Last year Elan joined a special environmental protection project titled “Mission Triglav Glacier to Beijing” as a communications partner and sent a special set of Elan Voyager skis to travel with Ciril Komotar and a part of the Triglav Glacier nicknamed Toli. With the aim of raising awareness of the consequences of global warming for the future of winter sports, the team visited two legendary ski venues - the Olympic centre of Hafjell near Lillehammer and the sustainable ski centre of CopenHill. In Lillehammer the team raced in a fun challenge against the time set by Katja Koren on her bronze medal run in 1994 and in Denmark’s capital Ciril skied down the artificial ski slope on top of the Amager Bakke power plant. Alongside the project the company has also taken major steps towards sustainability, moving to a 100% renewable electricity supply by 2022.
Green slopes of the future as a mirror for historic successes in skiing
With the heating of the atmosphere Europe is experiencing an accelerated retreat of Alpine glaciers. If left unchecked, the process will make skiing impossible at 75 % of currently active Alpine resorts. Raising of the snowline is pushing Alpine disciplines higher and higher into the mountains and raising awareness amongst the public about the causes and effects of global warming is becoming increasingly important.
Elan shares its corporate sustainability goals with Mission: Triglav Glacier to Beijing and has prepared a special set of Elan Voyager skis for video creator and mission leader Ciril Komotar to add a sporting note to the project. By using the “Probably the most green skis ever made” moniker Elan wanted to emphasize the fact that its exceptional products are not built solely on local knowledge and development, but also a strong base of increasingly sustainable practices that are being continuously extended and upgraded. Using the green Elan Voyager skis Ciril skied down the 400 meter artificial ski slope on top of the Amager Bakker waste incineration and power production plant in Copenhagen. Using clean waste-to-energy technology the two parallel plants provide the entire Danish capital with sustainable power and represent an important step towards the city’s objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2025.
The skis proved that they work on plastic slopes just as well as on snow, but the true spirit of the Elan Voyager came to the fore in Lillehammer, Norway. At properly low Scandinavian temperatures the team raced the skis against the bronze medal time of Katja Koren who won a bronze for Slovenia in 1994 along with Alenka Dovžan and Jure Košir. The team completed the former slalom piste two seconds behind the time Katja Koren set 26 years ago, even though they did not set any gates.
Elan Voyager skis attracted plenty of attention at both venues and reaffirmed the fact that these are not just excellent all-round skis, but an original concept that introduces a freedom of mobility and an element of sustainability to skiing. The full featured travel bag enables traveling from the home to the resort using public transport and brings the beautiful sport closer to many people. The folding function also does away with the need for roof racks, thereby saving fuel and reducing automotive emissions.
The team is currently traveling through a demanding flat stage of the course. Over the new year’s holidays they crossed the border into Russia and are now traveling towards the next border where Toli (Triglav Olympic Legendary Ice) is set to cross into China at Zabajkalsk.
Elan ambassadors set off for a symbolic winter climb to the Triglav Glacier
The image of Slovenian mountains clad in their winter coats is an integral part of Elan’s heritage and a sight that thrills skiers that come to visit from all over the world. In the first weeks of January Elan held a Marketing Summit meeting and invited a number of elite international athletes - Elan ambassadors - to come and meet at company headquarters. The traditional event brought together a unique cast of characters: Filip Flisar, Caroline Gleich, Tina DiBatista, Molly Armarino, Martina Radekova, Bine Žalohar, Marco Tomassi, Rok Zalokar, Klemen Gričar, Shanty Chipolli and Simon Hitty.
The team did a seven day tour of the snowy white peaks, including a guided tour to the Kredarica hut and the location of the Triglav glacier. Demanding Alpine winter conditions required the help of IFMGA mountain guides Tina DiBatista and Klemen Gričar. As a part of the Triglav ice continues its way towards Beijing, the snowfall over the ice marked out the glacier in all its former glory. Elan team member, environmental activist and skier Caroline Gleich says that the USA is seeing similar conditions: “My home mountains in Park City (Utah, USA) have been having more and more rain in January and February in places that many say used to have the best snow in the world. Snow is getting heavier and wetter and snowfall has reduced by 41 % since the eighties. Now we only get 34 snow days a year and Park City may well lose all of its snow by the end of the century. These are global changes. Melting of the permafrost is changing mountains and receding glaciers will soon disturb the supply of drinking water for hundreds of millions of people around the world. It is a trend that must be stopped and we are all responsible.”
Caroline and Elan emphasize that this is a topic that must be addressed in communications of sports brands and athletes with the public. Our reach is an invaluable tool for reaching as many people as possible and including them in the debate. “Talking turns to action. Many problems, particularly those concerning greenhouse gases must be resolved systematically, by changing legislation and regulation,” added Caroline.
Elan builds on its commitment to sustainable operation
Sustainable operation has become an integral part of Elan and the brands we manufacture. Our activities focus on care for the environment, care for employees and society and operation in line with the principles of circular economy.
Elan has already begun building a solar power plant that will start operating in the second half of 2022. Our solar power plant will make up 12 % of our annual electricity needs and reduce CO2 emissions by 498 tons each year.
With the beginning of 2022 we went a step further and provided the company with 100 % renewable electricity. Until last year sustainable electrical power made up for about 5 % of the manufacturing needs of the company, sufficient for our winter sports manufacturing segment. The energy supply restructuring will provide sustainable power to all the other company operations as well.
Alongside its energy supply, Elan is committed to local production and development, sourcing materials and raw materials for its products almost exclusively from European suppliers with proven sustainability certificates and quality standards.