In 2020, we have appreciated more cycling as a mode of transport and what it can offer us – freedom, presence, exercise. We may have also had more time to spend reflecting on the future and what’s important. Moving into 2021, beginning with another lockdown, we want to hold onto a sense of hopefulness about what’s to come – the learning/collective shift that could happen on the other side of this.
Cycling has always been considered the most environmental choice of transport and whilst there’s no denying this, there’s a carbon footprint attached to the manufacturing, transportation, sales of bicycles. There is still a lot we can do to make changes to the cycling industry and this starts with our business.
When making sustainable goals or changes, it can often feel like cycling uphill (numerous hills in fact!), one problem can open up many more, and solving them can feel tough and arduous. For example, when looking at making our supply chain more sustainable – cycling companies with strong, sustainable chains are often in different countries, hence importing these can carry a big carbon footprint. Therefore, it is a matter of weighing up all our options and making small, incremental changes that all contribute towards the wider picture. It can feel difficult, especially when we want to make these changes straight away and on a large scale. However, returning to the cycling hill analogy, by not pushing too hard up that first hill, we can make it up the second and third and so forth!
A circular cycling economy
In an excellent Nerd Alert podcast episode (listen here) they explore the disposable bike economy with Erik Bronsvoort, who puts forward that a revolution is needed in cycling. The industry as it is and the consumerism involved makes it unsustainable and environmentally damaging. He promotes a movement towards a circular economy in cycling, rather than the current linear model where resources are taken from the earth, used, and sent to landfill. Instead, these resources should return to the economy for cyclical re-use. We are looking to ways we can participate in this circular economy in all aspects of our business and repairs.
Cycling is supportive of wellbeing, community, health and we feel our business should reflect that – whether that’s providing discounts for key workers or reducing our recycling and waste to landfill. Over this coming year, we want to strengthen our sustainability goals and want to be transparent about these – using these as opportunities to connect and make a positive impact in our community and industry as a whole. We’ll be working on these using the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social and economic) to look at our footprint to see which ways we can move forward in 2021 and beyond, and will be posting updates on our social media and blog – watch this space!
To end on a hopeful quote, “the future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating” (John Schaar)- we all have a power to make positive changes, however small they may be.
Here’s our current sustainability goals:
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Read more and purchase Erik Bronsvoort and Matthijs Gerrits’ book “From Marginal Gains to a Circular Revolution: A Practical Guide to Creating a Circular Cycling Economy” here