Monday, 12 October 2009

The numbers are in...

So we've run the numbers - as best we can - on the impact of the Ironman. It's proven difficult to look in too much detail at the products themselves, as none have undertaken full carbon footprinting as yet, which should be another call to action to the industry.
But what we can look at is the impact of travel and diet, and the numbers from these are even bigger than I was expecting. Based on these two variables alone, my footprint for a 6 month training plan of 5000 calories a day, and travel to training camp and the race by train, comes to 0.56 tonnes. To put that in context, the carbon footprint per person per year in Malawi is 0.7 tonnes according to a Norwegian study reported here. So even doing an Eco Ironman, only counting food and transport, I'm creating almost as many emissions in 6 months as the average Malawian in a year.
But that's nothing compared to the average Ironman, which is almost SEVEN times higher at 3.48 tonnes!
To me, this proves the point that we as athletes really need to think about what we're doing. All humans depend on the natural environment to thrive - but we should have good reason to be more conscious of that fact. And to do something about it.

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