A pioneer of Atomic’s life cycle analysis practice, Anita Hochreiter’s growth mindset manifests in her desire to constantly improve as an athlete, student, and sustainability professional.
Two years ago, Backland 85 became the first Atomic ski to undergo a life cycle assessment (LCA) to reduce its environmental impact. Today, Atomic has conducted LCAs across a range of skis and boots with a clear goal: to conduct an LCA every time a product comes up for renewal in its lifecycle.
The Backland 85 LCA was Anita Hochreiter’s master’s thesis project. A life-long skier and a recently certified ski instructor, Anita was always a fan of Atomic. But she only came to consider working for the brand while enrolled in a university course about biomaterials.
“The lecturer was talking about skis and composites, and I thought, Hey, I could do my thesis on this!”
Today, Anita works as Sustainability Specialist at Atomic, while simultaneously pursuing her third university degree.
Reducing environmental impact through life cycle analysis
Atomic’s vision is to reduce emissions from its products by half by 2030. The most significant driver of emissions is from raw materials, and to get closer to the vision, knowing the current emissions is paramount. This is where life cycle assessments come in.
“Whenever you want to reduce something, you have to know your baseline,” explains Anita. “I collect and calculate all the data for each product so we can get the baseline. Then, we can see how changing one parameter changes the environmental footprint of the product. This, in simple terms, is my job.”
Looking at Anita’s laptop, her job seems anything but simple. Complex flowcharts and calculations which, in the end, give an accurate picture of a product’s emissions.
Seeing a direct link between her work and Atomic’s vision is rewarding for Anita. She also praises Atomic for sharing her growth mindset and having a bias for action.
“Everyone is open to new things. Nobody says, ‘We’ve done it like this forever, and it will not change’. It’s a like-minded community.”
A woman of multiple pursuits
With a bachelor’s in forest products technology and wood construction and master’s in eco design in her pocket, Anita is now pursuing a master’s degree in sports science.
“My goal is to study everything I’m interested in before I turn 30,” says Anita, now 27. “Sports science combines my many interests. I’ve always been following athletes’ stories. I just love the mindset of athletes.”
Much like an athlete, Anita sets the bar high for herself—but she also recognizes the flipside.
“I sometimes forget to celebrate my successes. I’m always trying to become better, focusing more on my weaknesses than seeing what I’ve already achieved.”
Horse-riding helps Anita relax and recover.
How does Anita recover, then? “I sleep,” she says, laughing. “I also spend time with my horse. Going on a trail ride and being out in nature is just the best thing. It calms me down.”
Meaningful work to protect winter sports
Anita is happy that Atomic is serious about reducing its impact. This commitment extends to the entire Amer Sports community, with a renewed group-wide sustainability strategy covering social, environmental, and governance topics and relevant targets.
With temperatures in alpine regions rising at twice the global average, the future of skiing is at stake. This hits close to home for Anita whose dad was big into skiing. He introduced both Anita and her brother to the sport at a young age.
“I want to teach my future kids to ski as well, and I want them to be able to enjoy winter sports. It’s such an important thing that we take action through our partnership with Protect our Winters, for example. I hope that in 2040 or 2050 we don’t have to talk about this anymore, because we have been on the right path, and we will have our winters forever.”
Current role: Sustainability Specialist, Atomic
Location: Altenmarkt, Austria
Previous experience: Intern at an architectural practice; worked as a pharmaceutical assistant before academic education; B.Sc. in Forest Products Technology and Wood Construction, M.Sc. in Eco Design, B.Sc. in Sports Science in progress.
Hobbies: Indoor and beach volleyball, horse riding, weightlifting, mountain biking, running, skiing (of course 😊), and traveling.
Fun fact: “Two of my former study colleagues from the Kuchl campus of the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg are now my current work colleagues at Atomic — and one is a bachelor’s student there. It feels like being at the university again. This is so unique at a company.”