Fat Tire Challenges IOC: Sponsors Should Put Climate Action Before Ad Campaigns

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FORT COLLINS, Colo., Jan. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the planet continues to warm and the first snowfall comes later and later, the future of the Winter Games is at risk. Due to rising temperatures, more than half of all cities that previously hosted the Winter Games will be too hot to host again over the coming decades. Big corporations hold the power to save the Games by making climate action a priority, and many top sponsors of this year’s Winter Games are doing their part. But some global sponsors have no meaningful plan to address climate change – and there are no standards in place for future sponsors of the Games. These companies are spending millions on advertising, while letting the Games’ future melt away.

Ahead of the Winter Games, the team at Fat Tire – America’s first certified carbon neutral beer – is proposing a new rule for future sponsors: Climate action before ad campaigns. Fat Tire is launching a campaign urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to require that companies seeking to advertise around the Games must adopt strong 2030 climate action plans to qualify as official sponsors. To get beer drinkers and winter sports-lovers involved, Fat Tire has partnered with Protect Our Winters to launch a petition telling the IOC that if big corporations want to profit from the Winter Games, they need to invest in winter’s future through real climate leadership. You can find it at PointofSnowReturn.com.

To reflect on a world without snowsports and spark participation in the campaign among fans, Fat Tire is also brewing a new limited-edition beer called “Point of Snow Return.” A Dark Helles brewed with spruce tips, its fading notes of winter flavor are a reminder of the threat of climate change and a call to keep the season cold. The beer’s label was created by Sophia Yeshi, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. All proceeds from the sales of Point of Snow Return will go to support the efforts of Protect Our Winters (POW), a non-partisan, non-profit group that engages the snowsports community to take action against climate change.

“The IOC has shown leadership in adopting its own climate action plan, and now it’s time to use their influence to push big companies to do the same by requiring climate leadership from all future sponsors,” said New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer. “Companies that want to show love for winter sports should be invested in protecting their future, too. The IOC can help make meaningful change – and, if they do, it might just inspire other organizations who have sway with big businesses to adopt their own climate standards.”

Each time a major company chooses to make deep investments in climate solutions represents real progress. Fat Tire’s campaign is based on the belief that a strong climate action requirement for Olympic sponsorship might spur other powerful organizations to do the same for their national or global events. Advertising around globally televised extravaganzas like the Olympics is highly valuable for big companies’ bottom lines. Setting high standards just might make these companies think seriously about spending some of that cash to protect the planet we all depend on – not only for the sake of things we love, like snow sports and beer, but their own future financial success.

“Our ability to confront the climate crisis is the new bottom line,” said Fechheimer. “In the year 2022, if you don’t have a climate plan, you don’t have a business plan. Any gains made through ad campaigns now will ultimately sputter without meaningful investments in renewable energy sources, green technology, and sustainable innovation – not to mention the economic prosperity of customers and their communities, which determines the success of every business, no matter the size.”

In 2020, New Belgium announced that Fat Tire had become America’s first certified carbon neutral beer – and the entire company committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2030 through its own rigorous climate plan, which includes continual, company-wide initiatives to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the Science-Based Target Initiative (limiting warming to 1.5 Celsius) and investments in some of the world’s highest impact projects to offset what emissions the company cannot yet eliminate. Visit DrinkSustainably.com to learn more about New Belgium’s climate action plan and 2030 commitments, and to view a carbon neutrality blueprint the company released last year to share the results of its own significant investments with other breweries who want to follow a similar path.

“As a snowboarder, I’ve witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects climate change is having on winter,” said former Olympian and professional snowboarder Danny Davis. “As a former Olympian, I believe it is the duty of those sponsoring an event that relies on cold weather and healthy snowpack to invest in meaningful climate plans.”

Fat Tire’s “Point of Snow Return” is a follow-up to last year’s breakthrough release of “Torched Earth” – a less-than-stellar-tasting beer made only with ingredients from a climate-ravaged future. Along with “Torched Earth,” Fat Tire raised awareness around the fact that two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies still don’t have a 2030 climate plan, and launched a simple tool allowing users to see which companies have shown climate leadership – and which have not – and urge those still lacking action to step up.

“As we continue to push hard for strong climate policy, businesses must play a vital role in enacting systemic changes to the way that we source, distribute, and consume energy,” said POW Executive Director Mario Molina. “Investing in climate action will not only protect the snow sports we love – and so much more – but also promote long-term business success. It’s on all of us, as skiers and snowboarders, customers and employees, to raise our voices and demand change.”

About Fat Tire

Fat Tire Amber Ale was first introduced by New Belgium Brewing – a certified B Corporation – in 1991 and has long been one of America’s most popular and enduring beers. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Fat Tire has established a fervent commitment to climate action that has driven the brand for more than 30 years. In 2020, the award-winning, easy-drinking ale became America’s first certified carbon neutral beer and has invested significantly in customer education and advocacy around solutions to the climate crisis through Fat Tire’s digital platform at DrinkSustainably.com. 

About New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium – a certified B Corporation – was founded in 1991 in Fort Collins, Colo., by Kim Jordan, a social worker, who built her company the only way a social worker would: People first. From the beginning, New Belgium established norms that were and still are rare in the business world: fully paid healthcare premiums for all coworkers, paying a living wage, open-book management, renewable energy sourcing, a free onsite medical clinic staffed by a doctor trained in trans medicine, and much more – practices that, all together, represent a unique ‘human-powered’ business model that has expanded over the years, especially in advocating for human-powered business practices among larger companies. New Belgium expanded to Asheville, N.C., in 2016; Denver, Colo., in 2018, and San Francisco in 2021, and is currently the fastest-growing craft brewer in America. The company is famous for its flagship beer, Fat Tire Amber Ale, along with year-round favorites like Voodoo Ranger IPA (America’s #1 IPA brand), Dominga Mimosa Sour, and La Folie Sour Brown Ale; as well as an award-winning wood-aged sour program and innovative limited release beers. To learn more about the full product lineup and New Belgium’s Human Powered Business model, visit NewBelgium.com.

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SOURCE New Belgium Brewing

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