Some of the world’s biggest bicycle companies have signed up to an international alliance acknowledging the sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and taking responsibility to help address climate change.
The CEOs of thirteen bike industry companies have joined the Climate Commitment – setting goals to document and reduce bike industry emissions – and have issued an open invitation to all other industry members to get involved.
Climate Commitment has been initiated by global not-for-profit movement Shift Cycling Culture, which engages and encourages cycling and the bicycle industry to be more sustainable.
The CEOs participating in Climate Commitment have issued a joint open letter described as an “urgent appeal to acknowledge the industry’s responsibility in reaching the UN Paris Agreement targets on Climate Change, and to do so collectively”.
“As a group of business leaders from across the cycling industry, we have become acutely aware that climate change is not only a future risk, but a current one, which is accelerating before our eyes,” the letter says.
“We are proud that cycling plays an important part in decarbonising our world, by enabling people to ride their bikes, enjoy the outdoors and make cities more liveable by taking cars off the streets. At the same time, the way in which we in the cycling industry make and sell products is also contributing to the problem.
“We need to change this, but we can’t do it on our own, which is why we’re making an urgent appeal to you, our partners and competitors across the wider industry.”
The 13 CEOs have given a commitment to disclose their respective company’s plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 55% by 2030 – against a baseline of no earlier than 2015.
They will also disclose their company’s carbon impacts by measuring emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol, starting no later than 2023 and continuing with annual updates.
Just Starting the Journey
“This is just a start. We recognise that these are just the initial steps of a long journey and that many of us in our industry have already begun to take them,” the letter says.
“However, we believe these initial steps are essential and urgent for us all, and that if every company within the cycling industry takes them, then the cumulative impact would be enormous.”
Shift Cycling Culture brought the CEOs together for a leadership forum to discuss the roles their businesses could take in tackling climate change.
“During this process, we have woken up to the fact that it is not just our business we need to change and that in order to contribute to the UN global goals on Climate Change, we will need to speed up our efforts collectively as an industry,” the CEOs declared in the letter.
In 2015, 195 countries signed the UN Paris Agreement, setting a goal to keep global warming below a critical level of 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, Greenhouse Gas emissions must be reduced by 55% by 2030, and 100% no later than 2050.
The CEOs’ letter says a reduction of that magnitude by the cycling industry would require participation by the entire supply chain.
“The biggest part of the environmental impact of our products arises from production,” it says.
“Fifty to eighty percent of the carbon emissions take place when we extract, source and produce materials and parts.
“We operate in a linear economy that doesn’t place value on the recirculation of materials and, too often, our customers are left with incompatible and redundant parts and products.
“We recognise the enormity of the challenge of meeting the UN Paris Agreement’s targets.”
The letter says the bike industry will only meet that target if it innovates together to:
• Reduce emissions related to production
• Create products that last longer
• Work with customers on maintenance and lifetime extension
• Develop a closed loop system to recover materials
The participating signatories that have been involved from the outset are:
• Derek Bouchard-Hall CEO, Assos of Switzerland
• David Zurcher CEO, BMC Switzerland AG
• Will Butler-Adams OBE CEO, Brompton
• Wade Wallace Founder, CyclingTips
• Jayu Yang CEO Haro Bikes USA
• Thomas Spengler MD, Internetstores Holding GmbH
• Simon Mottram Founder & CEO, Rapha
• Dr. Sandra Wolf CEO, Riese & Müller GmbH
• Thorsten Heckrath-Rose Managing Director, ROSE Bikes GmbH
• Frank Bohle President & CEO, Schwalbe
• Barbara Bigolin CEO, Selle Royal Group
• Mike Sinyard Founder & CEO, Specialized Bicycle Components
• Stijn Vriends President & CEO, Vittoria S.p.A.
Several more organisations have joined since November 1st:
• Staffan Widell CEO, Founder, Ass Savers AB
• Jimmy Seear Co-Founder, CSS Composites
• Jesper Lundqvist CEO & founder, Promovec
• Jerry & Shelley Lawson Co-founders, Frog Bikes
• Mark Sutton Founding Editor, CyclingIndustry.News
• Chase Wreyford Founder, Repack Bike Shop
• Jasper Ockeloen CEO & Founder, SOCKELOEN
• Oliver Pepper Founder, Morvélo
• Michael Lin CEO, Pacific Cycles, Inc.
• Ben Gaby Founder & CEO, RideGuard c/o Jabeda Ltd
• Armando Levy CEO & Founder, Rodi & Triangles
• Rob Webbon CEO, Presca Ltd
• Johannes Biechele CEO & Founder, FAZUA GmbH
Shift Cycling Culture
Shift Cycling Culture works to create awareness, spark conversations and support positive environmental actions by bike riders and within the cycling industry.
It establishes and coordinates campaigns, events and pilot projects to inspire brands and the cycling community to do things differently; with more care and less environmental impact.