Trek has announced its intention to launch "the cycling industry's first manufacturer-led bike trade-in and refurbishment programme" to cut down on waste and extend the lifespan of its bicycles, "even though it potentially means making and selling less".
The initiative, in the "United States only, for now", will allow customers to trade in their Trek bike in exchange for in-store credit, while the used bikes will be refurbished and then sold on the American brand's website.
The idea was announced as part of the publication of Trek's second Sustainability Report — following on from its first, published in 2021 — which outlines the brand's commitment to a more sustainable future, including by calling for "scepticism" about companies' net-zero claims, as well as carbon offsets which can "impair the crucial work of knowing and improving business practices".
The vast majority of Trek's environmental impact stems from the raw materials used to create products (called 'Scope 3 emissions') which account for more than 95 per cent of the brand's total emissions.
Trek aims to reduce these by 30 per cent by 2032, as well as other emissions by 68 per cent, and has committed to achieving this without the use of carbon offsets, in the hope of ensuring more accurate and transparent emissions reporting.
In the report, Trek also raises a level of scepticism with net-zero targets, calling the commitment a "huge claim" and something it is "still gathering information and doing analysis" on "to see if it's even possible for our company".
"The materials we must use to reach net-zero aren't ready [...] Many
organisations are making net-zero promises today without a plan to get there. Please know that Trek takes our sustainability commitments very seriously and any net-zero claim should be met with some level of scepticism."
"Better for our people and the planet"
Outlining the trade-in and refurbishment scheme, director of brand Eric Bjorling said he hopes it will result in less waste and get more people on bikes. Only in the US, for now, the scheme will see Trek's Red Barn Refresh team extend trade-in bikes' lifespan and allow riders to "access high-quality bikes at approachable price points" when they are put up for resale.
Notably, the manufacturer says, the scheme comes "even though it potentially means making and selling less".
Kids' bikes will be included too, meaning that if buyers purchase a kids' bike at a participating location and they outgrow it, they can bring it back and get up to 50 per cent off the bike's original purchase price in credit towards a new one.
Bjorling said Trek was embarking "on the journey of reducing consumption and extending the life of these bikes, which is better for our people and the planet".
"We've got a lot of plans to become a much more sustainable company, and this is Trek's effort to give really great used bikes a second chance and extend their usable life – resulting in less waste and getting more people on bikes," he said.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.