Yesterday the first Rab and Lowe Alpine Equip Sustainability Summit was held and the new European Rab Service Centre was openend in Leusden, The Netherlands.
Time flies when you are having fun… Yesterday a long time of preparation came to a climax on the stage of the first Rab and Lowe Alpine Equip Sustainability Summit. The occasion for this summit is the opening of the new European Rab Service Centre in Leusden, The Netherlands. It is already in operation since autumn 2021 but opening was postponed due to Covid.
At the Equip Sustainability Summit guests speaker Arne Strate (European Outdoor Group), John Jansen (KEEN Footwear), Albert Scholte (Bever), Margreet Vrieling (Fair Wear Foundation ), Robin Baks (Royal Dutch Mountaineering Club NKBV), and Debbie Read (Rab & Lowe Alpine) gave their vision on sustainability. I was asked by Equip to moderate the panel discussion that followed and I am pretty proud about it.
I was pleasantly surprised that – although the world is so complicated at the moment – the result and the vibe of the Summit is very positive. This is the first time I can remember an event like this being held in the Netherlands. We – speakers and audience – quickly realized that no-one is against being more sustainable. What this event showed us though, is that we are all on the same track. We are connected to what we are doing, and all are committed to make a difference. But we need to work together, commit individual actions and take notice of and influence those around us. Simple example: when you see somebody throwing a tissue in nature, tell them that this is not the way to keep the earth alive and livable. Explain to them why; not to everybody this is logical. And pick up litter when you see it. It’s not nature’s fault that we put it there.
Confronting and inspirational
Confronting and inspirational was the presentation by special guest, Rab athlete and professional mountain guide, Roeland van Oss. In his Climbing4Climate project Roeland aims to summit all 82 4000m peaks in the Alps in one season, self-propelled. Using only his bike to move from one place to another to keep his entire adventure climate neutral. He wants to inspire other mountaineers and adventurers to look for new and emission-conscious approaches to their favorite activities.
On a personal basis I came to the conclusion that I would like to start with a sort of ‘education program’ for school kids. Many of them don’t learn any more about how we are connected to nature. And can you blame them? Many live in cities with tarmac and stones. And even those who don’t live in cities; how tempting is a smartphone. I know, I am getting older and this sounds like pointing fingers, blaming parents, blaming schools, maybe even blaming the government for not having this in an education program in all schools. But the least I can do is try to do something about this. A challenge is around every corner. Agree?