Counting the carbon for the Cycle to MIPIM
This year, not only did some of our team participate in the Cycle to MIPIM, we decided to use our expertise and discover just what the carbon usage is and suggest ways it can be improved so choices can be made for year-on-year carbon reduction.
The 2022 Knight Frank Cycle to MIPIM, run by charity Club Peloton took place over the course of a week back in March. Cycling from London to Cannes, the peloton made up of over 90 riders tackled headwinds, torrential rain and over 1500km to make it to the property expo.
Initiated and calculated by the team here at Civic Engineers, the inaugural Cycle to MIPIM carbon count statistics are based on the usual organised logistics, as well as the riders’ choices throughout and after the event – such as what they eat and how they return home. Calculations were based on the ‘average’ rider of the 6-day long cycling and networking event which involves teams riding 1,438km from London to Cannes, France for the annual property conference.
The calculations incorporate rider and vehicle support, train travel, hotels as well as return travel choices by cyclists. The fleet of support vehicles includes one Knight Frank Hybrid Taxi running at a low 0.02kg C02/km, carrying 5 people, but the biggest difference is made in the return travel choice.
Taking the train back to the UK instead of the plane is the equivalent of driving a VW Golf 988km – the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats. Travelling by business class incurs a 50% increase on average passenger carbon-footprint spend, due to increased cabin space.
Dietary choices were given special consideration; a vegan, ‘average’ (fish and vegetables) and red-meat diet were calculated. The green diet (vegan and vegetarian) can be up to 3.85 times less carbon intensive than eating red meat and was the choice of 21 riders in 2022.
In our calculations, we discovered that each rider has a smaller daily carbon footprint during their six-day ride from London to Cannes than the average UK citizen not attending MIPIM. Once on French soil, the riders’ low carbon value for energy production is due to an electricity sector that is dominated by nuclear power, accounting for two-thirds of the country’s electricity production (in 2020).
First-time ride captain and Civic Engineer director Gareth Atkinson said, “There were a few surprises once we crunched the numbers and there are definitely some clear arguments for riding over any other form of transport. But ultimately the social element of the ride is the biggest draw. Nothing beats bonding over six days of working as a team and pushing your boundaries together. We’ll remember this journey for years to come.”
Club Peloton’s CEO, Nick Hanmer added, “Club Peloton has raised over £4.5 million in grants with Cycle to MIPIM, and over £250K this year alone. Everyone’s made an incredible effort. We’ve been calculating our value in many ways, but it’s fantastic that with Civic Engineers we can start to make measurable improvements to our carbon output too. We encourage everyone attending MIPIM to make small adjustments to their choices where they can.”
Our recommendations for Cycle to MIPIM include increasing the vegetable to red-meat ratio of cyclists’ meals, favouring electric engines in the support vehicles, an overall reduction in the number of support vehicles and ensuring a train ticket back to the UK is included in the overall riders’ package.