Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend Earns Gold Level Responsible Sport Certification for 5th Consecutive Year

EUGENE (June 22, 2017) – The Council for Responsible Sport announced today that the Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) has been awarded the Gold Certification for the fifth consecutive year for its achievements while hosting the 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon.

The HMC earned credit on 46 of the best practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events. Certification, which is awarded in two-year increments, is achieved by complying with standards across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, access and equity, resource management and community legacy.

The HMC earned Gold Certification in 2013-14, 2015-16, and now in 2017-18. In 2012, the HMC became the first sports organization to earn dual certification from the Council for separate events conducted on consecutive days (2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon; 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon), and the HMC has now achieved the Gold level every year since.

Green team volunteers help sort waste at the 2017 EXPO. Additionally, Waste Management collected over 500 pairs of running shoes donated by visitors to SEARCH Homeless Services.

“Clearly there is a long-standing commitment to the certification standards as a strategic sustainability framework by the Houston Marathon Committee and event staff,” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “They’re really ‘walking the talk’ of event greening, and it’s made possible by the fact that this race is truly a product of a broad community effort. It’s an example to be studied and celebrated.”

The three-day event weekend diverted 77 percent of its unavoidable waste, an achievement stemming from a partnership with Waste Management and a broad effort that included waste-sorting stations overseen by long-time sustainable event experts from ‘Athletes for a Fit Planet.”

“The Council for Responsible Sport provides guidance and mentorship to help event organizers reduce waste, implement best sustainability practices, and commit to social legacy initiatives,” stated Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee and Foundations. “What began as a conscious, planned initiative to improve our sustainability efforts, has evolved into an infectious way of thinking within the organization top to bottom, and now it is inherent when planning and executing the event.”

Other examples of efforts made by the HMC includes donating leftover unopened refreshments to the Houston Food Bank, collecting and distributing clothing left near the start line to Houston Star of Hope, and partnering with the METRO transit authority to offer participants free rides on Houston’s METRORail light-rail on race day to avoid emissions and congestion from personal vehicles. Additionally, race officials utilize the City of Houston fire hydrants for water and over 400,000 compostable cups instead of providing bottled water at refueling stations along the course.

“The last five years have proven to be an amazing journey,” said Lisa Doughty, Director of Public Affairs at Waste Management.  “Year after year looking for new and innovative ways to optimize the materials collected: while creating a bigger, better, more sustainable event.   Today’s Gold Certification is proof-positive evidence of what happens when we all work together with the same goals in mind.  It is a pleasure to partner with the Houston Marathon Committee and we applaud them for another successful year.”

Reducing barriers to participation was another area where the event earned credit. The Houston Marathon Foundation engages local youth in healthy training and life skills through its We Run Houston after-school running program, providing direct and in-kind support ranging from stipends for coaches, training gear, transportation, and free entry fees. In 2017, over 1,500 youth were directly supported with over $42,000 in donated value to youth who attend schools where 85 percent or more students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

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About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.:
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC) annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. A founding member of Running USA, the HMC conducts IAAF rated events that retained Gold Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport and was awarded the AIMS Green Award for industry-leading sustainability initiatives. Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually. In 2016, the Run for a Reason Charity Program raised $2.3 million, while the Houston Marathon Foundation supported youth and community running initiatives. Televised annually by broadcast partner ABC13, 2016 was the first time that the event was syndicated live nationally and internationally on ESPN3 and the Longhorn Network. Host to 16 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, the HMC also conducted the 2012 men’s and women’s U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon.

About the Council for Responsible Sport:

The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014. www.CouncilforResponsibleSport.org

IRONMAN Boulder and Waste Management Race to Evergreen Certification

Every year, thousands of athletes around the world participate in an IRONMAN® triathlon: one of the ultimate challenges of human endurance, including a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.2-mile run.

For the athletes, the years of sweat and preparation necessary to reach this point is a tremendous feat. The same is true for the on-site organizers looking to achieve incredible sustainability goals.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Waste Management has been helping IRONMAN since 2013 work toward their goals of a smaller race footprints and a more sustainable future. The collective efforts reached a high note with the 2016 IRONMAN Boulder event in Boulder, Colo., where Waste Management helped the event earn the highest level of certification, Evergreen, from the Council for Responsible Sport.

IRONMAN Boulder completed credits for this distinction across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy. Waste Management provided valuable insight from the initial planning process through the race’s execution and reporting, enabling IRONMAN to accomplish the Council’s certification. IRONMAN Boulder is now in elite company, being one of only nine events (and the only triathlon) to receive Evergreen status.

To celebrate the achievement, IRONMAN produced a video featuring interviews with the people who made it happen, from organizers to volunteers and of course, participants, that can be viewed here.

Read more about how they did it here and see the full IRONMAN Boulder Sustainability REport here.

2017 Men’s Final Four Championship Organizers Seek Certification for Social and Environmental Responsibility

EUGENE, March 30, 2017– As the surviving teams emerge from March Madness and get ready for the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships in Phoenix, Arizona, organizers are preparing to host what they hope will be the most social and environmentally responsible Final Four weekend ever.

The 2017 Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee has built programming upon a baseline created with the NCAA, Houston Local Organizing Committee and City of Houston at last years’ Final Four, using the Council for Responsible Sport standards for certification; the 2016 event earned basic level certification. Phoenix organizers hope to achieve a higher level of certification at this years’ event, which is awarded after a robust review process that includes an on-site evaluation by the Council’s primary evaluation partner, Waste Management, and post-event reporting of performance on specific criteria.

“Phoenix is honored to host the Final Four in 2017 and is making the same commitment to sustainability that Houston and former host cities have made,” said Dawn Rogers, CEO of the 2017 Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee. “We are working with an outstanding local committee to have a high waste diversion rate along with water and energy offsets. With our community working together under one banner, we’ll strive to ensure that Phoenix showcases the standard of excellence this iconic event deserves.”

“Waste Management is excited to continue utilizing our sustainable event management expertise and evaluate this year’s Final Four for the Council,” said Ben Mjolsness, Sustainability Associate with Waste Management and this year’s on-site evaluator. “The event organizers have put together a robust collection of programs focused on social and environmental initiatives. We are looking forward to seeing them all in action at this year’s Final Four tournament.”

Certification from the Council formally recognizes responsible practices at sporting events and is achieved by implementing best practices in each of five categories including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy.

Socially and environmentally responsible initiatives planned for the 2017 Phoenix Final Four include:

  • Attempting high rates of waste diversion from the landfill through signage and sorting of recyclable and compostable materials
  • Working with local partners such as Keep Phoenix Beautiful to repurpose signage, banners and other durable materials
  • Engaging volunteers and the public to show support and take action in their lives through the ‘Final Four Green Pledge’
  • Hosting 3,200 youth (18 & under) at the NCAA Final Four Dribble on Sunday, April 2 in downtown Phoenix where participants will receive a free t-shirt and Wilson basketball
  • The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee is providing 6,000 backpacks to 60 area schools in a partnership with NCAA Team Works
  • Engaging third grade students at 360 local schools in a literacy challenge geared to inspire reading and increase classroom achievement in partnership with ReadOnArizona and NCAA.
  • Opening the March Madness Music Festival to the public at no cost. The festival is at Margaret T. Hance Park featuring performances by top national musicians.

The Final Four basketball games will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The fan festivities will be held in downtown Phoenix starting Friday, March 31 through Monday, April 3.

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Bank of America Chicago Marathon Becomes the First Marathon to Earn Highest Possible Level of Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport

Eugene, Ore. – The Council for Responsible Sport (Council) announced today that the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been awarded evergreen level certification for achieving 57 of the best-practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the largest in the world, with 39,313 participants finishing the 2016 event in front of over a million spectators. It is the largest marathon to have earned certification from the Council since the organization was founded in 2008. This is the fourth certification for the event after basic certification was achieved in 2010 and 2012, then silver level status was gained in 2014.

“As an event, we are both honored and excited to have earned Evergreen Level Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “Since 2010, we have worked closely with our runners, volunteers, spectators and partners to make the Bank of America Chicago Marathon as sustainable as possible. This certification recognizes the hard work that has been done and encourages us to continue these efforts in supporting the environment and communities our race runs through.”

“Honoring the Bank of America Chicago Marathon’s impact on our community and the environment demonstrates how one positive action can make a huge difference in the lives of many,” said Paul Lambert, Chicago market president, Bank of America. “We’re proud to be part of this great initiative, and it builds on Bank of America’s commitment of becoming better environmental stewards in our local communities.”

Read the full press release here, and Click here to see the 2016 Sustainability Report highlighting the efforts that earned the evergreen certification at the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evergreen Certified Golf Tournament Seeks to Inspire Others to Pursue Responsible Sport Certification

Waste Management Phoenix Open Gains Prestigious Inspire Evergreen Status from
the Council for Responsible Sport, Expands Mentorship and Storytelling as part of
program participation

EUGENE, Ore. – JAN. 31, 2017 – The Council for Responsible Sport (Council) announced today
a significant expansion to its established event certification program. Its new Inspire program
recognizes the sustained commitment of events that have been certified multiple times and
challenges them to mentor industry peers and share their stories.

“We are honored to be named as one of the first Inspire events by the Council for Responsible
Sport,” said Michele Grossman, Managing Principal for Waste Management Sustainability
Services. “Much like we aim to educate and inspire fans who attend the tournament on how
to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover in their daily lives, through the Inspire program, we will
now share our best practices with other events so they too can improve.”

 

 

“The Inspire program was developed to recognize the sustained commitment of certified
events over time by granting them a place of exemplary leadership within the community of
events and organizers with proven records of hosting certified responsible events,” said the
Council’s managing director Shelley Villalobos. “We are pleased to welcome the Waste
Management Phoenix Open to the Inspire program. We hope to elevate the level of attention
to and recognition of the exemplary work organizers have been doing for several years now
with regards to zero waste, procurement, access, and community legacy at the event.”

Events may opt into the Inspire program on an invitation only basis after earning two
consecutive certifications from the Council. Program participation entails three core
requirements including annual reporting on key performance metrics, mentorship of another
event or organization on a specific aspect of their responsible sport programming and sharing
the event’s responsible sport story publicly.

This year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is providing mentorship to the Golf
Environment Organization (GEO) to pilot a new sustainable golf tournament certification, GEO Certified, which builds on the Council for Responsible Sport’s framework. Through this
project, the Waste Management Phoenix Open strives to support other golf tournaments in
their pursuit of sustainable best practices and inspire other golf tournaments around the
world to become GEO Certified.
There are currently three events besides the Waste Management Phoenix Open with Inspire
program status—the Eversource Hartford Marathon in Connecticut, Old Bill’s Fun Run for
Charities hosted by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the Scotiabank
Vancouver Half Marathon, in British Columbia, Canada.

Access the full press release here.


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