Volkl wins environmental award for making skis from recycled materials

Written by admin on October 26, 2009 – 6:03 am -

volkl nanuq

Interesting press release about the new Volkl Nanuq backcountry ski, made from recycled materials.  Retails for $729, about the same price as most other skis.  Hopefully recycled materials will be the wave of the future in ski construction…

Volkl has been named the inaugural winner of the new Eco Responsibility Award. The prize, awarded at the winter ISPO trade fair, is intended to honor companies leading the way in their industries in the areas of sustainability and environment. The independent jury, comprised of scientists, consultants and journalists, paid tribute to Volkl\’s extensive commitment to the environment, giving praise in this case to the new Nanuq touring ski (Category \"Hardware\"). The ski offers great skiing performance, but also the environmentally sound production process through which they are manufactured. This includes top sheets and edges made of recycled materials and significant reductions in the use of resins and other toxic materials. A variety of factors beyond the product itself were incorporated into the evaluation for the Eco Responsibility Award. These ranged from the procurement of raw materials to production, distribution and packaging. The anchoring of ecological and social aspects into the corporate culture were also acknowledged as criteria "As a passionate winter sports brand, we live for nature and also consider ourselves especially responsible for the maintenance of an intact environment," says Dr. Christoph Bronder, President of the Marker Volkl Group. The concept calls for continuous improvements to the corporate divisions and processes, starting with management. To pursue sustainability in as consistent a manner as possible, Marker Volkl founded its own management group tasked with an intense exploration of corporate social responsibility. The group is focused in particular on the areas of water, energy and material use – as well as the sustainable development of innovative and environmentally friendly products. The numerous projects already implemented in this area include a new facility for water treatment at Volkl’s main production plant in Straubing, Germany. It saves roughly 30,000 liters of water each year, water which previously had to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Another key contribution came with the addition of several heat exchangers to the plant’s heating system. This results in savings of over 1.5 mn KwH of gas each year, corresponding to a CO2 reduction of some 290 tons. Volkl is currently implementing numerous other energy-saving projects: from the switchover of all light sources to energy-saving bulbs to the training of an internal energy consultant solely responsible for the optimization of all electronic equipment. Another point of focus is the sustainable use of materials: wood, a key material for ski cores, plays a central role here. For the production in Straubing Volkl sources its wood only from sustainably managed forests. All wood scraps are collected and processed into pellets for heating plants. All metal (such as aluminum shavings) and all polyethylene plastics are also recycled. Volkl is also active in the area of waste reduction: That means carton-free delivery of components in small reusable tubs, reusable rolling containers and folding container boxes for shipping large quantities from the factory to the United States. These changes save roughly 30,000 kg in cardboard waste annually.

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