Pedal power: One man’s sustainable journey to the 5th GRI Global Conference
11 May 2016

​Some people go to great lengths to travel sustainably: Matthias Mengeling, Sales Manager at WeSustain in Germany is cycling 400km from Hannover to Amsterdam to attend the GRI Global Conference next week. Here we discover his motivations for making the journey on two wheels.
Can you explain your plan to cycle from Hannover to Amsterdam for the 5th GRI Global Conference?
I will start my trip on Saturday 14 May, early in the morning and I am expecting to cycle about 100 kilometres per day over the four days. The route will be mainly on bike paths and some smaller roads. Clothes and other necessary items for the trip will be stored in my backpack. During the four days I will stay in little hotels or hostels along the way. However, I have nothing booked in advance to ensure maximum flexibility.
Why are you making this trip and what do you hope to accomplish?
I travel a lot for business and in general I just get on a plane, a train or in a car to reach my destination, stay there for one or two days and then return home or leave for my next location. Normally I don’t get to see a lot of the towns I stay in, or the places along the way. And of course, travelling by plane, or car is not exactly what we would call sustainable or emission-free transportation.

In my leisure time I always try to do some sports and for some years I have enjoyed cross-country and mountain biking. During these trips I always appreciate the different perspective you get when you are travelling slowly. You get to see places you’d never go to if you were travelling by car or train. So I thought it would be a good idea to combine the best of both worlds when WeSustain started making plans to attend the GRI Conference in Amsterdam. I shared the idea with my colleagues and we decided to turn it into reality!

While WeSustain’s software solutions support companies to achieve their sustainability goals, there is still a lot we can do to improve our sustainability performance on a personal level. I am not expecting people to make week-long bike trips to get to their business meetings. However, I think that we all could use a bike instead of a car for shorter distances.
Is there a way for people to follow your journey?
Yes, we will use a GPS tracking app so people will always be able to see my current position. We will share this information via Twitter and Facebook. I expect to arrive at Amsterdam RAI on 17 May around 18:00.
Why is WeSustain attending the 5th GRI Global Conference?
As Corporate Sustainability Reporting and non-financial reporting in general are the key elements of our software solutions, we of course do not want to miss the world’s largest sector event, which will be our second GRI Global Conference. With our tools we strive to actively contribute towards a more sustainable economy and to make social responsibility an integral part of every company and organization. We are looking forward to getting new impetus for our work through an interactive dialogue with stakeholder groups, prospective clients and experts from all over the world. We also hope to get high-quality information about tendencies and current developments in the field of non-financial reporting and sustainability in order to constantly improve our services and solutions. Last but not least, we hope for some interesting new contacts, to meet familiar faces and to have a vivid exchange of opinions and experiences in Amsterdam.