« Around Sustainable Development »
In 2017, after signing under the aegis of the French Ministry for Sport and the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) the environmental charter with 21 major sports events, the Tour de France has decided to structure its CSR policy and organise its action around three themes:
“Cycling for Earth”
“Cycl’in your Life”
“In the Tour’s slipstream…”
For many years now, care for the environment has been a major concern of the Tour de France.
Several actions bear witness of this responsible commitment in the search for excellence. Indeed, Le Tour’s status as a major international sporting event imposes the need to commit.
6 specific actions illustrate the corporate social responsibility shown by the Tour de France.
1. Avoid, Reduce, Sort, Collect and Recycle waste
Creating awareness among the riders of the Tour de France
Riders throwing waste along the route is a problem.
As well as harming the environment – when we know that an aluminium can takes 500 years before it decomposes – this image, shown live to around 14 million TV viewers all over the world, is simply intolerable.
The organisers of the Tour de France create awareness among riders and their managers to respect the collection zones provided for them. This information is given at the time the presentations are made, together with other documents sent to the teams before and during the Tour de France.
The collection zones are now highly visible for everyone, including journalists, so that they can transmit the information on the system put in place by the organisation at the exit of each refreshment zone. Two ‘freshen up’ motorbikes also accompany the riders to pick up their bidons.
Contractual obligations of the host communities in the Tour de France
The agreements signed between the Tour de France and the communities hosting the event are strict. The communities should deploy an ad hoc system to make full collections and create an optimised recycling circuit within the means available to them.
Awareness creation and collection facilities at all the sites of the Tour de France
The Tour de France has "environmental coordinators" who undertake several missions:
- • Dimension the facilities to be deployed depending on the place, the operation and the resources provided by the stage towns (start and finish)
- • Positioning on the map, then on the ground, of the collection facility, jointly with the community
- • Sending of rubbish bags and signage (domestic waste, recyclable products…) to place them on spectator sites (100,000 bags and 1,800 stickers in 2017)
- • Create awareness around the collection and sorting policy of the Tour de France in all the families at the organisation, on the Grand Départ and throughout the race
- • Placing of the arrangements together with the local teams
- • Checking load rates and correcting sorting errors
- • Closing the containers to ensure quality
- • Sending out a questionnaire to analyse how the operation went
- • Analysis of the information and possible corrections for future specifications.
The organisers of the Tour de France back this up with a specific campaign called “C'est mon Tour, je trie” (It’s my Tour, I sort) to create awareness among all stakeholders around good collection and sorting practices for waste.
Collections are also organised along the route in partnership with the Assembly of French Departments (ADF). 20,000 bags labelled “C'est mon Tour, je garde la route proper” (It’s my Tour, I keep the road clean) are distributed to the Departmental Councils, which provide them along the entire route of the race.
Discussions have begun with suppliers and other stakeholders to limit packages upstream and sort them downstream.
A campaign on throwing cans will be rolled out in the Tour de France 2017 through cartoons on the theme of recycling together with the ‘Chaque Canette Compte’ (each can counts) association. The aim to is to create awareness among spectators around waste disposal.
The organisation of the Tour de France runs an awareness campaign via an itinerant collection facility in finish zones.
The Tour de France organisers also run an awareness campaign around waste and respect for biodiversity for spectators via a special vehicle positioned at the front of the race.
2. Contributing to care for biodiversity
An awareness campaign around biodiversity is organised for the public on France TV, the official broadcaster of the event, in partnership with the French National History Museum.
In parallel, in partnership with the Natura 2000 office of the French Ecological Transition and Solidarity Ministry, the organisers highlight a Natura 2000 site located on each of the stages of the Tour de France.
The organisers also publish a file of Natura 2000 incidents every year, with the aim of identifying, together with the stakeholders involved (Ecological Transition and Solidarity Ministry, Préfecture, DREAL, DDT and the consultancy company BIOTOPE), the measures to be taken as the race progresses.
Finally, three other actions round off the theme of biodiversity:
- • National Fishing Federation: an awareness campaign on the aquatic environment with a special vehicle in the publicity fleet, cartoons for the general public and the patronage of the TV campaign of the National Natural History Museum
- • The regional natural parks are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, a fine occasion for the Tour de France to showcase the 9 natural parks crossed by the race. It offers the opportunity to highlight traditional trades in the parks and their biodiversity, and also programmes to foster cycling in these places.
- • The Tour des Abeilles: an awareness campaign on protection of bees with leaflets distributed in the public zones (start and finish).
3. Limiting transport-related air pollution
The Tour is an itinerant event that moves to the spectators. As a result, the organisers’ staff undertakes training in environmentally responsible driving and respects a speed limit lower than the general regulation (80 km/h as opposed to 90 km/h in the French highway code). The Tour also tries, as far as possible, to use alternative modes of transport to move spectators, the staff itself or journalists on site: ski lifts/cable cars in mountainous areas, electric shuttles in towns, bicycles at Grand Départ sites, etc.
4. Encourage responsible buying
Our organisation has a purchasing policy that obliges the Tour to avoid waste, to consider all the phases of the life of a product (recyclable plastic bags, reusable promotion materials…) and to reduce negative impacts (eliminating packaging to avoid extra waste wherever possible). Sustainable development criteria have been incorporated into tender processes and briefing notes. These sustainable procurement is complemented by solidarity procurement from social reinsertion organisations (e.g. the Ventoux Popular University for site cleaning) or disabled peoples’ associations (ESAT...).
5. Give priority to sustainable catering services
In partnership with its catering partners, Sodexo and SRE, the Tour de France makes a commitment to buy local and offer a healthier and balanced range of food products according to the WWF rules.
Other solutions have also been applied to avoid food waste.
6. Reduce the use of resources
Paper will gradually give way to electronic documents and easy-to-use smartphone apps. The paper documents that will still be needed, given that we are moving around, will be printed on paper from sustainably managed forests (labelled ‘FSC’).
Beyond the sporting dimension and the generosity shown by the people who have taken part in it for 114 years, the Tour de France is committed to promoting cycling. It embodies leisure and is the environmentally-friendly way of moving around par excellence, and fits in perfectly with the sustainable development policy shared by everyone.
In 2017, the Tour de France has rolled out specific actions to foster cycling, everywhere and for everyone.
1. Encourage people to get on their bikes
To do this, the Tour de France has created a media campaign called "Ensemble à vélo!" (let’s cycle together), which it launches on the official broadcasters of the Tour de France.
2. Urging people to use bicycles on a daily basis
The Tour de France has also launched "Les ateliers du Tour", an awareness campaign aimed at spectators. It provides information on local associations that work to foster cycling on a day-to-day basis: maintenance, repair, name engraving, safety, riding lessons, recycling... Already tested in five communities in 2017, this operation will take place in Troyes, Périgueux, Pau, Le Puy-en-Velay and Marseilles during the Tour. The bicycles will then be left to the communities for their own use!
3. Leaving a legacy and highlighting the “Route du Tour”
In order to boost the appeal of the places the race passes through, the Tour de France has created permanent "routes of the Tour" signage in partnership with local communities. In this first year of the project, 3 mountain passes will be equipped with the colours of these new signs: the Col d’Izoard, La Planche des Belles Filles, and the Col de Peyra Taillade.
The media coverage of the Tour de France is a good opportunity to showcase specific causes and associations. The 7 actions listed below have been designed with this in mind.
1. Contribute to the media exposure of France and its cultural heritage
The Tour de France showcases public and private monuments along the route (Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the 2016 Grand Départ in Mont Saint-Michel…) via TV and radio commentaries and a presence on digital platforms. Our partnership with the French National Monuments Centre takes place within this framework.
2. Working for gender equality
For the last three years, the organisers of the Tour de France have given top professional female cyclists the opportunity to compete on the roads of Le Tour through La Course by Le Tour de France together with FDJ. In 2017 there are two challenging stages, one on the slopes up to the Col d'Izoard (20/07) and another in a time trial (22/07) in Marseilles.
As part of the candidacy of Paris to organise the 2024 Olympic Games, a new operation has been designed: "Les Champs pour elles", in which 2024 women will ride the final circuit of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées on the last day of the race.
3. Showcase the countryside and the people who live and work there
Every year, farmers belonging to the FNSEA promote their activities through the construction of monumental works. These are also displayed in the media covering the Tour de France. The farmers participate in the FNSEA competition with their agricultural frescoes or “field art”.
4. Support the Champions of the future
The Tour de France supports the FFC (French Cycling Federation) by providing resources for the organisation of races in the three categories: cadets, juniors and promising youngsters (girls and boys).
In 2016, around 300 clubs and races, 60 departmental committees and 20 regional committees have been supported by the Tour de France.
Furthermore, in partnership with local cycling clubs, on each stage of the Tour de France 8 young riders (4 cadets and 4 juniors) ride the first 30 and the last 30 kilometres of the route of the Tour de France, just in front of the professional riders.
Basically, the Tour de France provides the means to support the organisers of the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs race, the Paris-Tours Esopirs race, the Tour de l’Avenir and the Classiques des Alpes.
5. Making the Tour de France more inclusive
In partnership with HandicaPZéro, the road book is adapted for braille, in large letters and with an audio CD (5,000 books produced) Updates on the Tour de France are also posted online daily on the HandicaPZéro website.
6. Solidarity initiatives
The Tour de France helps with the funding of the MCC (Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque – heart surgery patronage) association to highlight its work and get personalities on board to encourage the love of cycling:
- • Invitations to personalities to ride a stage of the Tour de France in front of the professional cyclists (Marseilles, Saturday 22 July 2017),
- • Sales of charity products in the shops of the Tour de France.
Every year, the Tour de France and Secours Populaire, within its initiative titled “the forgotten people of sport”, enables children who cannot go on holiday to spend a day with the Tour de France (1,200 children) and to heighten their awareness of cycling.
In partnership with Media Pitchounes, the Tour de France gives children from underprivileged areas the chance to experience what it is like to be journalist on the Tour de France (a group of 10 children per day in the Tour de France).
7. Making safety the top priority
The Tour de France trains and raises awareness among all competitors on the route of the Tour de France (training sessions, briefing notes....)
The organisation closely monitors the safety of participants and service providers along the route by providing all ad hoc safety equipment.
The organisers also raise awareness among the public through a media campaign so that they adopt the correct behaviour in relation to the riders.