With a Master’s degree in environmental engineering, Mat Schaer is a professional snowboarder who understands and takes into consideration the environmental impact associated with his favorite sport.
How does Picture’s commitment to the environment match yours?
As an athlete, I’ve committed to taking an eco-friendly approach to snowboarding as a way to do my part in preserving the environment. I am always looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint, such as choosing places to snowboard that are close to home or using eco-friendly transportation (trains, buses, carpooling, my bike, on foot).
Through snowboarding, I try to build greater awareness about climate change. I offer tangible solutions for snowboarding and for other fields. I share the same values and motivation as Picture with regard to the environment and to implementing sustainable alternatives.
What role should an athlete or outdoor brand play in the 21st century?
Athletes and brands enjoy a certain level of fame and influence. It is important that they set an example by actively participating, along with other members of society, in addressing the different challenges related to climate change and pollution, especially in natural environments. This especially applies to outdoor brands and athletes, who benefit from the beauty and quality of these now threatened natural spaces.
With the second decade of the 21st century coming to a close, outdoor brands and athletes can no longer focus solely on product sales or athletic performance. Preserving the environment needs to be an integral part of their approach.
What will be the biggest challenge over the next 10 years?
The biggest challenge over the next 10 years will be to start a quick and comprehensive transition towards a sustainable society, aligned with our planet’s physical limitations. This challenge requires limiting global warming to a less than 2°C increase, as well as preserving the world’s ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources.
Reducing social and economic inequality will also be an important piece of the puzzle. Environmental and social issues are closely linked, and should be addressed together through a systematic approach.
According to the latest scientific data available, if humanity does not address these problems quickly, we run the serious risk of leaving a truly grim world for future generations to deal with.