As part of a special environmental campaign “Mission: Triglav Glacier to Beijing” Elan has joined forces with the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, the Laško brand and other partners who have committed to take small steps towards major environmental change
The Elan Group has become a partner in the environmental communication project “Mission: Triglav Glacier to Beijing” that aims to raise awareness for climate change and rising temperatures on the shrinking and retreating Alpine glaciers through the cooperation of 10 diplomatic, non-governmental and commercial partners. The Anton Melik Geographic Institute that heads the research section of the project has noted that Slovenia’s highest lying glacier has shrunk by thirty times since 1946 because of climate change. Mag. Miha Pavšek, leader of the GIAM research group, added that according to data of the European Environment Agency as many as 84 % of all glaciers in Europe are set to disappear by 2100. After 20,000 years the Triglav glacier is at the brink of disappearance and the heating of the atmosphere is threatening the future of winters and winter sports.
Voyager Skis take off on a Sustainable Olympic Journey across Half of the World
Mission: Triglav glacier to Beijing officially begins today. On Friday 17 December 2021, automotive journalist and vlogger Ciril Komotar and his crew have taken off on a journey of 13,000 kilometers in a hybrid vehicle carrying a sample of ice from the Triglav glacier to the XVII Winter Olympic Games. Over a month and a half the glacier will travel across ten countries and stop at ten Olympic capitals as the team raises awareness of the importance of glaciers for the climate and future of winter sports disciplines.
Elan is participating in the project as a communications partner and providing a special edition Elan Voyager, the world’s first folding ski, an exceptional technological achievement in the ski industry and pride of the Elan development team, to travel with the glacier sample from Begunje to Beijing. The skis are made using materials produced in the neighboring region and are among the most environmentally sustainable skis in the world. The special set of Elan Voyagers will take Ciril down some of the pistes of past European Olympic venues along the way, as well as some very special sustainable pistes. One such venue is the artificial urban ski piste on the roof of the CopenHill power plant in the Danish capital where Ciril is set to arrive before Christmas. While stops such as Lillehammer, Oslo and Turin remind us of historic victories of Slovenian athletes, sustainable capitals along the way serve to underline the challenge our society is facing in the future.
In support of the project the skis in the trunk of Ciril Komotar’s car next to the sample of the Triglav glacier, nicknamed Toli (Triglav Olympic Legendary Ice), bearing the colors of the White Peaks environmental campaign. The skis also feature the inscription, “Probably the most green skis in the world.” This statement illustrates a wide range of socially responsible activities that embody the values of the Elan brand in the present and in the future. The innovative design of the skis that has shifted industry standards in the use and transport of skis will play a significant role in the travel to Beijing. Folded skis do not need a roof rack, so they reduce the vehicle’s wind resistance and reduce fuel consumption by 15-20 percent. Through the 13,000 kilometer journey the Voyager skis will contribute substantially to reducing the carbon footprint of the “Mission: Triglav glacier to Beijing”.
Melanja Korošec, Global Brand Director at Elan: “Care for the environment in which we as a society spend our time and enjoy is an integral part of Elan’s ethos and the way we approach things. As a leading global ski brand we are inextricably linked with the white peaks around us and we strive to show our respect for this special environment in the way we make our products and in how we communicate about them. At Elan we proudly mark our skis with “100% handcrafted in the Slovenian Alps”. When we add our in-house development of innovative systems and sustainable production of raw materials in our immediate vicinity, we become a role model for the industry in which we aim to hold a competitive advantage in the field of environmental protection.”
Olympic Steps and Green Turns to Keep our White Peaks
On the way from Triglav to Beijing the partners of the project will seek out synergies and work together to reach as many people as possible and leave a lasting legacy. Through the ledenik.olympic.si the wider public can access carefully selected content that uses practical examples to help individuals reduce their carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Olympic steps present small adjustments and changes in the way of life of each individual that can make up a major environmentally friendly change when they scale up to society as a whole. Over the coming months the steps will add up on the web page, as will the kilometers driven on the way to Beijing. The sum total of emissions will be calculated at the end of the project with the aid of experts at the Centre of Energy Efficieny of the Jozef Štefan institute. To offset the emissions, Elan and the other project partners will plant a sufficient number of trees to not only make the White Peaks initiative carbon neutral, but environmentally positive.
Both the “Mission: Triglav glacier to Beijing” and the White Peaks initiative are taking place during a special period for Elan. After unpredictable winter seasons in the grip of a global pandemic the company has risen on the awards and recognition gathered by the Voyager and made major strides on the green path to sustainability. After 75 years of existence innovation remains a cornerstone of the company’s growth, both in terms of development and production and overall operation.
Leon Korošec, Director of the Winter Sports Division on development guidelines: “We know that we as a society are facing a truly major challenge in the form of environmental changes, but as a company infused with sporting spirit, dedication to innovation and a racing pedigree, we cannot settle for anything less than a victory. Elan can already proudly state that 99 % of the raw materials used for our skis come from Europe and that the production process is already partially powered by renewable sources. Through innovative business practices we fully intend to reduce or our environmental impact further. We have invested in the construction of a solar power plant as we firmly believe that a company with green values needs to lead by example and start with itself. Care for the environment is one of the three pillars of our future, along with the care for our employees and local community and the development and establishment of a sustainable circular business model.”
With the construction of the Elan solar power plant the Elan Composites Division that produces high quality, innovative and complex composites for wind power generators will itself begin using renewable power. All the generated power will be used entirely by the Elan facility and will not burden the distribution network since this is the optimal approach to generating and using electricity. By generating in-house electricity using the sun, the facility will save up to 498 tons of CO2 per year, an amount that would require 15,000 trees to fully absorb.
General information about the White Peaks initiative and the Mission Triglav glacier to Beijing campaign
The White Peaks initiative is a partnership of public and private companies initiated in 2021 by Pivovarna Laško Union as one of the environmentally focused activities of the Laško brand. In cooperation with the Anton Melik Geographic Institute within the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Triglav National Park, Slovenian Tourist Organization, Slovenian Alpine Museum and associated partners the brand works to raise awareness about careful management of mountain habitats.
The Mission: Triglav glacier to Beijing campaign is a communication action organized by Pivovarna Laško Union and the Slovenian Olympic Committee with the support of Elan and AMZS, representatives of public institutions and the Slovenian and foreign diplomatic community with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of glaciers for the future of winter sports on the unique journey from the Triglav glacier to Beijing.
The campaign closes with the end of March 2022 and will finish with a carbon sequestration project in the form of planting trees with the assistance of all involved partners to offset its emissions.
The campaign is endorsed by the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor and Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Dr. Franci Petek is the project’s sports ambassador.