When we first heard from InstaFund Race team, we knew we wanted to get involved. InstaFund is the first carbon neutral pro team, and they are constantly challenging themselves to improve their sustainable practices. From limiting flights through optimizing travel schedules, to supporting their suppliers and sponsors who are transitioning to reducing their impact, InstaFund is challenging the traditional way of doing things as a pro team.
Isabella Bertold, the InstaFund team manager, reached out to us shortly after we launched Bivo with a goal to reduce the amount of plastic bottles the team goes through annually. After kicking their first season off in 2019, the InstaFund team was exposed to several other teams and their practices through a working group at UCI. Bertold was shocked when she heard how many bottles other teams were going through, and she knew that InstaFund could make a change. According to Bike Rumor, the pro Peloton goes through 630,000 bottles per year. Berthold noted that “even brand new bottles, once filled with mix, are thrown out rather than rinsed and cleaned.” Races are often hectic, and the teams are on the road with limited access to laundry and dishwashers. Explaining the time between stages, Bertold points out that it’s a lot to manage. “Bikes, rider treatment, laundry, food, and bottles. All of that to say, making the commitment to minimizing plastic bottle use takes effort, and it is by no means the easy answer, but if you were to take that [thrown out] bottle number and multiply it over the lifetime of a team...that's a lot of plastic that could be diverted away from a landfill.”
Bivo first sponsored the InstaFund team in 2022 and Bertold reported that "by using Bivo bottles for all training and pre/post race bottles, we were able to use 50 plastic based bottles, of which 35 can continue to be used." THAT makes us really happy. There are estimates that the pro cyclist goes through 775 bottles per year – yes, that is for one person. To see that an entire team can reduce down to 15 bottles annually is really impressive and we applaud the InstaFund team for taking such a hard stance.
This year, the team is in a development year and preparing for individual riders to make the Olympic team for their respective country. Bertold told us, “We always line up to win, but we have a greater goal of helping riders develop to reach their goals. For a rider that often means signing with a team and progressing to racing full-time in the European peloton, and we hope to continue the success we have had with that.” This year, they have Maddy Ward back on the team as a full-time gravel racer and Helena Coney just got the team’s first mountain bike podium at Sea Otter.
InstaFund shares their learnings and approach on their podcast, Race For the Future: Sustainability and Cycling. Check it out and see how they are bringing sustainability to the forefront of everything they do.
Photos of the InstaFund team cleaning up trash and having fun while filming a gravel video (link below, watch it!).
Also, because we are such fans of fueling more fun, we encourage you to watch this video on the team. It’s clear they love to ride bikes and this video shows their passion for being on two wheels.