Biathlon Climate Challenge completed: 50,000 trees to be planted

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) is delighted to announce that the Biathlon Climate Challenge powered by Viessmann has reached its goal and 50’000 trees are to be planted. 3.677 fans from 40 countries were taking an active part in the Challenge, which was led by eight biathlon superstars – and collected 50,000 trees during 28 days as they aimed to turn their physical activity into an opportunity to give back to the environment.

The fans’ and athletes’ activity was tracked in Viessmann’s ViMove App which converted the distance they had covered or time they had worked out into trees which will be planted half-and-half by programmes managed by TIST and their farmers in Uganda, and by Viessmann in the company’s own reforestation projects in Finland and Canada.  

In just 28 days, the goal of 50,000 trees has been reached with fans covering an accumulative distance of 654.559 km and a total of 10.618 hours spent. The biggest share came from the team led by Czech biathlete Marketa Davidova contributing 11,790 trees. The most active fans gathered in the team of Canadian biathlete Jules Burnotte with a contribution of 20 trees on average per team member.

IBU President Olle Dahlin said:

“Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the level of engagement and participation from the biathlon family in the Biathlon Climate Challenge. In less than a month, we have seen thousands of fans around the world cover such impressive distances and spending so much time being active in making sure 50,000 trees will be planted. On behalf of the IBU, I thank and congratulate all those who took part and our eight fantastic biathletes who led the challenge. While the Biathlon Climate Challenge is over, we encourage everyone to continue to stay active, stay connected and stay committed to finding ways to contribute to climate action.”

Viessmann VP Marketing Ivo Hoevel said:

„We firmly believe that only together can we make an impact that matters. Climate protection is a joint responsibility. Our employees at Viessmann are proud about joining forces with International Biathlon Union and support the Biathlon Climate Challenge and everyone who took part in it. As a family business in its fourth generation, we always think long-term: Climate solutions are an essential part of our vision and strategy.“

Supported by the Challenge, TIST will plant the trees in certified reforestation projects in Uganda. After supporting various reforestation projects around the world, Viessmann acquired its own forests in 2021 and takes responsibility by planting trees on its 1700 hectares in Finland and in Canada. This way, Viessmann ensures long-term sustainable management and keeping harmful emissions out of the atmosphere.

Separately, the IBU will work with the organisers of the Summer Biathlon World Championships in Ruhpolding which also hosted the conclusion of the Biathlon Climate Challenge to calculate the final carbon footprint of the event and will offset the residual emissions to ensure the event is climate neutral.

The Biathlon Climate Challenge was launched as part of the IBU’s Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030 which commits the IBU to addressing sustainability in five different areas: climate, sport, people, venue and event, communication and awareness. The IBU’s climate goal is to reduce emissions aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Accord and to be climate neutral as a sport latest by 2030.

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