Respect for nature and the environment, to be at one with the land and the “leave no trace” philosophy has always been one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Tor des Géants®.
The “green” choices that have been followed since the early years are further strengthened in 2016, once again highlighting the will and determination of VDA Trailers in organising an increasingly sustainability-oriented event.
First of all, in the addition the ecological rules of the Tor such as “respect the flora and fauna: don’t litter” and “follow the marked paths without cutting to prevent soil erosion” which are always in place, the 2016 edition will also see the elimination of the use of helicopters (except for those strictly necessary in operations related to rescue or supply of altitude assistance points). This choice helps to reduce forms of pollution that have a particularly high impact on mountain and alpine environments, and also avoids disruption of the flora and fauna.
The media representatives of the Tor - some since as early as last year - follow this philosophy. There will be no camera footage shot from helicopter; instead people will move as fast as possible by foot, trying to respect the athletes and the mountain all while deepening their connection with the land.
In order to impose a philosophy of sustainability at a media level they try work with people who have a real passion for mountains; professionals who know how to move independently and who are deeply convinced that - as evidenced by the Pillow Lab staff - "to do things properly and to make them great we don’t have to get the shot from higher but instead we must know how to unite and identify with the efforts of the trailers, volunteers and organisations. That is why our staff move as much as possible on foot and sleep on the bases, truly immersing themselves in this magnificent experience and sharing all the emotion”. Another fundamental choice has been to make the most out of digital communication in order to almost completely eliminate the use of printed paper.
Also, for the second consecutive year, i.e. since the initiative’s launch, the Tor adheres with grand momentum to the environmental awareness campaign “You-AYoutami a trovare la strada giusta” (help me to find the right path), which was sparked by Iuta (Italian Ultramarathon and Trail Association) and involves the systematic collection of waste batteries that are used in headlamps by the trailers during the race. The campaign, starting with this laudable initiative, also has the more general aim of raising awareness and respect for the environment which they hope will lead to a better future, through the use of new technologies with a much lower environmental impact. The used batteries must be collected in special containers which are placed in prominent position in the finish area, provided by Consorzio Ecolight, partner of the initiative. Ecolight will then collect the containers once the race is over. It is a very important initiative which surely all the race’s trailers will join.
Finally, Tor has chosen and continues to choose to give value and visibility to local products. This attention is evident, for example, in collaboration with Pellissier, the Aosta Valley company that will provide cheese, yoghurt and other products at zero km and refreshment points along the Tor des Géants® route.
These are the main features that enable the Tor des Géants® to be a respectful, sustainable and environmentally friendly event. These are concrete actions and choices that go beyond a mere fashion but are based on a deep and genuine respect for the environment.
credit: Stefano Jeantet