat it. WWF

XC riding on the Zen Trail in St George UT

For their Renew Series Giro has teamed up with Econyl, which is a company that uses nylon waste from landfills and the ocean to create their innovative 'regenerated nylon'. Through their process of regeneration, Econyl is able to save 70,000 barrels of crude oil and 57,100 tonnes of CO2 emission for every 10,000 tons of raw Enconyl nylon produced.

bigquotesWe strive to create breakthrough products through research, smart design, and meaningful innovation. Regenerated materials like Econyl are the key to creating Renew Series products that people want to wear because they offer the same level of performance and style, they feel great, and they are better for the planet than conventional alternatives.Giro Apparel Product Manager, Margaux Elliott

In our recent 'Ask Us Anything' with Giro, Margaux Elliott the apparel product manager, mentions that although they are improving the production of garments it is also vitally important that consumers look at the way they use products and ensure they are reducing their own consumption. "One of the biggest environmental issues with apparel is that generally people are buying more and using them for shorter periods of time. According to an article by Mckinsey, the average consumer bought 60% more apparel products in 2014 than 2000 and used them half as long…we encourage people to only buy apparel that they need and use them as long as possible. Our renew series is the “reuse” and “recycle”, but we need consumers to “reduce” for the full picture to improve." Margaux Elliott also revealed in the comments that they have found that in the past year 79% of all mountain bike jerseys sold have contained recycled material.

In addition to the apparel line Giro have strived to ensure that nearly all of their packaging is made from recycled content with a focus on using post-consumer content. Find out more about Giro's Renew Series here.





56 Comments

  • 52 3
 Whats not talked about is how this covid thing just set back all efforts like this by an immeasurable amount. On my daily road rides, I've seen as many as 1.5 nitril gloves per mile ridden, tossed on the side of the road. no joke. And thats just what I can see or took notice of. The take out food industry? Politicians talk about supporting local restaurants. We finally did sushi take out over the weekend. The amount of plastic containers was disturbing. And now all those plastic bags for takeout food? Thats the last time I do that until this nonsense is over. Continuing to cook at home. But everyone made it very clear they don't care about the environment and prioritized a false sense of security.
  • 24 1
 60% of the shit beside the road is fast food containers, MCDonalds, BurgerKing, KFC etc. Take away food is a real problem for the nature.
( yes sometimes I do road Smile
  • 26 0
 Rather than just say "thats the last time I do that", why not do a bit of asking around, find out which restaurants deliver in cardboard containers - or whatever your preference is - and actively support them? Maybe let that sushi place know that you won't order from them again until they change their habits?
  • 5 0
 I've certainly seen a huge increase in fly tipping (dumping rubbish out in the countryside) while mincing about in lycra, all the waste disposal sites are closed.
  • 31 1
 @Vicenbici: Someone suggested recently that Mcdonald's should print the car reg on its drivethru bags. At least then the driver could be held responsible for littering from their vehicle. Not a solution, but a start.
  • 6 4
 Very true.
I hear people talking about how the air is cleaner in big cities. How Co2 emissions have gone down... BULL. While this may be happening, Corona is taking its toll on the planet. As you said we are emitting more and more plastic waste (waste in general, not just plastic), and once this is all over it will be worse than ever. People are going to be throwing out all the food that they panic bought but then realized they would never eat, and Politicians are going to disregard environmental regulations, all to get their economies up and running. Why doesn't world open its eyes, start doing something?
Dont get me wrong, These companies mentioned, and many others, are doing great things. But a few mountain biking companies can't change the world themselves...
All I can say I thanks for doing what you're doing, hopefully others will do the same.
  • 10 2
 @ChrisNJ Covid lowered emission by a huge bit. Countries like Italy have been wasting tons of plastic before this mess has even arrived. They have single use plastic bags and gloves for everything in their shops. Once I took a few different bagels into one plastic bag without using a plastic glove and few people looked at me as if I kicked a puppy. It won’t be better. Silly “hygiene” practices being nothing more than misallocated care (as we have observed with how Italians messed up) are all over the world. Every second cafe puts sandwiches into plastic bags which are thrown away instantly. Shimano uses tons of cardboard for their big boxes containing small components. A shifter can come in a box not much smaller than the box containing their crankset. All these dumb display packaging for some companies. Schwalbe and their boxes?! As if they couldn’t use one zip tie and a piece of paper like Bontrager? Examples are countless.
  • 9 3
 Plastic and styrofoam are a curse. We must ban all non-reusable, non-biodegradable plastics now. We must also ween ourselves from cheap goods made in China. They do not protect the workers or the environment, and they are at the center of this current debacle...
  • 20 0
 With all the hikers now on the trails with their dogs, they leave their bags of dog poop all over. It's silly that they put it in the bag, then leave it. That's worse then not picking up your dogs dung in the first place.
  • 6 2
 @dan23dan23: I know some people will do that so they can pick it up on the way out vs carrying it the entire time. Experience says that not everyone actually remembers to grab it on the way out though.
  • 5 2
 Yes, every country can improve and people in the US should exhibit more personal responsibility. However, travel abroad and see what it is like in third world countries and even second world countries. Pollution is off the charts. Raw sewage and toxic chemicals dumping into rivers where people are bathing and washing clothes and mountains of garbage everywhere on roads and in rivers/oceans. Smog so thick you can't see the sun or blue sky to and you experience sore throat and allergy symptoms or worse. It is not all bad in some abroad countries as it is amazing to travel abroad and see amazing places.

The US is not perfect, but is extremely clean in comparison to majority of countries in the world. US manages garbage better and has lot of regulations to aid in keeping it cleaner. 1/3 of countries do not have raw sewage treatment plants. Potable water is a rare thing around the world. US air quality is one of the best in the world for smog. World's Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index waqi.info
  • 8 1
 Individuals littering is not the problem. 50,000 merchant ships going around the world on bunker oil is the problem. The global economic system is responsible for raping the earth, so while yes, littering is distasteful and antisocial, it is not the problem.
  • 5 1
 @tacklingdummy: And why would that be? because us in the first world demand goods at prices that cannot be produced without great harm to the local people and environment. If you think that because you don't see the effects of the goods you buy in your own home, you very much are more of the problem than any third world nation with lax regulations.
  • 2 1
 @vtracer: I disagree. China easily could have implemented tighter environmental controls the last few decades in manufacturing, but haven't. They wouldn't have been much of an impact on price of goods. China has been just been careless on environmental concerns and still using archaic sources of energy. They just started implementing emission controls on cars late 2019 and 2020 and still the major source of energy is coal. They have the money to produce cleaner sources of energy instead of coal, but have focused much more on being #1 economic power in the world.

So, what is your solution if first world countries are the problem?
  • 3 1
 @tacklingdummy: The solution is to simply do away with the needless consumerism that has gotten here in the first place, and understand the goods we buy have consequences that we may not see. As stewards of the planet we should prioritize local goods that are not exploitative of people and ecosystem manufactured far enough away to keep the consequences out of sight. Our world's economic system is far from perfect so the least we can do is spend our money responsibly.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: You are right. nothing to more to say
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: also thousand of examples of people not buying good products because the packaging is not great. This time I see your point, trust me I do. I work in the cycling industry, and I see how great products are invisible for the costumners because we dont want to wrap them in shinny boxes.
I call it the christmas effect. If you cant open a big shinny box, the gift not worthy.
  • 1 1
 @vtracer: You are in MTB, one of the most equipment oriented consumerism sports around. If you want to do away with consumerism, then barefoot running would be a great start. No consumerism and equipment needed.

Prioritizing local goods? So, basically you have to get rid of all your MTB equipment as well. FYI, pretty much all made overseas. Good luck finding MTB equipment grown locally. Sorry, but that is the inconvenient truth.
  • 29 0
 Love the coverage, still waiting for a review of Patagonia's bike stuff.

I would love to see Pinkbike add a rating to quantify this sort of thing to every review in addition to already existing categories where when summarizing a review there's now a section on the environmental impact of products. That is how we as an industry can push manufacturers. A rating system would allow those interested to gain more information on every product tested and those who aren't interested can ignore it. there are companies out there doing really good things for this world, there's also companies that say they are, but really aren't. Companies (especially small ones) circle and star pinkbike review day on the calendar because the site has become such a powerhouse. If every company knew that "the Pinkbike review" was followed by the question of "What do you do for the planet?" one would think they will want to have something to say.

Sure Giro, King, the UCI, and Elite are doing good things for the planet but what is Pinkbike doing?
  • 2 0
 I just got a pair of their Dirt Roamer shorts last week; my initial impressions of them are as good as any of my other Patagonia clothes.
  • 6 0
 @samnation Good suggestion!
  • 5 0
 Love this idea! Seriously, as nice as this article is to see, it is a little mind blowing to me that it has taken so long for content like this to come out. A rating / grading system on the environmental sustainability measures that given companies for which Pinkbike reviews the products of would be so helpful for those who are conscious of their purchase decisions and want to extend that further to the bike brands they purchase from. Thank you Pinkbike! Please keep this up, help us make better choices about the products we purchase and help companies see that being accountable to the planet is good business!
  • 2 0
 It's difficult to measure environmental impact, especially when there is any sort of complexity in a supply chain. However, the rating could have a fairly low resolution (for example, one to five stars, rather than a number on a scale of one hundred) to account for inevitable inaccuracies in the evaluation process. Also, Pinkbike doesn't need to do all the evaluating; there are existing efforts to measure environmental impact, such as what's done by Climate Neutral: blisterreview.com/podcasts/how-you-can-help-brands-go-climate-neutral-ep-11
  • 3 0
 @cedrico: Oh for sure! Pinkbike is notorious with in depth descriptions about climbing characteristics, descending characteristics, and even the plethora of features (bottle cages) a bike does or does not have. Also, in this day and age almost every company explains something about their climate policies right on their site.

My suggestion would be start with textiles and companies where the environment is their focus (e.g. King) then move from there. When *insert company name here* hears that customers are making choices against them because another company aligns more with their environmental philosophy, companies will seek to make changes appropriately.

Lastly, collectively we need to focus on the "good" this isn't about saying "*insert brand name here* doesn't do anything for the environment". It's about saying here's a company, they make this cool product, and they recycle their chips manufacture in small batches, and ship in cost effective packaging. Every company does something, some do more and go above and beyond and I want more focus on those efforts.

Your dollar is your vote, support companies that support what you believe in!
  • 9 0
 Plastic and stuff aside, let's not forget the amount of smog and It pollution reduction through all this. A quick Google search will reveal this. I've been stuck in Nairobi since early March.. still here. The amount of diesel spewed before, and then after international flight bans, curfews, and citywide travel restrictions is enormous. You can see mt Kenya from the city, something Kenyans who have lived their whole life didn't know was possible. Plastic is the worst. Do what you can though.
  • 2 0
 clear skies and no smog is great, but enjoy it while you can, corona isn't going to be good for the planet in the long run. Sorry
  • 7 3
 @bhastey: if it kills enough of the humanity virus it will benefit the planet in the long run.
  • 9 1
 Chris King: “We’ll keep your parts running for LIFE!”
Also Chris King: “Not only are we going to stop making non-boost MTB hubs, but we’re also going to stop making PARTS for those hubs! Even axles. And we’re definitely not going to make boost converters. Or make our microspline driver compatible with our non-boost hubs. So you can keep using them for life but you can’t move them to a new bike. Got that?”
  • 4 1
 Um, not sure about your specific experiences, but after I had a near 20-year old hub flange crack at the spoke holes, they sent me a new hub shell FOR FREE a few months ago. This was a QR 9x135 rear MTB hub that I now run on a gravel bike, so definitely non-boost. The bees are chasing me again and I couldn't be happier.
  • 3 0
 ? Pretty much everything you've said is completely wrong. Just go look on their website?
  • 2 0
 Okay, I see that they've added a microspline 142x12mm kit and for this I'm happy to be proven wrong! As for everything else, they did cease production of non-boost MTB hubs and axles. I had the below email conversation with them back in September on this specifically. But with the appearance of the 142x12 microspline axle maybe they had a change of heart? Still no boost conversions, though.
_____________

I have two wheelsets running ISO hubs, 135mm with FunBolts. At some point I'm sure I'll move on to frames with 142x12mm thru axles. I know that you've discontinued these non-boost hubs, but have you also discontinued the axle spares? I'm trying to figure out if I need to buy axles now that I won't need for a couple years.

Thanks,
-Dave

_________________

Morning Dave,

Thanks for reaching out. You are correct about our discontinuation of
those hubs however we still do have the axles you'll need to convert
them in stock. The part number you're looking for is PHB569 for the rear
axle; you can order those through one of our dealers or on our website
in ISO small parts. Happy riding!

__________________________

Thanks for the info! I think I mis-formed my question, though. Are you planning on continuing to make these, so that I could buy them a couple years from now, or do I need to buy them now?

Thanks,
-Dave

___________________________

No problem! We are no longer making them but since we still have them in stock you can purchase them a Chris King dealer for some peace of mind.
Thanks
  • 7 0
 All I can deduce from the blurb about the bottle is that the plastic it's made from falls to pieces sooner. Plastic doesn't go away, it just becomes smaller and smaller pieces. So all this is doing is making you buy four times as many bottles because yours will begin leaking after a season or two, so four times as much plastic eventually makes it's way into the ocean than if I had just bought one normal bottle that will last me years...
  • 7 0
 I have been working in the bike industry since 2007 and i am disgusted with the amount of unnecessary plastic this industry produces. Primarily packaging. Why does a set of brake pads, brake adapters, grips, tools, you name it have to come wrapped in plastic? On top of that that plastic packaging comes in a plastic bag, so it's not scratched by the time it gets to the display! Why why does a piece of apparel that's designed to withstand hard use and is made with plastic need to be cover in a plastic bag? Can't we use recycled paper or something like that? It seems that making all this plastic is very profitable for someone. This someone clearly does not care about where this plastic is going to end up.
Bikes are supposed to be environmentally friendly, so let's help this industry get back on track. Not buying plastic you don't need, buying bulk brake pads and other items, buying items in cardboard or biodegradeable packaging, messaging component manufacturers, and of course making sure to properly recycle anything you can are some of the things we could do for the benefit of our planet.
  • 3 0
 Why we don't simply package the majority of bike components in cardboard and brown paper behooves me
  • 5 0
 I'm, am I the only one who thinks a fast biodegrading bottle is a weird idea. I mean, I'm all for reducing trash, but doesn't that just sound bad. Like imagine riding down a trail, and thinking, "Crap, my bottle is falling apart because it is designed to, time to get another!" Come on, I've used the same bottle and lid for give or take 4 years, just take good care of them and they will last as long as you do.
  • 2 0
 Any quality item should last a very long time with proper care.
  • 4 0
 Amazing to see more companies doing what they can.

I have a question tho, what do I do with old/damaged helmets? And worn out tyres. I don’t want to put them into landfill, but don’t know what I can do with them for the better? Someone educate me please. (Genuine questions & thanks in advance)
  • 4 0
 Re: Tyres - check out your local vehicle tire (or tyre) place. They usually send their tires for recycling, and should be fine with tossing your tyres in with theirs.
  • 13 10
 My Eco Initiative would be:
Ban all the bike movies which begin with the promotion of cars to get to the trail head!
This is really annoying, especially many movies from the US. I don't want to see bike hanging from the back of a truck, anymore. I know, its boring sometimes, and time consuming to get to the forest or trail by bike, but it should be done!
  • 2 4
 Are you from US?
  • 1 0
 The US was built around cars and personal transportation. It is possible, but not easy to not have a car here. I never thought i'd want to own a car living in Ukraine because public transportation is so good. Not the case in the US. I'm grateful to live in a small town with some fantastic riding areas that i can pedal to from my garage. Electric cars and trucks should be the answer.
  • 2 0
 Maybe just don't watch them?
Can I still watch the DH races? Or do they have to blur out the chairlifts for proper viewing cleanliness?
  • 1 0
 @zaberwocky: or just very frequent public transportation. Neoliberalists find public service as a cost, so they are cutting trains and busses everywhere they can.
  • 5 0
 UCI = Large amounts of fuel consumption by athletes, teams, support vehichles, staff and spectators. Green washing to the highest power squared.
  • 2 0
 Once upon a time I raced XC on a team sponsored by Chris King. I swore by their components when I had a free set... Did a cyclocross race at their compound with that team in California decades ago. They had an amazing shop. They’ve always followed their philosophy on recycling fluids and minimizing waste. I need to buy a set of their hubs since my spacing is now obsolete and I can find them used....
  • 4 0
 Good on ya for making the B Corp standard Chris King. That's how you add even more prestige to your brand right there. Keep fighting the good fight.
  • 3 1
 Props to these companies. The blurb about UCI is complete BS. They do not agree to make one tangible change but rather agree to climate wash everything they do. “We are like, gonna think about the climate man!”
  • 3 0
 Good summary of any statement made by the UCI. A whole 'lotta text, and a whole 'lotta bull.
  • 3 0
 When I read the header I got all exited that the UCI were going to do something about all that hot air they emit.
  • 4 5
 Why not recycle water bottles. It's free material. Not take a lot of energy to reshape them in new products. Plastic is the most ecological material, because so much of it has already been produced that you only need to recycle it.
  • 12 0
 Generally speaking you cannot recycle plastic and produce the same grade of material, it nearly always is a lower quality product unless you add some amount of virgin material into the mix. Plastic is one of the least ecological materials especially as the way the recycling system works in many countries is that you ship it back to Asia to be recycled. It is just really cheap that is why it is everywhere.
  • 3 0
 UCI should cancel the Tour de France, it is not an eco-friendly event.
  • 2 0
 When does the bottle start biodegrading?
  • 1 0
 I though the Elite Fly was already biodegradable.
  • 2 3
 Can’t believe this anymore after watching Michael Moore Planet of the Humans ......

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