The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) hosts a number of ski, bike, and jogging marathons through Northern Wisconsin. The organization announced they have removed Enbridge from their list of sponsors, after members of the Birkie community expressed concern regarding the foundation’s relationship with Enbridge.
The ABSF posted to their website: “Recently, we heard from some in the Birkie community regarding our relationship with Enbridge Energy, Superior, WI. From the onset, our mutual engagement was intended as a space to foster thoughtful discussion about the environment and climate change. With our commitment to Birkie Green, an initiative designed to inspire and implement solutions to address changing climates, it was our hope that as a community we could collectively create change, over time, toward less reliance on fossil fuels in our everyday lives.
We’ve taken pause to reconsider our relationship with Enbridge Energy and have chosen to dissolve our agreement. In hindsight, we realize that this association was perhaps not a clear pathway to engaging conversation in support of education, future change, and ultimately our greater Birkie Green initiatives, nor was it in alignment with our American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) mission. For that, we are sorry. We never intended to cause concern within the Birkie community.”
The full statement can be read here.
WDIO reached out to Enbridge Energy for comment, who sent this statement: “Sponsorship of the Birkie, with their Birkie Green initiatives, aligned with Enbridge’s investment in energy transition and work towards a goal of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050; with an interim target to reduce GHG emission intensity 35% by 2030. We’re proud to be one of the few energy companies in the world to earn an A- for our climate change efforts from the Carbon Disclosure Project. (CDP Score)
It should be noted that fuel for the machinery that grooms the Birkie ski trails, poly fibers and plastics in cross country ski clothing and gear, and millions of other products – from computers to heart monitors, medical supplies to warm winter coats and camping gear – are derived from crude oil. Enbridge pipelines safely transport the energy that fuels our economy.
Sadly, the Birkie has chosen to end our sponsorship, dissolve our agreement and return our sponsorship money. Enbridge plans to donate the money to a different non-profit organization serving the Hayward area, in keeping with our tradition of community investment.”