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Deceuninck-QuickStep fully offset carbon emissions for 2020 season

ALTEA SPAIN JANUARY 12 Dries Devenyns of Belgium Andrea Bagioli of Italy Julian Alaphilippe of France World Champion jersey and Fausto Masnada of Italy and Team Deceuninck Quick Step SWorks Tarmac SL Specialized during the Team Deceuninck QuickStep 2021 Training Camp deceuninckqst TheWolfpack on January 12 2021 in Altea Spain Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Deceuninck-QuickStep at their pre-season training camp in Spain (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Deceuninck-QuickStep have announced that they have offset all their carbon emissions for the 2020 season. The Belgian team have worked with the CO2Logic organisation to calculate their carbon footprint over the past year, and supported projects in Uganda and France in order to compensate for their emissions total.

Back in January 2020, the team announced their intention to offset their carbon emissions by helping to supply safe drinking water in Uganda as well as supporting a conservation project near Mont Ventoux. In 2020, the team emitted 1288 tons of CO2, they said.

"The team partnered with leading experts CO2Logic and calculated their carbon footprint to be 1288 tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of driving a car 179 times around the world, or 539 return flights between Brussels and New York. The amount of forestation required to capture this amount of CO2 is the equivalent of around 3099 football pitches," read a statement issued by Deceuninck-QuickStep.

Both projects supported by the team have been successes, with their emissions successfully offset for the past year – the Uganda project alone making up for their total 2020 emissions.

"The Uganda project has supplied over 1.9 million litres of clean water to 823 people. Over 45 per cent of Uganda’s population has no access to safe water, meaning people are forced to boil water in order to make it safe to drink, which not only releases greenhouse gases but requires the cutting down of trees to provide firewood. This project alone has preserved over 815 hectares of trees and offsets nearly 1300 tones of CO2.

"The Mont Ventoux project has seen several areas of forest designated for sustainable forestry management and conservation. Supporting this project not only halts the cutting down of trees but helps to managing the woodland area, to help it grow healthier and stronger. As well as being close to the iconic climb of Mont Ventoux, the project sits close to Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s hearts, as the woodland area is a better habitat for the wild wolves, the animal who the Wolfpack share so much with in name and spirit alike."

Deceuninck-QuickStep aren't the only team to carry out carbon neutral initiatives. Last July, Movistar announced that they would support green projects, switch their team vehicles to hybrid models, and install solar panels at the team headquarters, while back in 2007, Discovery Channel went carbon neutral for the season.

As well as supporting the projects in Uganda and Mont Ventoux, Deceuninck-QuickStep set out a list of goals in order to reduce their environmental impact. The team will promote recycling, reduce their plastic usage and energy consumption, as well as promoting the use of bicycles as a mode of transport.

Team boss Patrick Lefevere said that the team is pleased with how the first year of their #ItStartsWithUs campaign has gone, adding that it's just the start of their commitment to sustainability.

"We are delighted with the findings from the first year of or campaign," he said. "At the start of 2020 we made a commitment to not only offset our CO2 emissions but also to change the behaviours of our team, our staff and our supporters. We don’t need to remind anyone of how difficult 2020 proved to be and we know we could have achieved so much more, but despite this, we are very proud of what we have achieved.

"Cycling is a beautiful sport that has drawn us all together, but we need to look at how we can compete in races held all over the planet while still protecting the fragile environment around us. Since we launched the project, we have noticed a changing of the tide within cycling, with the UCI very recently announcing changes to the rules on dealing with waste during a race. This is just the start of what we hope can be a big movement within the sport and we will be looking to push even further in 2021."

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