Terje and TAC opening Minds on Enviromental Issues

Terje Haakonsen, “The Sprocking Cat” – The name is synonymous with revolutionizing riding and opening people’s minds as to what was possible on a snowboard. Now in 2009, Terje is again at the forefront of a revolution – but this time, it is the environment on his agenda.

Terje’s landmark competition and 6Star event on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour, the Oakley Arctic Challenge (TAC), has always been known as a ‘green’ contest, seeking to conserve energy and minimize waste before it was the cool thing to do. TAC is the pioneer of ‘green’ contests and in 2009, they are looking to improve their efforts and become a certified Green Event with Miljøfyrtårn, the Norwegian Environmental Standards Organization. As Haakonsen points out “We are trying to upgrade it from what we did before. Improving on the things we can do better…We want to try to get better and better and better”.

“The environmental and organic thinking shall influence everything we do. It is the key to our future strategy. It is not a side project, but integrated into our sports activities, event organization and business.”, says Henning Andersen, CEO of the Arctic Challenge.

From start to finish TAC consider the environment when planning the event. By sourcing products, be it food, energy or transportation, from environmental friendly suppliers, TAC ensures that its partners will all fit in with the overall ‘green’ vision. This year they have sourced food from local farmer’s markets, are using Norway’s Buddy electric cars for transport and have converted the whole site to run on electricity, rather than diesel fuels. TAC also recycles into seven fractions, something so simple which saves time and money in the long run.

The Arctic Challenge is doing everything in its power to minimize the damage to the environment. Obviously leading by example is admirable, but it is also important to highlight how other companies and events can utilize such strategies. “One event is just a small brick in a big puzzle and even the smallest step does help. If all events and festivals join in, it will help the cause and raise awareness for the topic”, explains Guro Midtsund, Eco-Manager at TAC. Terje Haakonsen and philanthropist Jan Sundt have, with financing from the Bergesen foundation, established a new non-profit organization that helps sports competitions like TAC as well as other events such as festivals to become ‘greener’. “Everyone in the world could do better with just small little things. We are passing on our knowledge to other festivals and events to try and do stuff with a better solution”, says Haakonsen.

If the brands, contests and riders who make up the snowboard industry continue down this path the world will be able to breathe a little easier. The issue is now well and truly etched into people’s consciousness and there is no way it is just a fad which will fade away. By educating young riders, spreading the word and showcasing solutions, TAC is doing everything in its power to conserve the enviroment. To find out more about the project go to www.t-a-c.no and read the “Green” section.

The Oakley Arctic Challenge is going down 19th – 21st of February 2009 so tune into www.ttrworldtour.com for updated news, rankings and blogs from the event. The event will also be broadcast live on Freecaster.tv and Mpora.com, so log on for your chance to see just how awesome a ‘‘green’’ contest can be. With the world‘s top transition riders in attendance and 1000 points up for grabs, its sure to be a pivotal moment as the race for the TTR Title heads to a blistering close.

Author: mucca