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John Burke CEO of Trek Bicycle Corporation figures out the Circular Economy

Trek leads the Big Three in sustainability

John Burke is a white board kind of guy. He uses that idea very effectively in the Trek Sustainability Report August 2023. There is an image of John, dressed smart-casual, perfectly coiffed, white board pen lifted in hand, looking upwards thoughtfully and a bit excitedly at what we are told is a white board where all the ideas about how to make Trek a sustainable bicycle company are written. It is a serious and coherent document * and the best of the Big Three. I look forward to the 2024 edition.

Figuring out the Circular Economy

On the next page we actually see the white board and if you actually read what is written there you can tell that John is actually on the right track (perhaps this is why he has the optimistic look on his face). Answering the question, “What did you do for our world + our Planet, when you had the chance!), under the The Bad column, is this the confession:  “Have not figured out the Circular Economy ''.

Be smart about how things are used

It is not a difficult concept to understand. The circular economy is defined as “an economic system based on the reuse and regeneration of materials or products, especially as a means of continuing production in a sustainable or environmentally friendly way.” It can mean “use what you have” or “reuse what you have already used”. Or it can mean simply use resources in a more efficient way so as to minimize waste. The difficulty is how to apply it to a business.

* Giant’s Sustainability Report is shorter and a bit vague, but they are clearly taking sustainability seriously and have at least produced a downloadable version. Specialized could not be bothered to produce a downloadable report and instead has a series of platitude heavy pages on its website. It is the sustainability laggard of the Big Three. 

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