British Cycling publishes first sustainability strategy with goal to achieve net zero by 2035

British Cycling publishes first sustainability strategy with goal to achieve net zero by 2035

Home » About us

Today we’re publishing our first long-term sustainability strategy, which includes an ambitious target to achieve net zero by 2035 and to halve our carbon emissions by 2030.

Developed with the support of renowned sustainability consultants Think Beyond, and contributions from across the cycling community, the strategy also sets out our vision to become world leaders in the delivery of sustainable events, and continue to advocate for more people to make short journeys by bike.

In addition to its focus on reducing our own emissions the strategy champions the true power of the bike, recognising that if everyone in the UK who owned a bike cycled for journeys under five miles, rather than travelling by car, we’d save 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions and save the NHS £30.8 billion a year.

Read the strategy here

Our impact

A detailed baselining exercise found that our total carbon emissions equate to 10,824 tonnes of CO₂e –equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 850 UK citizens. This was then broken down into direct emissions from activities and resources we own and control (scope 1), indirect emissions associated with the purchase of energy (scope 2), and indirect emissions from our value chain (scope 3).

Of our emissions, we found that the largest contributions came from our supply chain (55%), business travel (34%) and electricity for our HQ at the National Cycling Centre (4%). We will be measuring our future progress against this 2022/23 benchmark year.

Sustainability strategy

Our action

We have already made good progress on a number of measures to reduce our carbon emissions. One such example is our ambition is to transition our fleet of cars and vans to low and zero-carbon vehicles, working closely with our Official Vehicle Supplier Skoda, and with the support of our Official Partner Shell UK. 

With the support of Shell UK’s Avelia platform, which contributes to the cost of sustainable aviation fuels, we will inset 353.08 tonnes of CO₂e, abating all of the Great Britian Cycling Team’s projected air travel in 2024.

Through our partnership with Shell UK, between July and November 2023 we were able to fully offset the 22,700kg of CO₂e from 7,100 litres of fuel in our fleet of cars and vans, using nature-based solutions. This offsetting involves supporting projects that protect nature and restore the environment, known as carbon credits.

Recognising that cycle-sport events contribute significantly to our sport’s carbon emissions, we have created a new Planet Positive programme to provide funding and resources to grassroots event organisers to support them in delivering sustainable events and activities. 

Within our community there are already some great examples of events taking innovative approaches to reduce their impact. The Otley Grand Prix round of our National Circuit Series has led the way through its provision of secure bike parking and focus on long-term partnerships to reduce wastage in printed branding, while Bournemouth BMX Club has pioneered an innovative jersey repair and recycling service in recent years.

Highlighting our long-term commitment to making progress in this area, we have applied to become a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, having already been a founding signatory of the UCI Climate Action Charter.

Ahead of the strategy’s publication, British Cycling External Affairs and Marketing Director, Caroline Julian, said:

“Our first sustainability strategy is a celebration of the brilliant work already taking place in all corners of our community, and reflects our ambition to become a truly world-leading sports body in the fight against the impacts of climate change.

“Working alongside our partners we’ve already made some really positive progress, and look forward to sharing this with our community over the years ahead. We’re grateful to the team at Think Beyond, who have provided invaluable support throughout the strategy’s development.”