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