Recycling skis, increased Made in France gear, a 40% reduction in waste by 2025 and a 30% reduction in carbon footprint by 2030, along with increasing reforestation are key goals for Group Rossignol.
The group, which is majority owned by the Scandinavian investment fund Altor and owns the brands Rossignol (skis and apparel), Dynastar (skis and skiing gear), Lange (skis and skiing gear) and Risport (ice skating gear), among others, has announced it aims to achieve sales of more than €500 million in 2026 (compared to €313 million in the 2021/22 financial year) and wants to demonstrate that combining economic ambition with social and environmental commitment and high-quality products is possible.
The newly proclaimed Ascension 2026 strategy focuses on commitment and responsibility. Its goal is to reform all work processes within the company in such a way that the practice of mountain sports is both inclusive and environmentally friendly. The focus is on combining industrial performance with a sustainable approach to customers, employees, partners and the entire mountain ecosystem.
To support this objective, the group announced a total global investment of €50 million by 2026. Out of this total, €27 million will be for industrial investments, €15 million of which will be for its Respect environmental program alone. The remaining sum will be spent on investments in new products and their marketing.
"Thanks to the Ascension 2026 strategic plan, we look to the future with full confidence. We are committed to the sustainable and inclusive development of summer and winter mountain sports. We are proud to be able to make these far-reaching industrial and environmental investments by consistently pushing renewable energies and life cycle management (including repairability, second hand, second life and recyclability)," said Vincent Wauters, president and CEO, Groupe Rossignol.
"Our stated goal is to make the Sallanches site, the last ski factory in France, the world's leading factory for ecologically designed and recyclable skis."
Four pillars for Ascension 2026
The Ascension 2026 strategic plan is based on four complementary pillars, each containing specific projects and ambitious numerical targets.
The Industry pillar will concentrate on transformation, strengthening production anchors in France and Western Europe and increasing investment in industrial site.
The Commercial Approach will revolve on diversifying the group's sales through its global distribution of hardware, apparel and footwear through multiple channels and as part of a multi-activity approach.
The Social Approach will focus on positive impact on society and the mountain environment, commitment to a contributory business model by creating, promoting and driving movements that enhance human potential through sport in a more sustainable, inclusive and accessible environment.
Innovation and products are key
According to the Innovation and Products pillar, Groupe Rossignol firmly believes that the continuous search for innovation must also contribute to making winter sports sustainable and resilient.
Among its most ecological innovations, Rossignol and Dynastar's portfolio already includes a number of recyclable ski models. These are 77% recyclable (ten times more than conventional skis) and consist of 73% recycled materials that are organically grown or labeled as natural.
Here, Groupe Rossignol is working closely with MTB Recycling, a leading French recycling company, to develop a new process for separating and reusing materials to improve ski recycling. The Group will also develop other new eco-friendly product lines by 2026. Groupe Rossignol is pursuing the claim, that one-third of the skis manufactured by the Group must be part of a circular economy or eco-design approach by 2028.
The group also plans to expand its product range beyond winter sports or further open it up to all seasons and outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, hiking or trail running.
Caring for soft goods, too
The successful diversification in the soft goods sector (clothing, footwear) will also be continued. In addition, Rossignol is collaborating with Fairly Made for its apparel lines starting with the spring/summer 2023 collection. The aim of the cooperation is to provide transparent information on traceability and environmental labeling, as well as life cycle assessments for the entire collection, to subsequently develop new, more environmentally friendly products.
Higher industry targets
Speaking about the Industry pillar, Groupe Rossignol is committed to an ethical circular economy in production in the future as it aims to reach a 40% reduction in waste by 2025 and a 30% reduction in carbon footprint by 2030.
Among main priorities that will support the production base on its way to achieving this goal, the Group will strengthen its industrial roots in France by investing in the Sallanches site at the feet of Mont Blanc.
The factory located there is the last to produce skis in France. It will be upgraded to become what they claim it to be the world's leading factory for ecologically designed and recyclable skis, as well as an important center of expertise for Second Life.
The site will host a full production and repair cycle with a short supply chain, with recycling taking place nearby. From January 2023, the entire site will also run on renewable electrical energy Investments to transform European industrial sites to best meet environmental commitments.
Increasing the share of soft goods like apparel and footwear
In addition to continued market share gains in winter sports equipment in the Alpine and Nordic sectors, the apparel and footwear offering is a significant contributor to the Group's growth. In 2022, the soft goods sector already accounts for 40% of Rossignol brand sales in France and 25 percent abroad. This is expected to grow even further, especially at the international level. The goal is to more than double the value within three years, contributing to an economic model that is more balanced between hardware and soft goods.
Caring for social issues and reforestation
In terms of Social Approach, Groupe Rossignol Group aims to create and promote movements that enhance human potential through sport in a more sustainable, inclusive and accessible environment.
Among its main initiatives in this direction, it will be involved in helping to preserve forests as they are an essential component to solving global warming problems and preserving biodiversity.
Groupe Rossignol, for which wood is a precious natural resource, and the origin of its first skis, wants to contribute to its preservation. With the Reforest'action association, they launched a program in 2020 that saw more than 42,000 trees planted in Tanzania, South Africa and France in two years. Other initiatives are also planned, such as the planting of the Group's own forests in direct relation to the wood needs of its factories and a pilot program to green sites through the planting of micro-forests.