For 120 years, the Ski Club has been bringing people together through a shared passion…
Following a challenging 2020-21 winter season, the Rossignol Group is recording a strong rebound for winter 2022 with 28 per cent growth in activity across its portfolio of brands.
Currently celebrating its 115-year anniversary, and strong racing results, the French group aims to build upon this momentum and accelerate its transformation with further commitments toward sustainable development, eco-conscious design, product life-cycle and recycling solutions.
Rossignol will launch its first highly recyclable ski in Fall 2022. With the goal of developing one third of its ski ranges through a sustainable and circular economy approach by 2028.
With a solid rebound in 2022, Rossignol anticipates a 2022-23 season with a strong potential
Following the unprecedented 2020-21 winter season wherein ski lifts closed across France and most of Europe, the Rossignol Group took full advantage of the strong market recovery and sustained consumer demand for outdoor products in 2022.
The Group is experiencing growth across all markets and distribution (plus 24 per cent in North America, record year, plus 30 per cent in Europe and plus 15 per cent in Asia) with strong growth in winter sports equipment (plus 29 per cent).
Despite an uncertain geopolitical context and inflation-related pressures, the 2022-2023 season promises to be very strong, continuing from the rebound of winter 2022.
The dynamic market environment is also supported by incredible results in Beijing with a total of 77 podiums and 25 victories, highlighting the Group’s unwavering commitment to innovation and racing DNA.
Accelerating the transformation of the Rossignol Group
Boosted by this positive outlook, the Rossignol Group plans to accelerate the transformation of its business model to incorporate the far-reaching changes throughout the winter sports and outdoor market.
The Group’s approach now encompasses all four seasons, supporting active outdoor enthusiasts and the mountain lifestyle 365 days a year. Focusing on its mountain sport and lifestyle brands, the Group is diversifying its offer to deliver multi-season and multi-activity experiences to end consumers around the world.
Representing the embodiment of the mountain lifestyle and ethos, the Rossignol brand has also experienced strong growth across its Apparel and Footwear ranges for 2021-22 (over 40 per cent increase). Apparel and Footwear categories currently represent 22 per cent of the brand’s global annual turnover (40 per cent in France). Accelerating the brand’s four-season diversification is the recent launch of the Rossignol mountain bike collection earlier this month and the summer roll-out of its Escaper outdoor story.
“We are pleased to have come out the other end of this challenging period, and to know that our strategy is working. This is a reward for the teams who commit fully and with passion each and every day to keep the Group evolving toward a more sustainable world. With this is mind, and with a view to bringing more meaning to our future actions and guiding the development of our activities, we have defined the raison d’être of the Rossignol Group: “Carve movements of sustainability and human potential’’. The challenges are significant. We are working towards initiating these movements and we will be launching both environmental and social initiatives,”said Vincent Wauters, CEO of the Rossignol Group.
The Rossignol Group announced its RESPECT program in 2020, a wide-reaching CSR initiative with targets to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2030, and its industrial waste by 40 per cent by 2025. Under the leadership of Vincent Wauters, CEO since February 2021, the Group aims to strengthen its environmental and social commitments and place them at the heart of major strategic directions going forward.
Sustainable development: eco-design, improved recyclability and shortened supply chains
The first Rossignol ski with high potential for recyclability, produced in France
Moving forward the Group aims to offer more products designed with simplicity in mind to offer greater potential for recyclability at end of the product life cycle. Highlighting this directive is the introduction of the all-new Rossignol Essential ski, designed to be easily recycled. Available in limited quantities in France in October ’22, the Essential was developed using the simplest and fewest amount of raw materials : Eco-design incorporating 62 per cent recycled, bio-based and labelled natural materials. Thanks to its exclusive manufacturing process this ski will deliver ultimate recyclability of more than 75 per cent. This is a saving of around ten times more than their classic ski design.
New recyclability solutions
To address the current stakes with recycling skis and its responsibility to that end, the Group has entered into a partnership with MTB. A leading player in recycling, MTB has developed a new process that enables improved recycling of conventional modern ski constructions, as well as and especially Rossignol’s new Essential ski. As part of a co-development approach, they designed the Essential ski in synergy and synchronisation with the development of this new recycling process by MTB.
The process of destroying, material separation, and re-use aims to re-use as much of the material as possible and contribute to a circular economy and product life cycle. Materials could be repurposed in the automotive, garden, or construction industries, and in the future partially re-used in new Rossignol Group products. Designed by MTB, the Recycling Box is an innovative new tool for recycling skis, boots, and poles and will be operational in 2023.
Located in the heart of the Chamonix valley at the foot of the Mont Blanc, the Group’s industrial site in Sallanches will play a central role in this approach. The Group aims to make its Sallanches site the world’s first recyclable skis factory and a major repair centre with the aim of extending the life span of its products. With a continued focus on a short supply chain, the site will house a complete cycle of production and repair, with recycling operations close to the factory.
Globally, the Group boasts a short supply chain model that’s unique to the market via modernised manufacturing and logistics centered in France, Spain, and Italy with close proximity to major European mountain sports hubs. Each factory is ISO 14001 certified and operate on renewable green energy (incl Sallanches from Jan 2023).
By 2028, the Group plans to have one third of their ski ranges made implementing a circular economy and sustainable approach (increasing use of recycled materials, higher recyclability rate, products that have a lower impact throughout their life cycle).Other products (boots, poles, clothing) will be also designed in the same spirit of simplicity and recyclability.
The Group intends for other operators in the market to take advantage and access the technical recycling solutions developed by their teams and will continue to look for synergies with other potential partners and/or initiatives at all stages of the product life cycle.
“We are assuming our responsibility in the face of the immense challenges of preserving the environment. For example, I am personally involved in the ‘Convention des Entreprises pour le Climat’, the French business convention finding solutions for climate change issues. We are also moving forwards by building partnerships, currently with MTB and with others to come, in relation to managing product end-of-life. This feeds into our ethical ambition to promote sustainable development, inclusivity and the benefits of the mountains for all, through the support of associations such as Sport dans la Ville and the Share Winter Foundation,” said Vincent Wauters, CEO of Rossignol Group.