Trek has released its first-ever Sustainability Report detailing its emissions audit findings pre-2020 alongside 10 steps the brand is taking to lighten its footprint, including increasing the use of alternative materials, removing plastic waste from packaging materials as well as establishing and protecting trails as part of the new Trek Foundation.
Trek says it partnered with WAP Sustainability Consulting to conduct its first emissions audit in 2020 to better understand its environmental impact and to build a plan for its more sustainable future.
This data takes into account a single year of operation before 2020 as a baseline, Trek says, to identify its areas of greatest impact to determine where to dedicate attention and resources to reduce the carbon footprint.
One of these steps is to establish and protect new publicly accessible trails as part of its new Trek Foundation. The project aims to support the development of bicycle trails and infrastructure for public use and protect land from development.
"This world needs more people to ride bikes, and if that's going to happen, they need great places for bikes that are safe and close to home," says Trek Bicycle President John Burke.
As well as establishing the Trek Foundation, here are the other nine areas Trek is focusing on in order to reduce its footprint:
Get more people on bikes: Trek is continuing to encourage people to #GoByBike and has provided riders with a new milestone to reach carbon neutrality, with what it calls the Rule of 430.
Trek explains: “When you replace a ride in your car or an emissions-emitting vehicle for a bike trip, you are making a small contribution towards the carbon neutrality of your bike.
"If you ride a collective 430 miles – or a little over a mile a day for a year – that you would have otherwise used a vehicle for, you have saved the carbon equivalent of what it took for Trek to make your bike."
Trek claims anything above 430 miles, and your bike is now carbon negative.
Reduce use of air freight: “Air freight has 84 times the footprint of transport by ocean,” notes Trek and so it plans to improve supply chain processes to reduce air freight mileage by 75% by 2024.
Consolidate shipments to retailers: To address ground shipping emissions, Trek says it is working on a global consolidated shipping strategy by 2024. “Mainland European retailers currently utilise a batched shipping strategy that drastically cut mileage required to move product,” notes Trek.
Increase reliance on renewable energy: All Trek-owned facilities globally will be entirely powered by renewable energy by 2023, promises the brand. Currently, Trek’s global headquarters uses of mix of 60.6% wind, 33.3% biogas, and 6.1% solar power, while the California and New Jersey distribution facilities are already helping Trek towards its goal as both are 100% renewably sourced.
Reduce corporate travel: In 2021 travel has been reduced by 50% of pre-pandemic levels and Trek says it will continue to reduce plane travel.
Increase reliance on alternative materials: Trek says it is committed to using recycled, recyclable or refurbished materials to build products, expanding its current range of 15 products that are already made entirely of reclaimed materials.
For example, in partnership with Bureo, a group working to remove discarded fishing nets from the oceans, Trek is grinding down this ocean pollutant into reusable material used to create the water bottle Bat Cages as well as several handle grips.
Create zero-landfill manufacturing facilities: Landfill-free by 2024 is Trek’s goal, with efforts already in place in its US manufacturing facility.
Remove plastic waste from packaging: Trek is working towards a goal of plastic-free packaging by 2024, having already removed 433,600 lbs. of plastic from packaging in one year alone.
Increase access to bike share: Trek has had its bike-share system ByCycle in place since 2009 to help reduce congestion and transportation-based carbon emissions in 35 cities, and the plan now is to continue accelerating its growth and expansion.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.