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.

Waste Management Partners with the Council for Responsible Sport to Support Sustainable Sports

Here at the Council for Responsible Sport, we continue to envision a world where responsible sports are the norm. To date, 133 certified events have helped bring about a culture shift towards greater focus on environmental stewardship and enhancing the positive social outcomes of sporting events.

From marathons like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon, to (slightly) shorter road races like the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and TD Beach to Beacon 10K, to cycling events like the TD Five Boro Bike Tour and 2015 UCI Road World Championships; from track and field championships like the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in ’12 and ’16, to major PGA golf tournaments like the AT&T National Pro Am at Pebble Beach and the Waste Management Phoenix Open, events are increasingly acting beyond the bottom line according to their broader values and achieving incredible results along with official certification according to the Responsible Sport Standards. According to us, we’re just getting started. Certified events still represent the ‘leaders of the pack’ in an industry where there are over 30,000 running events staged in the U.S. alone every year.

Waste Management, our primary evaluation partner since January 2016, has been instrumental in amplifying the Council’s reach and bringing in experiential knowledge to our on-site evaluation process. WM has helped us make certification more relevant to organizers in many ways, thus, in short—more valuable.

The history of how this partnership came to be is now available publicly for all who are interested in better understanding the advancement of social and environmental responsibility as it relates to sport. We’re humbled and honored to contribute, and we’re very grateful to have Waste Management on our team to help bring about the integration of triple bottom line thinking into sport event management in the U.S. and beyond. We hope you enjoy the read!

Supporting Sustainable Sports: Waste Management Partners with the Council for Responsible Sport

Our inbox is always open to your comments, ideas and feedback. You can send us a note here!

December 14th, 2016 | | Innovation, News & Views, Uncategorized

Austin Marathon and Half Marathon Earns Gold Certification by the Council for Responsible Sport as it Hands the Reins to New Owners

Back in 2008 as the Council for Responsible Sport was getting started, the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon was one of the pilot events to test their operations against the first set of standards and guidance on best practices for hosting responsible events. Since then, the Conley Sports team has not rested in complacency, but rather has continually challenged itself to be an example to others in the industry for how to make a fun, profitable event into a fun, profitable event with purpose.

The 2016 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon presented by NXP on February 14, has earned Gold certification by the Council. It is the first gold level effort and the fifth consecutive certification—the most of any in the pool of certified events. Owned and operated by Conley Sports Productions, LLC since 2007, the marathon and other events owned by Conley Sports were sold to High Five Events this February.

The 2016 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon gave the power to choose back to participants by setting up a 'sample table' for them to self-select promotional items and eliminate unnecessary and undesired consumption.

The 2016 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon gave the power to choose back to participants by setting up a ‘sample table’ for them to self-select promotional items and eliminate unnecessary and undesired consumption.

To earn the gold, organizers met criteria for 45 of the best practice standards set forth by the Council across five categories, including: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. Nearly 15,000 participants joined the weekend of events as around 20,000 spectators looked on.

“The Austin Marathon and Half Marathon presented by NXP reflects Austin’s commitment to sustainability and its commitment to influencing important trends to mitigate climate change,” said race director and owner of Conley Sports Productions, John Conley. “I am enormously proud of our role within our community and the road race industry to be a force for good.”

It may be the end of an era for Conley Sports, but the legacy of commitment to responsible sport remains and will be inherited for its continuation by the new event rights holders.

Highlights from the certification effort can be found in the full press release here. Join us in congratulating Conley Sports Productions on a great run, in all senses of the phrase.

2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open Earns Evergreen, Highest Possible Certification Offered by the Council

Evergreen is the highest level of certification we offer at the Council for Responsible Sport. It’s very difficult to achieve. We created it to inspire and challenge events not only to reach industry best practice standards, but to actively better them. To earn Evergreen, an event needs to reach ninety percent or more of all the possible credits offered in our system—they pretty much need to do it all. For the first time since the debut of the version 4 standards (2012), Evergreen has been achieved!

“We took our sustainability efforts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to a whole new level this year, and it showed in the results,” said Michele Grossman, managing principal for Waste Management Sustainability Services. “We continue to advance our efforts year after year to show the sporting world – and the rest of the world – that “green” is possible.”

Grossman’s quote represents the essence of Evergreen—striving for example-setting excellence and doing the work to back it up. Here are some of the highlights from the 2015 WMPO certification effort;

  • The WMPO is a zero waste event. It earned UL Environment’s highest landfill diversion rate designation, ‘Zero Waste to Landfill Operations’, with just 10% incineration with energy recovery in 2015.
  • The WMPO Water Campaign, a water conservation initiative in collaboration with Change the Course, raised funds to restore 35 million gallons of water to the Colorado River Basin and Verde River.
  • More than 30,000 pounds of unused, perishable food from the tournament was donated to charities including Waste Not Perishable Food Rescue & Delivery and Church on the Street.
  • Along with Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations, captured and donated 25,239 pounds of tournament materials and 682 pounds of vinyl fence signage, most of which Waste Management had reused outdoors since the 2010 event
  • The fifth annual ‘GREEN OUT’ on Saturday, January 31st raised $75,000 for three environmental non-profit organizations. For every person who wore GREEN to the tournament, Waste Management and the Thunderbirds donated ‘green’ to Arizona Recycling Coalition, the Arizona Chapter of Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and Bonneville Environmental Foundation for the Change the Course WM Phoenix Open Water Campaign. Each organization received $25,000.

For even more detail about the outstanding efforts and results from the organizers of the WMPO, you can read an article on business wire about it here, or check out the official 2015 WMPO Sustainability Report. A nice video summarizing efforts can be found here.

The Council offers our sincere congratulations and gratitude to the WMPO for leading the way with an example for events everywhere of what it means and looks like to be a responsible event in the 21st century!