UTMB® continues its commitment to the environment by partnering with WWF France
In 2017, the UTMB® organization committed itself alongside 19 other major organizers of sporting events, to uphold 15 ecological principles under the leadership of WWF France and the French Ministry of Sports. The initiative was hailed and recognized nationally by the United Nations on the occasion of "Sports for Climate Action" on June 5, 2019. WWF France, represented by Isabelle Autissier and UTMB®, represented by Catherine Poletti, jointly acknowledged the partnership, in the spirit of fostering a greater sense of environmental stewardship during the organization’s events.
A Partnership both Substantive and Innovative
UTMB® and WWF France have formalized a partnership with the stated objective of reconciling trail-related activities with the environmental concerns of the Mont Blanc region. Beyond the work to reduce the environmental impact of the UTMB®, the partnership aims to prove that an internationally-known event can promote respect for the environment and participate in the sustainable development of the region it calls home.
The five key elements of the new partnership include:
• Support of the UTMB® in the commitments made under the GESI charter
• Guidance on the actions to be taken following a carbon assessment that will be carried out during UTMB® 2019
• Continuation of the innovative and exemplary efforts of UTMB® in the field of sustainable development
• Support for UTMB® runners for both biodiversity and lynx projects. The project on behalf of the endangered cat also will receive support from the funds that WWF France collects as part of the Pandathlon, the eco-sport challenge that it organizes on June 29 and 30 in Alpe d'Huez. Find out more information on the Pandathlon here.
• Support in the training of environmental ambassadors
« With an event around Mont-Blanc and in one of the world’s unique open spaces, it is essential to remain committed to our values and to develop all necessary actions to preserve this natural environment. We are pleased that after much work on behalf of the environment, we have reached this agreement. The agreement serves as additional recognition of the UTMB® regarding the organization’s environmental awareness. Our collaboration with WWF France reaffirms that eco-friendly practices are an integral part of our event » Catherine Poletti, founder of the UTMB®
« Two years after the signing by the UTMB® of the charter of 15 eco-responsible commitments of WWF France and the French Ministry of Sports, we are proud to announce today a partnership to further support the UTMB® in its environmental stewardship. Together, we will demonstrate that it is possible for sporting excellence and exemplary environmental stewardship to coexist. Protecting our planet is a long-term reace and we need the big players in the sport to take up this challenge! » Isabelle Autissier, President of WWF France
A word from the Mayor of Chamonix
«The UTMB® has quickly become the flagship trail running event in the world: this status is linked hand-in-hand with the exceptional natural environment through which trail runners pass. This success is also the result of an organization that has adapted to both the growth of the event and the growing demands of the region it inhabits. In particular, we take note of all the measures taken to reduce the impact and the ecological footprint of the operation: from the retirement of helicopters as a means to monitor the race (excluding rescue operations) since 2003, to the banning of disposable plates and bowls in 2018, the actions are numerous, concrete and effective. This approach is further reinforced in 2019 as illustrated by the partnership with WWF France, which clearly signals this commitment. I am delighted!» Eric Fournier mayor of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
About WWF France
WWF is one of the very first independent environmental protection organizations in the world. With an active network in more than 100 countries and with the support of 6 million members, WWF works to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and build a future where humans live in harmony with nature conserving global biodiversity, ensuring sustainable use of renewable natural resources, and promoting the reduction of pollution and waste.
Since 1973, WWF France has been working on a daily basis to offer future generations a living planet. With its volunteers and the support of its 220,000 donors, WWF France is taking concrete action to safeguard natural environments and their species, promote sustainable lifestyles, train decision-makers, support companies in reducing their footprint ecological and educate young audiences. But for the change to be successful, it can only happen through the respect of each person. That's why WWF's philosophy is based on dialogue and action.
Find all our news on www.wwf.fr
The 15 eco-friendly commitments
• 50% minimum of sustainable food.
• 80% minimum trips made using active mobility, public transport or carpooling.
• 80% of purchases incorporating CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, selection criteria.
• 25% less waste and 60% of waste is reused, recycled or recovered.
• 100% of the natural sites are respected.
• 100% energy and water consumption is managed and optimized.
• 100% of sites dedicated to the public are accessible to people with disabilities.
• 1 action (at least) promoting accessibility to disadvantaged people.
• 1 "eco-responsible" innovation (at least) implemented during the event.
• 1 or more champion(s) athlete(s) ambassador(s) mobilized in support of eco-responsibility for the event or for the considered discipline.
• 100% of volunteers valued for their contributions.
• 1 commitment (at least) to a non-profit social cause.
• 1 action (at least) promoting gender equality in positions of responsibility.
• 1 referent "sustainable development" identified in the organization.
• 1 action or 1 program (at least) to raise awareness of eco-responsibility.
The environment and the UTMB®: 17 years of continuous action
Awareness: from words to action
2006: Creation of an Environment Committee whose mission is to identify the environmental challenges facing the event.
2008: Signing of the Ethics Agreement with Espace Mont-Blanc
2009: Participation in the drafting of the Sustainable Development Charter for sporting events
2012: Signature of Regional Energy Climate Plan Charter of the Community of Communes of the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley
2014: Partnership contract with Asters and the University of Savoie
2017: Signing of the 15 commitments of the eco-responsible charter of event organizers
2019: Signing of partnership with WWF France, including determination of a carbon footprint
2003: No helicopter use to transport journalists during the event
2008: Personal cups for runners included in the required gear list
2008: Reduction in the quantity of printed media materials, thanks to optimized use of the Internet
2016: Development videoconferencing to reduce travel
2018: Elimination of disposable dishes with the new disposable BYOU, Bring Your Own Utensils, program. Each runner is invited to carry his own bowl if he wants to eat hot food during the race.
2019: Establishment of public transport for all (spectators, runners, accompanying persons) and the first press conference organized entirely in videoconference bringing together 50 French and international journalists
Public transport: local synergies
2004: Establishment of transportation for the public and accompanying persons
2006: Implementation of free shuttles to take runners from Chamonix to race starts
2015: Creation of a new mobility guide, including free shuttles from the starting point of race departures
2018: Strengthening collaboration with local mobility operators to implement UTMB® BUS
Respect for the environment, including sustainable management of our energy footprint
2005: Waste bag distributed to runners, making runners autonomous.
2007: Implementation of waste information signage for the runners on the course
2011: Distribution with race bibs of 3 bags for used toilet paper
2011: Complete cleaning of the trails before and after the event
2019: Sustainable Development Council in collaboration with ecological specialists Benedetti-Guelpa. Also, use of several trails during the races to distribute the load during the passage of runners
2011: Deployment of environmental ambassadors
2013: Establishment of specific signage to preserve the natural environment
2019: Establishment of 25 WWF bibs to protect biodiversity and participate in environmental actions of the NGO
Actions taken to rehabilitate the trails on the Tour du Mont-Blanc
2015: Rehabilitation of the path between the Plan Jovet and the Plan des Dames, in the Contamines Montjoie Nature Reserve (FR) and the Porassey Trail, La Thuile (IT)
2016: Establishment of a wooden plot to protect the La Sausse wetland (FR), the Gitte trail and the Passage du Curé
2017: Creation of trail at Lake Verney (IT) and cleaning of the trail of the Col des Pyramides Limestone (IT)
2019: Continuation of the rehabilitation between the Plan des Dames and the Col du Bonhomme (FR)
Also, creation of a bridge to avoid the risk of torrential mudflows at Bovernier (CH) for hikers
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