22. 04. 2022

Elan, sustainable by nature

Elan down

On April 22nd, people celebrate Earth Day. Elan is tightly connected to nature, therefore, this is a special day for us too. 
Looking forward, we want not only to design the skis of the future, but also the future of skiing, while protecting the world we cherish.

Elan was founded in 1945 as a premium manufacturer of skis and sports equipment and has earned the reputation as a global brand that has changed skiing as you know it, several times over. Our products create unforgettable moments for all skiers who spend their free time in the mountains with friends and family. 
Our planet is quickly warming, and the scientific community is unanimously concerned that this trend can only be limited by a swift and well-thought-out set of sustainable measures. At Elan, we want to contribute to a more sustainable future through our business practices and adapt our activities in all key areas accordingly.

The journey of our company has been one of innovation and challenging the status quo as we strive to always stay one step ahead. Sometimes breakthroughs come through technology, sometimes as revolutionary ideas, like carving or folding skis. We have been able to create a solution for many challenges and looking ahead we want to design not only the skis of the future, but the future of skiing, while also protecting the world we admire. 

“When you place sustainability in the context of a business balance sheet and use it as a cornerstone of the business ethos, it transforms into an opportunity to drive the strategic direction of the business and harness its innovative potential. The team that currently makes up Elan's winter division has been handed a company with a 77-year long history. As we look towards the next 77 years, we can't get past the fact that the path to get there is closely intertwined with our relationship towards the environment. Elan is part of this environment, our employees are part of this community, we've been in this Alpine village since the very beginning, and the fact that we are able to grow in balance with nature and give back as much as we take is part of the Elan DNA. When your work is so closely intertwined with nature the lines between personal commitment to the future of the environment and business commitment to sustainable growth become blurred. But that's why we are sustainable by nature.” - Leon Korošec, Director of Elan's Winter Division.

Elan handcraftes in the heart of the Slovenian Alps

By the year 2030 we will focus our operations on:
•    Improving energy efficiency and consequently reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our own processes.
•    Reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
•    Optimizing the sustainability of the supply chain. 
•    Increasing the recycled content of products and increasing the recovery of materials used in the manufacture of products.
•    Increasing the proportion of recycled waste.
•    Ensuring a safer, healthier, more pleasant, and worker-friendly environment.

Local knowledge, Regional sourcing, Global example
Sustainable business has been part of Elan's identity for decades, as the company has grown from a visionary idea of founder Rudi Finžgar to a leading international manufacturer. Throughout its development, Elan has remained entirely at its original site where all production phases are conducted vertically.  We are the only global ski manufacturing company that can claim that our products are handmade in a single location.
Innovation takes shape wherever we are faced with a real challenge - for Elan, it's in the mountains. At the Elan factory, the Alps rise 2000 meters above our facility and our backyard is our testing ground. Our company is proud of its local community, with which we actively cooperate.

Energy and greenhouse gas emissions
As of 2022, our production is powered by electricity generated 100% from sustainable renewable energy sources (RES). By switching to clean energy, we have reduced the annual greenhouse gas emissions of our manufacturing processes by 498 tons of CO2-eq, which would have required 15,000 trees to absorb. As of 2022, we will meet approximately 12% of our energy needs with our own solar-generated power and we are determined to increase this percentage over the coming years. 

Sustainability of the supply chain
99% of the raw materials used to make Elan skis are sourced from Europe and selected to the highest standards. As much as 68% of all materials are produced within a 400-kilometer radius of the company's headquarters, and 18% are sourced directly from Slovenia. All wood used to make our skis is verified, traceable, and sustainably sourced. 

Innovation for a sustainable future
Elan aims to make a global sustainable contribution to the ski industry through the innovative use of techniques and technologies. In 2017 we developed and were the first to use a technology of direct digital printing on skis that substantially reduces the use of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). 

Our Balance Sheets are Green 
At Elan we measure our business sustainability with a methodological framework called the Triple Bottom Line, but the business performance is just one of the three Ps of Elan’s success. Our activities are first and foremost focused on the social well-being of People and a sustainable footprint on the Planet.

Elan enjoys a reputation as a socially responsible company. Elan is a family-friendly environment that relies on local knowledge and the intergenerational transfer of skills. Many of our employees are part of our brand for the second or third generation, making sure that we carefully manage our heritage and develop our social identity. 
We are an active partner and stakeholder in the wider social dialogue and an associate partner of socially responsible projects in Slovenia. We are committed to developing ski culture and maintaining a successful ski tradition in Slovenia. 

A special mention should also be made about the Elan Museum - the Slovenian Alpine Ski Museum - which is a key part of our production facility in Begunje. We respect our history and traditions and proudly pass on our stories to coming generations.

Sustainable processes are one of the key parts of Elan's strategic business approach

We strive for sustainable operation by sourcing sustainable inputs, renewable energy, and optimizing production and business processes along the entire value chain. 
With our commitment to sustainable business, we support Slovenian conservation projects, as we passionately believe that transparent and fact-based communication is an important part of our social responsibility. 
Elan has been working closely with the Slovenian Forestry Institute to source part of the wood for our future needs from the immediate surroundings of the company. 

Leon Korošec, Group Vice President and Director of Elan's Winter Division, and Andrej Avsenek, Head of the Forestry Institute’s Bled Regional Unit

Being able to claim 100% handmade in the Slovenian Alps is a privilege and conducting an industrial activity in close proximity to mountain habitats comes with a major responsibility. Elan ensures operational excellence while respecting people, communities, and the environment. The company is 100% renewable energy driven, and the sustainability of our business processes is integrated into the strategic direction of the business through a growing number of solutions. Elan is committed to continuously reducing its environmental footprint, both in the winter division and in wider Group operations. 

Elan is an innovation leader

We are a part of sports and culture, but as a company, we are also a commercial entity that is aware of our responsibility to take care of nature for future generations.