We’d love to keep sharing our exciting developments in the Global Good community with you, but you’ll need to ‘opt-in’ to our communications. Read more about how we protect your data here. We use LinkedIn for all our newsletters and communications, so please follow our page here. Then you can subscribe to our newsletter here.
It’s been nearly five years since I took my last long haul flight, and well over a year since my last short haul. I’m not planning on ‘never flying again’ but (unsurprisingly!) I’m of the opinion that we all really need to reduce or pause on it (alongside regular meat eating and consumerism for that matter) until we significantly slow the pace of climate change..
I’ve always been keen to do a European road trip and to incorporate visiting some Global Good Award winners, so, when I saw the GGA judges had selected two in France this year (one in the Alps and one in Champagne), the cogs started whirring, and I started my travel planning…in my electric car!
Alikats worked hard to lift their silver in 2022 to gold in 2023, and they’re involved in some truly awesome initiatives that I wanted to hear more about. For example, they’re founding members of Montagne Verte, a Morzine-based non-profit public benefit association working to provide solutions for mountain residents, visitors and businesses alike, to minimise their environmental impact. They’re also working in partnership to establish a train line between Lille and the North Alps, in order to reduce carbon emissions linked to plane travel. When (not if!) this comes to fruition, this will mean visitors to Morzine can travel from London, Holland or Belgium to Cluses (28 km from Morzine) with just one platform change at Lille – a huge win for the climate as travelling by train from the UK to the Alps can reduce the environmental footprint of the journey by more than 90%!
Telmont are based in Champagne and, as wine producers, are going above and beyond with their sustainability commitments, having set themselves the objective to be climate positive in 2030, ie to reduce emissions and offset more greenhouse gases than they emit. Not only that, they want to share their knowledge and experience with others because, as they themselves say, “why would we not share what we are doing? It would just be selfish.” Telmont are working in partnership with all their growers, with a focus on education and capacity building, as well as driving innovation across their operations from bottle design to biodynamic growing. Importantly, they have distilled everything they know and do into a dedicated guide which is available to anyone.
Now, back to the journey!
I’ve been driving electric for three years now, but this was to be my longest journey so far, which required deploying some top organisation skills to ensure I knew where and when I’d need to charge. ‘Range anxiety’ is real, believe me, especially in foreign lands and mountain ranges. France’s charging infrastructure is far superior to that in the UK, but there is still the age old issue of needing multiple apps to be able to charge. ChargeMap is definitely worth signing up for in France (approx £10), alongside PlugShare too. But with so many of the Tesla Supercharging stations being opened up to non-Tesla owners, it is by far the least stressful and least expensive choice (the latter surprised me!). With a £10.99/pm membership (cancel any time) you can charge for as little as 0.31€/kWh.
Joining me on the trip was GGA judge and co-host, Louisa, from Brandpie (who are also GGA sponsors). We spent the outbound journey chatting all things ‘purpose’, and Louisa even spent some time reading out some of the amazing award winners’ entries – something that I rarely have the time to do – who needs an audiobook?!
We were happily getting through 200+ miles before a stop and, frankly, don’t most people need a quick break every couple of hours? The journey was just over 600 miles and, in a good comfortable car, and the French roads with very little traffic, we were still pretty fresh at the end of a 12 hour journey.
First stop was Alikats, who are located in the stunning Morzine region of France.
While we may typically think of mountain holidays in the snow, this is a place that is equally as epic in the summer months. With climate change having a real and noticeable effect on snowfall, it’s key that resorts adapt, and that they market the appeal of being season-round. And they truly are, as we made the most of our location, and managed to squeeze in a couple of beautiful hikes that took in altitudes of 7500ft and views of Mont Blanc, plus beautiful mountain lake swims.
Next stop was Champagne Telmont. In 2021, this producer of fine champagnes launched its sustainability program ‘In the Name of Mother Nature’ with objectives that include the preservation of biodiversity on their land, a transition to 100% renewable electricity and promoting use of ‘green’ energy sources for all activities. What’s more, they’ve recently secured a new investor…none other than Leonardo di Caprio. Also their wine oenologist is Bertrand Piccard, the serial innovator behind Solar Impulse, the organisation that achieved the first global circumnavigation in a solar-powered electric airplane. We were lucky enough to sample some of the amazing champagne that Telmont produces, and can very much vouch for its deliciousness!
On my last trip to Normandy in France earlier this year, I was left a bit wanting on the food front when it came to vegetarian options – would things be any different now, or would I be grateful for the stash of Nakd bars that I’d packed?! Morzine had a little more to offer but was still not ideal for a balanced diet, especially when needing the energy and recovery for hiking at altitude…so I reluctantly gave in and ate meat for a week.
We had the most wonderful week away, and proved that it’s completely possible to do trips like this without the need to fly. It was truly a joy to be able to visit these winners on their home turf too, and can’t wait to have both of them join us at the The Purpose Summit on 12th October. If you’d like to join us, and hear from them alongside other industry leaders and GGA winners, then there’s still time to get your tickets. Click here to see the full programme, and book your spot. We hope to see you there!