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Environmental and Social Responsibility

Here at Run the Alps, we know that there is an inherent tension in the phrase “sustainable travel”; the very fact of traveling has an impact on the environment and the communities we visit. We are also convinced that seeing the world – especially the natural world, running in inspiring places and spending time with interesting people can have huge benefits too. That’s why we are committed to doing more to limit our negative impact on the environment and increase our positive impact on the communities in which we operate.

– Hillary Gerardi, Director of Social and Environmental Responsibility

A little history 

Run the Alps was founded in 2013 with a commitment of finding ways to travel and experience pristine alpine environments while simultaneously trying to reduce our impact on them.  

On day one, we became members of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of our gross income to support environmental initiatives. In 2019, we took the UN Carbon Neutral Pledge, taking action to measure and reduce our impact, while purchasing carbon offsets for our operations, trips and guest travel. In 2020, we developed and implemented an Alps-specific adaptation of the Leave No Trace on all of our trips. 

Reducing and mitigating our impact on the environment is important and we remain committed to continuously seeking out ways to improve in that area.  However, beginning in 2023, we decided that our sustainability efforts shouldn’t be limited to doing as little environmental harm as possible. Instead, we now try to apply the concept of sustainability to our relationships with our staff, making sure that the folks who work with Run the Alps feel supported and empowered. We also apply the concept by giving back and growing the trail running family.

So, what does this look like for us in 2024?

Our Environment:

  • Continue our commitment to 1% for the Planet, which includes providing financial support to CREA Mont-Blanc, a local non-profit research center focussed on researching and addressing the impact climate change is having in the Alps.
  • Continue to offset the carbon footprint of our operations, revisiting how and where we offset to ensure maximum impact.
  • Start contributing nature observations to CREA Mont-Blanc during trips in the Mont-Blanc massif, by training guides to use SPOT, a new citizen science platform

Our Staff:

  • Develop a new resource for our guides to support them in educating our guests about the impacts of climate change during trips in the Mont Blanc area
  • Develop better feedback systems so we can continue to improve, while better supporting their professional and personal development

Our Community:

  • Begin collaborating with the nonprofit YAMBI, which serves the refugee population in our region by proposing activities centered around mountain sports
  • Develop a new grant program to help make Run the Alps trips more accessible to guests with limited means
  • Report back to our partners, guests and friends about what we’re doing and how it’s going 

Got ideas for us?

We would love to hear from you about how you think we can not just do good, but do better! Reach out to us and we’ll make sure that your comments get to the right set of eyes.

Learn more: 

How Climate Change is Affecting the Alps

What is Run the Alps’ Carbon Footprint?

Give your own to support organizations and initiatives we love: 

Please see our holiday gift guide for a list of wonderful local organizations

1% for the Planet

UN Carbon Neutral Pledge 

Leave No Trace


1% for the Planet

Since its inception Run the Alps has been a member of 1% for the Planet, a non-profit organization whose corporate members donate 1% of their gross proceeds each year to support environmental initiatives around the planet. In recent years, Run the Alps has supported the Chamonix non-profit CREA Mont-Blanc


Climate Neutral Now Pledge Badge - measure reduce offset

UN Carbon Neutral Pledge

In August, 2019, Run the Alps signed the UN Carbon Neutral Pledge which binds us to reduce carbon emissions and, for those emissions we can’t eliminate, offset their impact. Our charity of choice for carbon offsetting is Ripple Africa. We donate money to their cookstove project which replaces old cooking stoves with more fuel efficient stoves, reducing deforestation in Malawi.


LNT logo

Leave No Trace

We run all of our trips according to the seven Leave No Trace principals, including limiting group sizes. A typical guide-to-guest ratio on a Run the Alps trip is 6:1. We limit our group sizes to reduce our environmental and social impacts.

In the spring of 2020, Run the Alps became the first trail running guiding company to develop specific Leave No Trace principles for our trips. 


Along the Tour du Mont-Blanc in Val Veny, Italy.

Run the Alps is lucky to call the Alps our home. The Alps are one of the most biodiverse regions on earth. Home to 30,000 animal species and 13,000 plant species, it’s got some of Europe’s last remaining wild places. However, the fragile alpine ecosystem is coming under increasing pressure from environmental threats such as climate change, air pollution and sprawl. As we share these remarkable alpine trails with our guests, we understand that our trips add to that impact. We’re committed to eliminating what impacts we can, and mitigating as best possible, the rest.  

Blog

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