Green Trail Concept highlights of 2023 

2023 comes to end and Green Trail Concept is proud and happy to take this opportunity to share with you the successes and highlights of the year 
2023 has been quite a special year for Green Trail Concept, as it has seen its birth and initial developments towards a more sustainable trail running and the creation of a sustainability certification for outdoor running events 

The birth of Green Trail Concept 

In 2023 started the project Green Trail Concept began, funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ project. At the beginning of the year all the members participating in the project met in Barcelona to kick off the project and start to plan the initial developments towards integrating the principles of environmental protection, inclusion, and social justice in the organisation and management of trail running events. 

The project brought together leading institutions with diverse skills and experience on the topics of trail running, sustainability, and science communication, allowing for synergies and fruitful collaborations: the Ecoserveis Association, the Kilian Jornet Foundation, GRID-Arendal, and ADP Sport Events AB. 

The kick off meeting allowed us to start implementing measures to engage trail running event participants, audiences, sport organizations, public administrations and other relevant stakeholders in taking more sustainable actions oriented at reducing the impact on natural environments, protected areas, and their surrounding social and economic landscape. 

For more information on the project, take a look to our article dedicated to it: 

A new online portal to train running sustainability 

This spring we were happy and proud to unveil the Green Train Concept website, a portal to all the information regarding the project and its outputs. From that moment on, the blog of Green Trail Concept has been informing and producing content to raise awareness on sustainable practices in outdoor running events and to show the latest developments on the creation of the sustainability certification. Furthermore, on the website made it possible was made available the option to subscribe to blog notifications. 

Keep track of our website, as in thea near future we will incorporate the certification tool, providing you with easy access to that resource! For more information check the following article: 

Huge steps towards our goals 

2023 was a year full of activities for raising awareness and learn about the status of the trail running sector regarding sustainability. This year Green Trail Concept prepared several workshops and conferences to engage and discuss with the different stakeholders involved in trail running events and share with them good sustainable practices. These events also became a good opportunity to gather information on the different perceptions ofver trail running sustainability, as well as learning about limitations, challenges and opportunities for implementing best practices. 

In September, Green Trail Concept was present in the Salomon Ultra Pirineu, in Catalonia, motivating runners and audiences to preserve nature and participate in the socioeconomic development of the area, as well as asking them to provide their point of view in the organization of sustainable trail running events. 

This information gathered from runners and audiences has been contrasted during another workshop celebrated this late November with a diverse group of stakeholders involved in trail running: race organizations, volunteers in races, local administrations, social and environmental entities, researchers, managers of protected areas and more. This session allowed for exploring further the different perspectives over sustainability to build a set of sustainability performance indicators for the certification that are realistic and adapt to the capabilities and responsibilities of the different actors involved. 

In November, Green Trail Concept took the stage in the Fira de Muntanya de Vic, a renowned mountain congress that brings together outdoor enthusiasts, sports practitioners, and key stakeholders in the sector to discuss projects related to nature, mountain sports and mountain culture. The project was presented introduced to an audience of over 60 conference attendees, giving an opportunity to riseraise awareness on good practicesd and raise interest in the project and the certification. 

How to make trail running more sustainable? 

Trail running can be very beneficial for the hosting communities, but it can also cause harm to the mountain ecosystems in various ways. But don’t worry, negative impacts can be easily mitigated while simultaneously increasing the positive opportunities that trail running presents. It’s all in our hands! That is why, in 2023 Green Trail Concept has prepared an infographic as part of its awareness raising campaign to better communicate with the public about best practices. Check out our infographics to learn how you can contribute to sustainability in trail running: 

Finally, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who contributed to the project in 2023 and everyone involved in advancing the sustainability of trail running, striving to leave a better planet for generations to come. 

Merry Christmas and Happy new year from the Green Trail Concept Team!