Announcement from American Trail Running Association (ATRA) “steep & rocky” corporate member Salomon.
ATRA member pledges to reduce the environmental impact of athletes and in-person events by 2025 with sustainability goals
Salomon announces new sustainability goals centered around its sports marketing efforts. The company, which celebrates deep, long-term partnerships with its mountain athletes and local sports communities, is committing to improve the carbon footprint of its in-person events and reduce the environmental impact of its athletes and ambassadors. While many of its sports marketing sustainability actions have already been implemented, Salomon has outlined aggressive sustainability-related goals that the brand commits to meet by 2025.
This two-pronged approach around events and athletes will begin with the brand conducting sustainability studies of existing in-person events, which will allow organizers to set specific goals around gatherings such as the Golden Trail Series races, the Salomon freeski team’s annual Mountain Collective, and community events like the Salomon Mountain Academy. In addition to these owned-brand events, Salomon will also onboard the hundreds of Salomon-supported community events worldwide to implement this new sustainability program.
“One of Salomon’s strengths is its genuine connection to a loyal base of outdoor enthusiasts who practice our sports and share our love for nature,” says Bruno Laroque, Salomon’s manager of global sports and community marketing. “That’s why, in addition to our own gatherings, we are taking measures to support the local communities who stage Salomon-sponsored events around the globe. The event parameters we set will influence what we commit to as community event organizers and what we support as event sponsors.”
Salomon also commits to reduce the collective carbon footprint of its international athlete team by 30-percent by 2025. Beginning in 2022, the company will offset the global carbon footprint of its international athlete team. Currently, the sports marketing and sustainability teams at Salomon are measuring the individual carbon footprint of international athletes and will work with each athlete individually to lessen their impact. Part of that effort will involve Salomon athletes agreeing to participate in more local events to reduce travel and sign a contract that allows the company to measure their individual carbon footprint to reduce it wherever possible. Additionally, athletes will be asked to adjust the amount of equipment they use to their minimum needs and repair that gear whenever possible.
“Salomon athletes have always pushed their sports in new directions and when it comes to sustainability, many of them have been instrumental to the overall commitments the brand has made in recent years,” says Laroque. “They have reduced their personal carbon footprints by altering their means of transportation and even dedicated their time to educating the next generation on climate issues. It makes perfect sense for us to partner with them so that we are all being more mindful of the environment in the work we do together.”
Using her years of experience as a Salomon trail running athlete and mountain adventurer, Emelie Forsberg will play a lead role in helping the brand build this sports marketing charter. She will liaise with the international athlete team and connect with the outdoor community as an advocate for the program, which shares many of her values.
“Salomon has been working on its Play-Minded sustainability program for a couple of years now and I have been part of it from an athlete point of view,” says Forsberg, who organized the Tromsø Skyrace beginning in 2014 with an emphasis on minimizing the environmental impact. “In recent years, I’ve seen a number of athletes planning their travel schedules to reduce their impact, which is their way of making a difference. We know that big changes must come from above, but when we start asking what we can do, that grassroots-level thinking inspires big changes from higher up.”
Together with her partner, Salomon mountain athlete Kilian Jornet, Forsberg has dedicated significant time to this cause in recent years. The couple live on a small farm in Norway, growing their own vegetables and advocating for sustainable sports practices. In fact, Kilian Jornet’s foundation “Friendly Outdoor Pledge”—which calls on athletes, organizers, equipment manufacturers and federations to commit to making outdoor sports more sustainable—helped shape Salomon’s efforts around more sustainable sports marketing initiatives.
COMMUNITY EVENT COMMITMENTS
In addition to choosing partners that share these environmental values, Salomon intends to implement the following event-related sustainability goals by 2025:
- Water protection by avoiding overconsumption and pollution
- Clean energy sourcing by switching, wherever possible, to renewable energy
- Responsible sourcing through re-usable and sustainable event materials (such as marking flags and banners)
- Creating responsible race packs by sourcing from eco-friendly, local, and fair companies and organizations, as well as offering athletes the opportunity to refuse the pack in lieu of a donation to an environmental cause paid by Salomon
- Waste management through re-use, recycling and reduction practices
- Banning plastics such as bags, trophies, gifts, bottles and glasses
- Responsible catering through the sourcing of local, seasonal and organic food with a vegan option
- Optimizing event transportation by offering low-carbon transportation and promoting soft mobility
- Communicating responsibly by banning helicopters for filming and the promotion of events
- Offsetting event carbon emissions and offering a travel carbon-offset option for participants during their ticket purchase
- Protecting natural habitats through environmental assessment, preservation work and controlling the impact of participants through crowd-size moderation (using start waves at races and through environmental protection education during races)
- Identifying a sustainability manager for each event and briefing volunteers on the event’s sustainability
- Promoting diversity and inclusion by supporting equal treatment and balanced split of women and men in races, by training race directors on diversity and inclusion, promoting diversity and inclusion among race staff and promoting the accessibility of events
- Engaging in dialogue with international federations and series organizers to optimize race calendars
ATHLETE RELATED COMMITMENTS
By 2025, Salomon is committed to achieving the following actions related to its international athlete team:
- Measuring, reducing and offsetting the individual travel carbon footprint of each international athlete
- Reducing 30% of the collective travel carbon footprint of its international athletes by adapting professional travel plans to reduce impact, such as favoring longer stays to multiply activations when traveling long distances
- Offsetting the collective travel carbon footprint of its international athlete team by 2022
- Encouraging greater participation in key local events near brand epicenters
- Reducing the amount of equipment used by each athlete by estimating needs, reusing and donating used gear to other athletes, and refusing a racer pack unless it’s needed
- Caring for and repairing athlete equipment
- Protecting the environment by doing no harm to natural sites during sports practice (no waste, no degradation)
- Promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle by adopting ecological habits as much as possible
- Raising awareness by sharing, on a regular basis, individual athletes and Salomon’s collective efforts towards reducing environmental impact
- Supporting event-hosting communities in an effort to limit the environmental impact of their local Salomon-sponsored event
In addition to athlete-related environmental commitments, Salomon is also committed to the following.
- Creating a diverse team of athletes across gender and nationality
- Supporting women athletes in their career goals and being advocates for women’s empowerment through sports
Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon is committed to pushing the boundaries of mountain sports through the creation of innovative equipment that allows people to play, progress and challenge themselves in their chosen outdoor sports. The company produces and sells premium footwear, winter sports and mountaineering equipment, hiking equipment, and apparel specifically designed for all of those disciplines. Products are developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center, where engineers, designers and athletes collaborate to create innovative solutions that continually improve the outdoor experiences of those who see nature as a vast playground.
[ATRA PRO TIP: Check out ATRA’s Trail Race Sustainability Guidelines for race directors written by Miwok 100 race director Tia Boddington with input from Brad Bishop, Susan Farago, Matt Gunn and David Selden.]