Our quest to become more sustainable
We feel that we as an event organizer have a responsibility to look at what we are doing and how we can become more sustainable. We know that travel to and from events is no good. However, we hope that by re-thinking our event strategy where future events will be more in areas where there is already a regional demand for swimrun races. By doing so we can reduce the amount of travel to our events.
On the other hand we want to use our communication plattform to inspire others to also look at their practices and try to become more sustainable all the time. We are on a quest to become more sustainable.
Footsteps and memories
Since the beginning of ÖTILLÖ (2006) we have always had a motto of leaving nothing more behind than ”footsteps and memories”. We decided to disqualify anyone caught littering during our events. Today, the global Swimrun community seems to have adopted this way of thinking as everyone is very aware of managing the ”garbage” generated while swimrunning. Anything found on the ground is usually an accident more than someone throwing something on purpose.
The footsteps and memories way of thinking has led us to our active campaign of #cleantheocean. At every event weekend we have an hour of joint garbage ”search and collect” on-site together with racers and locals. The purpose is to raise awareness that 80% of the garbage found in the seas around the world has been thrown on land. In most destinations we took for a local organization to tag team with to make our message stronger and to create a local bond with #cleantheocean.
We hope that we can create a movement where you choose to go out with friends and/ or family while training or just as a separate activity with the purpose to collect garbage. Anything that we pick up in nature is one less thing in nature. It might also trigger thoughts with others why you are doing it. If you hashtag #cleantheocean and #otillo we will share it in our channels.
It was extremely inspiring to see our friends in France, Francois Xavier Li and Jean-Marie Gueye who while swimming saw a boat battery on the sea floor. One of them swam down and collected it, the other filmed it. The more we can do together as a community the better.
In our quest to find partners who share our values and our passion for movement in nature we have found two great companies in ARK and Vivobarefoot. Both companies push the boundaries in their respective fields.
Vivobarefoot has a mission to make peoples feet stronger and to reconnect with nature. They are constantly working on new ways to become more sustainable and to do good. They have started a program to reuse old shoes, They are building shoes from harmful algae and they are making the majority of their materials and practices as sustainable as possible. Vivobarefoot is leading the way in the shoe industry.
ARK as a startup company in the Swimgear market are also taking the lead in how to push the limits in sourcing new materials that are not petroleum-based. Using recycled materials for hand paddles and also bringing a service to the market of handing in your old wetsuit.
We are constantly looking for new partners who want to do part of the journey with us.
At ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Gothenburg Stena Recycling will be our waste partner and will help us manage any waste generated on the islands instead of us impacting the local waste management system which is heavily impacted during the summer anyway.
Solar panels and HVO100
As we started with #cleantheocean we also have looked at other ways to make our impact smaller. We are extremely proud to say that together with a partner in Sweden, Neolar, we have installed solar panels on Utö that generate the same amount of electricity in a year that we consume during ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Utö and ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship weekends.
With the people behind Neolar we have also created partnership with OKQ8, one of Scandinavia’s two largest fuel distributors. Thanks to this our safety boats for Utö and the World Championship that usually run on diesel will be running on NesteMy Neste MY Renewable Diesel (HVO100) which reduces the Co2 emissions with close to 90%. Did you know that you can fuel any diesel engine (car or boat) with Neste MY Renewable Diesel (HVO100)? No conversions are neeeded and it can be mixed with any amount of regular diesel? We now also use it for cars when available.
Speaking of boats
For our Swedish events we are initiating a partnership with Candela, the electric-powered foiling boat. We call it the flying boat as it looks amazing on the water and it is absolutely silent. Candela will have one or two boats at Utö, Gothenburg and the World Championship. These boats will help us out with various water-based tasks.
Recycled materials and social responsibility
A few years ago we made an active decision to not make medals and trophies from new materials. Instead we found Kenosis design who make our medals and trophies from recycled wood. They are a social enterprise based in Romania giving work and craftsmanship to less fortunate persons. We found Kenosis through Dece, one of our merchandise suppliers, also a social enterprise based in Romania. Dece works primarily with women. Allowing them to work from home so they can make sure their children are out of harms way.
Single-use cups and materials
Breca Swimrun introduced the multiple-use cup that each swimrunner had to bring on the race course. Instead of using single-use cups at all the energy stations. We adopted this policy reducing our consumption of single-use cups by tens of thousands per season. In our social media channels we communicate about this. The result is that many races now also require each racer to have their own cup and we have supplied our production contact to many others. Hopefully, we can go back to this practice post-Covid too.
Our logistics team works hard at re-using our logistics systems in all races so we do not produce new materials for each destination. We see that our garbage generated after an event has gone down drastically and hope to continue doing so.
Eveyone can do something
Our ambition is to inspire others to look at their practices. Feedback on how we can continue to reduce our impact is always welcomed. We are fortunate to be able to host events in nature and by doing so we have a responsibility to try to be better all the time.
Together we are stronger and together as a community we can make an impact. #cleantheocean.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]