When I started Run the Alps, the inherent contradictions possible in the phrase “environment travel company” was never far from my mind. How can we travel and experience pristine alpine environments, without simultaneously impacting that which we love? How do we make sure our intentions stay true, while making enough money to pay the bills?” –Doug Mayer, Run the Alps founder
Run the Alps is committed to developing and implementing sustainable practices throughout our business, in the interest of protecting the environment and the trails we love to share with our guests. It’s vital not just for the well-being of our business, but for all of us, no matter where we live and trail run.
Here are the steps we’re taking to make that happen:
Run the Alps Stewardship Project
The Run the Alps Stewardship Project is a means for us to explore the environmental impact of our business. The discussions and the resulting decisions will guide how we operate and grow as an organization.
The first outcome of the Stewardship Project is the offsetting of the greenhouse gas impact of our day-to-day operations at Run the Alps. Starting in August, 2019, we began offsetting those impacts from our company’s operation, through the United Nation’s Climate Neutral Now project.
In 2020, we’ll offer guests the option of offsetting the impact of their travel for a Run the Alps trip.
Here’s our first story from our Stewardship Project series:
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 as well as Run Up For Air.
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.
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 will be the first trail running guiding company to develop specific Leave No Trace principles for our trips.
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 also 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.