Trek pledges to reduce carbon emissions by 68 percent in nine-year plan

The global bike company shared a three-pronged plan for a more sustainable future

Trek HQ in Waterloo with its teams present
(Image credit: Trek Bicycle Corp.)

Trek Bicycle Corporation is the latest cycling industry company to take initiative toward becoming more sustainable and climate-friendly. It recently published its 2023 Sustainability Report and plan to cut carbon emissions.

The company shared this week that it is committed to an aggressive nine-year plan to reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 68% by 2030, source all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and reduce Scope 3 carbon emissions by 30% by 2032. 

Scope 1 carbon emissions are those that come directly from Trek-owned sources, such as Trek bike mechanic vehicles or warehouses and bike shops. 

Scope 2 carbon emissions are direct emissions from purchased energy, such as the electricity used to power Trek warehouses. 

Scope 3 carbon emissions are “all other indirect emissions associated with the bikes, gear, and other goods produced up and down the value chain.” These emissions may include those from vendors and partners of Trek’s who help move and sell Trek bikes across the world. 

“Since our first report in 2021, we have made significant progress towards becoming a more sustainable business, but we also discovered areas where progress can still be made. This analysis and self-reflection have only further solidified our commitment to sustainability,” said Eric Bjorling, director of brand at Trek Bicycle. “This second iteration transparently shows our emissions findings alongside the actionable steps we are prepared to take to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Some of the initiatives Trek has already implemented to reduce its carbon emissions and waste include:

  • Reducing Packaging Waste: By removing single-use plastic and foam from packaging, Trek has been able to remove 546,625 pounds of plastic waste from packaging per year since 2020.
  • Recycling E-Bike Batteries: Trek partnered with Call2Recycle in 2022 to ensure that e-bike users have an easy, responsible solution when a battery has reached the end of its usable life. To date, Trek retailers have helped ensure the proper recycling of over 6,896 pounds of electric bike batteries.
  • Products Made with Recycled Material: Trek has shifted textile usage to create apparel made from recycled material like plastic water bottles. These efforts have diverted 83,610 pounds of material from landfills and put millions of discarded water bottles to better use.

Trek plans to focus on responsible waste management, documentation of renewable energy purchasing, range and infrastructure for Trek-owned electric vehicles, and addressing outdated building systems. 

The bicycle retailer is one of many cycling companies that have taken measures to lessen its impact on the environment. Schwalbe Tires recently announced its Cradle-to-Cradle inner tube recycling program, Ergon created the first completely recyclable saddle, and Rapha has repurposed fabric scraps to create new kits. 

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Kristin Jenny
Freelance Contributor

Kristin Jenny is an elite triathlete based near Boulder, Colorado. Although most of her time is spent in aerobars somewhere in the mountains, she finds time to enjoy eating decadent desserts, hiking with her husband and dog, and a good true crime podcast.