Michelin rehabilitates mountain trails and refuge through its CSR initiative, Michelin Green Mobility Program
– an article by Mauricio Manzano-Podversich, Manager Michelin, CBS –
Michelin, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to sustainably enhancing its clients’ mobility. In addition to its tires business, Michelin provides services and digital solutions, maps and guides to enrich trips and travels and to make them unique experiences.
The Michelin Green Mobility Project is a CSR program that is fully aligned with the mission of the company. The project aims to help create a safe and accessible environment for mountaineers of all skill levels, and to promote the responsible use of the touristic potential of beautiful areas, such as the trails in the Iezer Papusa Mountains and Baiului Mountains.
Michelin Green Mobility Program has had two editions, one in 2017 and one in 2018. During the two years, more than 200 Michelin employees contributed to the improvement and safety of the trails in Baiului and Iezer Papusa Mountains, as well to the rehabilitation of the refuge in Iezer Mountains.
In 2017, 115 Michelin volunteers refreshed the markings on 25 km of the trails on the mountain ridge and in the forest, in Baiului Mountains. In addition to mounting information boards, poles on the ridge and directional arrows, the Cartography team in Michelin Romania also created a map of the newly-marked trails in the mountains.
Then, in 2018, working for 4 weekends in a row during summer, 90 volunteers from Michelin participated in an action to rehabilitate the Iezer Refuge and to repaint the marks on the mountain trails that lead to it (4 trails, approximately 22 km long). They set up information panels at the starting points of the mountain trails, marked the Iezer ridge with poles, and cleaned the trails.
The Iezer refuge is the biggest one in Romania; it had not been reconditioned since 1973 and, since it lies at more than 2000 m altitude, the rehabilitation work was not going to be simple. Even so, a team of 111 people managed to transport building materials to the top of the mountain (more than 1000 kg of materials in total, including 300 kg of cement and 200 kg of sand), to clean the dormitories and the annexes, to rebuild and insulate the walls, ceiling and roof, to replace windows and doors, redo the electrical power system and the hot stove, build new beds and furniture.
For all these efforts to come to fruition, our volunteers partnered with Asociatia Oxigen and the Salvamont Campulung Team within the Salvamont Arges County Public Service. Even though the weather was not an ally (there were 6 degrees and it rained constantly) this did not stop our volunteers from working hard and having fun.
At the end of the project, in spite of the harsh weather conditions, the difficulties created by the high altitude and working on limited time, Michelin Green Mobility program managed to literally “leave a mark” on this beautiful piece of scenery. Through the contribution of our motivated, resilient volunteers, the mountain trails were well marked, providing essential information to tourists on their journey, helping them know where they are and what is the safe route to the top. And, once the tourists arrive at the Iezer refuge, they can now rest in a safe, welcoming place.
This will help the local community better capitalize on the touristic potential of the area, drawing more mountaineers on expeditions. Our action also shows what a big impact one can make just with some paint and building materials if one sets his heart to it.
Volunteering for this initiative gave Michelin employees the opportunity to reconnect with nature and explore superb trails. They braved the mountain cold and rain; occasionally, they spent the night on the mountain, and their team became more united than ever. Together with those who share the same values, they made a difference and improved a place, making it safer for other people. They proved that it takes effort to make a change, but every effort counts and everyone’s contribution, no matter how big or small, has built towards the bigger goal.
This is a CSR initiative that Michelin wants to continue in the following years, identifying together with Asociatia Oxigen new nature or mountain spots that need improvement and increasing the number of volunteers, for a better, greener mobility.