Doing the right thing
Challenge events are a huge industry, with the power to change the world for better or worse. Our events raise over £7 million for good causes every year, and employ thousands of people in the UK on our Ultra Challenge Series, and in communities across the world for our International Treks and Cycles. We also recognise that these events have an environmental impact. From the vehicles carrying equipment to rest stops on our UK Challenges, to long-haul flights taking people to climb mountains and trek deserts overseas – our challenge have a carbon footprint we can’t ignore.
Action Challenge are the UK’s biggest provider of challenge events, and we want to step up and ensure that we are minimising the impact of our challenges, and helping to create a better world. This is why we’re launching our Tree Planting Pledge to plant 100,000 trees in the next year.
How will this help?
Our events release carbon into the atmosphere, from trucks, flights and generators. For example, a return flight to Tanzania, to climb Kilimanjaro, will release around 2.5 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Trees are effective at removing carbon from the air and storing it, known as sequestering. A mature tree will absorb over a tonne of carbon (1000kg) in its lifetime - meaning ten trees planted would absorb over ten tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.
Who will plant the trees?
As much as we’d love to get out there and plant the trees ourselves, we’re too busy planning your amazing challenges! That's why we've partnered with TreeSisters, who are reforestation campaigners, putting ecological restoration into the hands of everyone.
With TreeSisters, Action Challenge are embedding restoration in our business. Through our tree planting programme, we will help restore the planet by supporting tropical tree planting. These tree planting projects restore ecosystems, increase biodiversity, and alleviate poverty - while ensuring that carbon is sequestered in natural forests.
Why not plant trees in Europe?
Forests in Europe are making a comeback, with areas of the continent seeing a forests ‘boom’. Between 1990 and 2015 Europe’s forests grew by 90,000km square - an area the size of Portugal!
Unfortunately, this trend isn’t repeated across the world. Industrialisation, urban development and climate change are driving a reduction in forested areas in the tropics. This is why we are funding projects that reforest areas in the tropics. Trees in these areas grow faster, since there is no cold winter season - meaning they sequester more carbon than their European cousins.
Why don’t you just stop booking flights or running events if they release carbon?
If Action Challenge closed tomorrow, people would still take part in events, and fly around the world to climb mountains. Not every events company commits to offsetting carbon or planting trees. We want to change that, integrate something in to the way we work that benefits the planet, and show the rest that it is possible. It won’t solve the climate crisis overnight, but it’s better than doing nothing. We can’t just wait for technology to drive the decarbonisation of our world & economy - we need to make changes now that will create a better tomorrow.
What can I do?
Planting trees costs money. Action Challenge will be donating the money required to plant 100,000 trees in a year. In order to raise these funds, we are asking every who signs up to a challenge with us to consider making an optional donation towards this target. For our UK events, this is as low as £2 which will help plant 5 trees. For our International challenges, we are asking for as little as £12 to help plant 30 trees.
At some point in the future, we may include tree planting as standard, however for this first year, we want to give our customers the option to participate, without introducing a price increase.
Of course, if have already signed up for a challenge, or if you simply want to support the work of TreeSisters and help reforest the world, then you can donate to the Action Challenge forest by clicking the DONATE Button on this page.
Be the first to donate!