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Vaillant Group
Vaillant Group

Running again for the climate: Friedhelm Weidemann crosses the Brazilian rainforest

Press release

  • Sustainability

Remscheid, 14 November 2016

  • Ultramarathon for the Vaillant campaign “Places worth protecting”

  • One hundred forty kilometres through the Brazilian jungle

  • Rainforests are the world’s air conditioning system

Running again: Friedhelm Weidemann once again travelled the world as Vaillant’s climate champion. For the campaign “Places worth protecting”, the 57-year-old faced the world’s most challenging long-distance course, the Jungle Marathon through the Brazilian rainforest. Vaillant’s campaign “Places worth protecting” aims to raise awareness of regions that are threatened by climate change and to call for greater climate protection. In late 2014, Weidemann completed a marathon through Antarctica for the same cause. This time, he faced the humid heat of the Brazilian jungle: 140 kilometres through thick vegetation, rivers and swamps in four days – impenetrable land as far as the eye could see. Deafening noise followed him day and night. The animals that live in the jungle are always there, even if they are rarely in sight. There was a new adventure around every bend in the track, or indeed a fright. “Once I almost ran into an anteater. I was petrified, but so was he!” Weidemann recalls. He spent the nights in a hammock so that he was safe from attacks by jungle dwellers with four paws.

Why do this to oneself?

Why do this to oneself? “An incredible place – gigantic, varied and beautiful. After my run at the South Pole, I wanted to draw attention to the next place that is under severe threat from climate change,” explains Weidemann. Rainforests are the world’s air conditioning system, and they are threatened by deforestation on a massive scale. They protect the earth from further global warming and absorb carbon dioxide. Biodiversity in the tropical rainforest is like nowhere else on the planet. A fifth of our fresh water reserves can also be found here.

An exceptional feat by an outstanding runner

The jungle and the Antarctic have hosted just two of the almost 300 marathons completed by Friedhelm Weidemann in 30 years. Finland, Siberia, the Unites States, South Africa, Dubai, Morocco – his running career reads like the brochure of a multifaceted travel agency. “Running in nature fills me with energy for daily life. That’s why I return to the natural world to promote environmental and climate protection,” says Weidemann.

Enormous potential savings through energy-efficient heating technology

Vaillant supports him in this mission. As a manufacturer of technology that saves resources, Vaillant is committed to protecting the climate and preserving the environment. Modern heating technology is one of the most important factors in the fight against climate change. Private households are the largest energy consumers in Europe, even compared to the industrial sector. Around 40 per cent of energy is used in buildings, of which almost 90 per cent can be attributed to generating hot water and heating.

Internally, Vaillant also sets an example with its strategic sustainability programme S.E.E.D.S. The sustainability targets adopted throughout the company in 2011 are an important development in the area of ecology. These include reducing CO2 emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.

Find out more in our online special about Friedhelm Weidemann’s rainforest marathon at www.vaillant-group.com.

About the Vaillant Group

The Vaillant Group is an internationally active company based in Remscheid, Germany, which operates in the fields of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technology. As one of the global market and technology leaders, the Vaillant Group develops and manufactures customised products, systems and services to provide a comfortable living environment. Its product portfolio ranges from efficient heating devices based on conventional energy sources to system solutions for using renewable energy. In the financial year 2020, the company, which has been family-owned since its foundation in 1874, generated sales of more than €2.7 billion with its workforce of about 15,000.

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