Published: 19th Jan 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Scottish Cycling to increase environmental sustainability efforts

Following a period of internal dialogue and consultation with members who have shown an interest in sustainability, Scottish Cycling has started 2024 by launching its Environmental Policy Statement.

By nature, cycling as a mode of transport has a low environmental impact and we strongly believe it will play an increasingly important role as we collectively tackle the climate crisis. However, our sport needs to adapt to address its environmental footprint and ensure that all who participate – be they riders, officials, volunteers or spectators – do what they can to ensure the long-term sustainability of our activities.

In the spring of 2023 Scottish Cycling launched its new organisational strategy, Developing A Nation of Cyclists 2.0. The strategy contained a clear commitment to increase our sustainability efforts, highlighting this pillar as a ‘golden thread’ that runs through everything we do.

With our organisational strategy published, a Sustainability Working Group was formed, made up of both Board Directors and staff members with either specialist knowledge, or an interest in the area. The first steps for this group were to assess how the organisation was currently performing from a sustainability point of view, and to develop both an Environmental Policy, and a Sustainability Strategy – in essence, our commitment, and how we intend to fulfil it.

Having gone through the Scottish Cycling Board for approval, the policy was shared with delegates at our Conference in November – an initial litmus test that provoked some great debate and identified willing volunteers to help us on this journey. These critical friends will now act as a sounding board as we bring the policy to life and support us in delivery in their communities.

This isn’t a closed group – so if you have an interest in sustainability and would like to be involved in conversations about what we’re doing, and help us drive forward our plans, please get in touch via [email protected]

The next steps are to start bringing some of our ideas to life – from small actions, such as working with Schwalbe on inner tube and tyre recycling and ensuring the process of gathering and returning these is as environmentally friendly as possible, to larger-scale projects such as conducting a carbon baselining exercise so we can track our progress.

On the publication of the organisation’s first Environmental Policy, Chair of the Board, John Watt said:

“As the climate crisis gathers pace, so must the actions of every person and organisation in working to tackle it. We are proud of the undeniable role that the bicycle plays and will increasingly play in that response. Our sustainability work will help to grow the role of cycling as an activity that provides environmental, health and economic benefits; for people, as well as the planet.

“More tangibly, this is the start of our journey to become more accountable for our own carbon emissions. By building our own sustainability initiatives and credentials, we aim to lead, support and inspire others in our community to follow suit and make a larger positive impact, together.”

You can read our Environmental Policy Statement in full here.