As one of the bicycle industry’s leading pan-European associations, Brussel-based Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) has traditionally organized panels and other events at Eurobike. This year, CIE puts the focus of its Big Sustainability Event on the sustainability of corporate operations and matters of diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace.
As the umbrella organization of the European bicycle industry, Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) is active on many fronts. It’s been lobbying the European Union to put cycling at the centre of the EU’s New Green Deal and to shape the EU Cycling Strategy. It also contributed to the decision of the European Commission to slap heavy anti-dumping tariffs on e-bikes made in China, boosting the reshoring trend within the industry. Another important field of action is the ongoing discussion about changes in legislation that may have a drastic impact on the status of bicycles and e-bikes in traffic – and as a consequence on how future sales develop. The same goes for budget discussions in EU member states and investments in bicycle-friendly infrastructure.
Since large parts of the European and the global bicycle industry is heading for Eurobike as the world’s largest bicycle trade show, CIE has been making good use of this gathering to organize panel discussions and other meetings in recent years. This year will be no different, as CIE is hosting a series of events. It all starts on Thursday with the Industry Leaders’ Breakfast held at the Eurobike Hub in the Portalhaus. From 9am to 10.30am, the 10th edition of this high-profile event aiming at CEOs, presidents and directors in the bicycle sector will focus on the new EU Cycling Strategy that has the potential to double the current levels of cycling in the EU and create up to one million new jobs in the sector. Attendees will be updated on what the announcement of this new EU cycling policy means, what has been achieved for the industry in the last year and what critical topics still remain on the policy agenda.
Apart from this high-level exchange to start the second day of the trade show, all activities of CIE take place on Friday. At CIE’s Big Sustainability Event from 10am at the Future Mobility Forum, sustainability will be the central topic. The reason for this is that new EU policy developments are requiring companies to conform to new international standards on transparency and traceability, including batteries, critical raw materials, packaging, carbon tariffs, and digital services. And just conforming to these standards will not do, as compliance needs to be independently certified as well. Rather than passively waiting for the impact of these changes, many companies aspire to be at the forefront of the ongoing green transition, working hard to come up with solutions. At the Cycling Industries Sustainability Panel some of these front runners share their strategies and experiences.
The Big Sustainability Event is held in partnership with industrial federation Conebi, the Zweirad Industrie Verband (ZIV), Verbund Service Fahrrad (VSF), lobbying organization Zukunft Fahrrad and the think tank Bikebrainpool. The latter four will be launching their guidelines to the German Sustainability Code (DNK) for the bicycle industry as part of the event. These guidelines will help companies from the bicycle industry to report about their sustainability activities and to develop a sustainability strategy. Afterwards the Cycling Industry Sustainability Expert Group, jointly run by CIE and Conebi, will launch an industry-wide Climate Pledge calling on companies to measure their carbon footprint and take individual action to lower their CO2 emissions.
The presentation of VeloLAB, an innovation platform funded by the German Ministry for Digital & Transport and the bicycle industry, is a case study showing how innovation and sustainability go hand in hand. Last but not least the high-profile Big Sustainability Panel is discussing how to tackle the new and unprecedented challenges that the bicycle industry is facing in terms of sustainability, circular economy, the transparency and traceability of global supply chains and new opportunities and business models arising from this ongoing green transition. Amongst the panelists will be experts representing global industry heavyweights such as Trek, Decathlon and Giant, but also domestic frontrunners such as Riese & Müller and French bikesharing operator Fifteen.With the Women In Cycling Networking Breakfast organized by the Young Mobility Network and to be held at the Eurobike Hub on Friday morning from 9am to 10am (exhibitors are allowed in from 8am already), CIE is also putting its weight behind the push to move the cycling industry towards more diversity, equality and inclusion. And to get more female professionals to join the cycling industry, leading to a product portfolio that better reflects the needs of all kind of consumers and not just those of a very enthusiast, sports-oriented and mostly male segment of the population. After all, modern investors are looking into ESG criteria, and apart from eco-friendliness and good governance, an open and friendly workspace environment for all is an important part of these criteria.