How can I reduce my impact, and travel more sustainably?? This is a question we as an organisation have been asking ourselves. It seems the latter part of 2021 and throughout 2022, it has been business as usual, with most of the world trying to catch up on the in-life meetings. It’s been fantastic to finally meet once again in person, but a consequence to these real-life meetings is the sustainability issue around jetting all over Europe (even the world!).
When organising our annual Summit with the event team from Val di Sole, the topic of sustainability, and addressing the broader issues around hosting such an event came up. Initially when accepting Val di Sole as the winning bidder for the Summit, to be honest, we hadn’t even considered sustainability. In the early planning of the event, it became apparent that getting to Val di Sole wouldn’t be so easy. Yes, if you took a plane and then hired a car, logistically speaking, this was the quickest and most efficient means of traveling. For those traveling from the UK, more southern and northern countries, this was the easiest option.
A commitment we made as an organisation, stated in our strategy, is to “Sensitize Mountain bikers to environmental concerns & sustainable riding behaviour”. Embodied within this statement, is the broader sustainability issues surrounding outdoor sports. Travel alone equates for 1/5 of all CO2 emissions globally, and when planning events in the future, we need to reconsider how accessible destinations are in terms of public transportation. That’s why this year we challenged all attendees to travel to the Summit in the most sustainable means possible. Attendees were encouraged to track their journey through Komoot or Polarsteps and tag us on social media along the way. To track the CO2 footprint, attendees were asked to fill in an excel spreadsheet to calculate their overall carbon footprint when traveling.