Following a challenging 2020-21 winter season, in common with most businesses around the world, the Rossignol Group is recording a strong rebound for winter 2022 with 28% growth in activity across its portfolio of brands.

The French group which has more than a century of history has announced that it plans to build on this momentum and accelerate its transformation with further commitments toward sustainable development, eco-conscious design, product life-cycle and recycling solutions.

Rossignol say they will launch their first “highly recyclable” ski, The Essential, in Fall 2022, as part of their goal of developing one third of their ski ranges through a sustainable and circular economy approach within the next six years.  The all-new ski, designed to be easily recycled, will initially be available in limited quantities in France this October ’22.

“The Essential was developed using the simplest and least amount of raw materials. Its eco-design incorporates 62% recycled, bio-based and labelled natural materials. Thanks to its exclusive manufacturing process this ski will deliver ultimate recyclability of more than 75%. This is a saving of around 10 times more than our classic ski design,” a company statement claims.

The ski is also part of the Rossignol Group’s  RESPECT program, launched in 2020, a wide-reaching initiative with targets to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030, and its industrial waste by 40% by 2025.

Under the leadership of Vincent Wauters, CEO since February 2021 (pictured below), Rossignol say they aim to strengthen their environmental and social commitments and place them at the heart of major strategic directions going forward.

“We are pleased to have come out the other end of this challenging period, and to know that our strategy is working. This is a reward for the teams who commit fully and with passion each and every day to keep the Group evolving toward a more sustainable world. With this is mind, and with a view to bringing more meaning to our future actions and guiding the development of our activities, we have defined the raison d’être of the Rossignol Group: “Carve movements of sustainability and human potential’’. The challenges are significant. We are working towards initiating these movements and we will be launching both environmental and social initiatives,” said Vincent Wauters.

Rossignol has also entered into a partnership with MTB, a leading player in recycling, which has developed a new process that enables improved recycling of conventional modern ski constructions, as well as and especially Rossignol’s new Essential ski.

The process of material separation and re-use aims to re-use as much of the material as possible and contribute to a circular economy and product life cycle. Materials could be repurposed in the automotive, garden, or construction industries, and in the future partially re-used in new Rossignol Group products. Designed by MTB, the Recycling Box is an innovative new tool for recycling skis, boots, and poles and will be operational in 2023.

Located in the heart of the Chamonix valley at the foot of the Mont Blanc, the Group’s industrial site in Sallanches will play a central role in this approach. The Group aims to make its Sallanches site the world’s first recyclable skis factory and a major repair centre with the aim of extending the life span of its products. With a continued focus on a short supply chain, the site will house a complete cycle of production and repair, with recycling operations close to the factory.

By 2028, the Group plans to have one third of their ski ranges made implementing a circular economy and sustainable approach (increasing use of recycled materials, higher recyclability rate, products that have a lower impact throughout their life cycle…). Other products (boots, poles, clothing) will be also designed in the same spirit of simplicity and recyclability.

The Group intends for other operators in the market to take advantage and access the technical recycling solutions developed by their teams and will continue to look for synergies with other potential partners and/or initiatives at all stages of the product life cycle.

“We are assuming our responsibility in the face of the immense challenges of preserving the environment. For example, I am personally involved in the “Convention des Entreprises pour le Climat”, the French business convention finding solutions for climate change issues. We are also moving forwards by building partnerships, currently with MTB and with others to come, in relation to managing product end-of-life. This feeds into our ethical ambition to promote sustainable development, inclusivity and the benefits of the mountains for all, through the support of associations such as Sport dans la Ville and the Share Winter Foundation,” added Vincent Wauters.

(Picture top credit: B Jorgensen)