Teton Gravity Research Interview

Teton Gravity Research began life in 1995 as four friends with a passion for the mountains and oceans came together to create products which came from the athletes’ perspective.

With 28 award-winning films under their belt, TGR is one of the leading brands in the action sports industry, their progressive films inspire many of us who long for the action sports lifestyle, be in the mountains or in the oceans.

TGR acknowledge they are far from perfect, their use of helis for shooting some of their films being a prime example, but the company also understand the need to protect our natural playgrounds from climate change, pollution and development. Taking steps to become a leader in the action sports industry, TGR has the ability, through their films, to educate, protect and preserve the places we all love.

Steve Jones, one of the founders, sat down with Nomads on the Road to talk about TGR and their involvement in the fight against climate change.

Nomads on the Road:  How did TGR become involved with POW and the larger fight against climate change?

Steve Jones: TGR is one of the Founding Members of POW.  We had already been putting resources towards helping create awareness for the environment and cleaning up our own act internally.  TGR was the first action sports brand and entertainment company to join 1% for the Planet.  We were (still are) already members of Surfrider Foundation at that time as well, so we were already on the path to supporting environmental organisations that aligned with our ideals.  Jeremy is our brother and started POW, so this was a natural for us.  Our passion, livelihood, and culture rely on having a real winter.  TGR has a broad reach and we knew we could be helpful in spreading the POW message and garnering new memberships for them.

NOTR: How do TGR balance the use of snowmobiles and helis in shooting snowboard movies and your support for fighting climate change?

We are the first action sports film company to go carbon neutral. All of our films are directed to incorporate environmental issues, to generate awareness, and to inspire action. We calculate and offset our carbon footprint by logging all airline, automobile, snowmobile, and helicopter use.

SJ: We consider that abstinence is likely the ideal solution but not always realistic.  We recognise that there is going to be some level of impact.   One of the big things we do is keep a running tally on our carbon emissions for each film.  At the end of each production, we purchase carbon offsets through POW to balance our impact.  All TGR films are carbon neutral.

NOTR: How can TGR influence its customers in combatting climate change?

SJ: Promoting climate change through our films, athletes, online community, film tour, etc.  In addition to awareness, we try to present solutions-  simple things that individuals can do to make a change.  That’s the first step.

NOTR: Are skiers and snowboarders becoming more socially aware of the impact we have on our environment?

SJ: Yes.  It is impossible not to with all the media attention on climate change these days.  We are trying to make it more relevant be making it specific to our audiences lifestyle.

NOTR: What steps has TGR taken to reduce its carbon footprint?

SJ: In addition to making all of our films carbon neutral, we are producing films like Deeper and Further that don’t use helicopters and snowmobiles.

NOTR: What steps can the wider winter sports industry take to reduce their carbon footprint?

SJ: Simple things such as unplug your electronics, turn off your lights, don’t idle,  get a reusable mug and water bottle, avoid single-use plastics, support companies that are environmentally responsible.

Five sustainable films from TGR

Generations

Generation is a short film, released in the winter of 2009, which examines the consequences of climate change on our natural playgrounds and winter sports culture in general.

In partnership with The North Face and Protect Our Winters discusses climate change from the perspectives of those who love snow-filled winters. Humanising the debate on climate change by exploring the delicate nature of winter, Generations highlights the value we place on our snow sports and the subsequent culture.

Deeper

Deeper is the personal project of Protect Our Winters founder Jeremy Jones. Released in the Fall of 2010, Deeper is about exploring places you can’t get to using snowmobiles or helicopters.

The trips covered in Deeper are based around foot powered travel and making the extra effort to hike, camp and split board to all the lines and camera angles. TRG hope to expose foot powered and environmentally friendly modes of transportation to a to a new, younger audience.

Re:Sessions

This ski and snowboard film is 100 per cent carbon neutral through offsets and programs by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Protect Our Winters and 1% For The Planet.

TGR calculated their carbon footprint by logging their team’s travel – air travel, automoble, snowmobile and helicopter use. These offsets helped fund the Conservation Based Forest Management project in Northwest California.

The project enhances, restores and maintains a mature redwood forest ecosystem with a mix of native species, age distribution, complex structures and diverse habitats.

Out There

While Out There is a surf film it deserves a mention as not only does it showcase cutting edge surfing but it does so with a strong environmental message.

Partnering with the Surfrider Foundation, TRG help deliver key environmental issues which face surfing, such as water quality and over development.

Free membership to Surfrider Foundation is included with every DVD to help bring exposure to Surfrider issues.

Under The Influence

Under The Influence is the first action sports film to be carbon neutral. TGR calculated their carbon footprint by logging the entire teams travel, airline, automobile, snowmobile and helicopter use.

Partnering with Protect Our Winters and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, TGR tracked their carbon footprint and allocated funds to renewable energy projects.

Each DVD sold included a free membership to Protect Our Winters.

Thanks to Steve Jones from TGR for his time and to Chris Steinkamp of Protect Our Winters for the introduction.


Visit the Nomads on the Road photoshop

Share this post...

Comments...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *