City of Eugene and Council for Responsible Sport lead effort to develop groundbreaking program for hosting responsible, sustainable events

March 2, 2018

EUGENE—The City of Eugene, in partnership with the Council for Responsible Sport, has developed a pioneering Responsible Event Framework helping event stakeholders adopt and achieve objectives that apply a triple bottom line concept of weighing social and environmental results of decisions alongside economic ones. Work to build this framework was made possible by a generous grant from the Global Philanthropy Partnership and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The Responsible Event Framework and all associated resources are available online by visiting

“This work has created a new kind of roadmap for hosting responsible events of all sizes,” said Deveron Musgrave, Sustainable Event Program Coordinator for the City of Eugene. “The Responsible Event Framework is an exciting step forward and shares what we’ve seen work here and in other cities where there is a commitment to leveraging the energy and resources around events to showcase their values, collaborate with partners, and create inclusive space.”   

The goal of the Responsible Event Framework is to provide ways for stakeholder groups to align values with actions, and to link with larger community, policy, and organizational goals. By creating a shared language, event partners can work collaboratively to promote community health and growth, economic stability and environmental health while planning and producing successful events. 

“Events are great vehicles for tourism and promoting destinations, but up to now there has been no clear guide to assist stakeholder groups towards aligning their important but varied goals.” Said Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport, an Oregon-based non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in sport and which co-produced the framework. “The Council for Responsible Sport was thrilled to contribute to this project to promote definitive action toward responsible events. We have great examples of where there is added value using this approach, at any entry point – whether you’re an event organizer, a sponsor, a city, a tourism bureau or a partner institution like a nearby college or University.”

Development of the framework included input and leading practices from cities including Phoenix, Boulder, San Jose (CA), Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Additionally, leading private and public organizations including the LA28 Olympic committee on sustainability and Legacy, Waste Management, AHM Brands, M Culinary Concepts, Travel Lane County, and Chicago Events Management helped shape the framework.

The Responsible Event Framework is available for all to use for free. “This is likely the most comprehensive “how-to” guide for hosting a responsible event ever produced” said Villalobos “I would encourage everyone in the event space to benefit from the insights and experiences it provides” she concluded.

Download the Executive Summary Here

Download the Best Practice Guidebooks Here


About the City of Eugene’s Responsible Events Program:  

The City of Eugene encourages event planners and sponsors to invest in sustainable event management practices, and to excel beyond current industry practices–improving the environmental footprint of events. Sustainable events support the City’s goal of sustainable development by implementing a Triple Bottom Line approach, considering the environment, economy, and equity.  Learn more at


About the Council for Responsible Sport: 

The mission of the Council for Responsible Sport 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 Council for Responsible Sport is an Oregon-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Learn more at


Council Participates in United Nations Dialogue on Sport and Climate Action

Council for Responsible represents US and global sporting events at the UNFCCC Dialogue on Sport and Climate Action in Bonn, Germany

Participation recognizes role of Council in helping shape an increasingly responsible future for sports events

The group of sport sector representatives convened for the United Nations ‘Dialogue on Sport and Climate Action’ in October 2017

Access PDF Version Here

Eugene, OR (Nov. 6, 2017) — The Council for Responsible Sport, the world’s leading independent certification body of sustainably produced sporting events participated in last week’s United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Dialogue on Sport and Climate Action in Bonn, Germany as a prelude to COP23, where governments are meeting this month to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Council represented the perspective and experience of the growing number of sporting events around the world that are choosing to produce events in a more environmentally, economic and socially sustainable fashion. With more than 140 events independently certified globally by the Council, it was uniquely positioned to provide practical and independent input that reflects the activities of some of the world’s leading sporting events.

“We are honored to have been asked to represent the sports events sector at the UN Summit” said Michele Grossman, Council for Responsible Sport Board Chair for the Council for Responsible Sport and Managing Principal at Waste Management Sustainability Services. “Sporting events represent not only the chance to create change at events themselves, but more importantly to support change and action in the millions of people who participate, attend or watch sporting events each year” she continued.

The Council for Responsible Sport is an Oregon, USA based not-for-profit which has worked with hundreds of events globally to help them both establish a straightforward framework to hosting a more sustainable event, then independently verify actions taken. This gives confidence to event owners, host cities, sponsors and participants that events are making a real difference in the way they manage their environmental footprint, engage with local communities and underpin economic legacy.

“We focus on supporting responsible events that work for all stakeholders and we are seeing an accelerating growth in the number of events at all levels looking to work in a different way” Grossman commented.

Grossman reflected that highlights of the discussion focused on identifying the greatest impact each of the represented groups can have on climate change in the next five years, “were very encouraging and timely”. “It was a powerful group and it was exciting for the Council to be alongside other leading organizations at the event that included NHL, Formula E, FIFA, NFL, UEFA, and the Golf Environment Organization, among others” she remarked.

“Being a global organization, I believe we were able to represent the views of a growing sports movement at this important UN dialogue” said Grossman. The Council for Responsible Sport has worked with events in North and South America, Europe, Africa and the first Asian events expected in 2018. The Council has worked with a number of marquee organizations including world championship events for the International Association of Athletic Associations (IAAF) and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) along with World Marathon Major, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, USA Olympic Track and Field Trials, NCAA Final Four and Track and Field Championships. A full list of certified events can been viewed here.

Destination Marketing Professionals Invited to Participate in Responsible Event Activities Survey

Eugene—August 10, 2017—Destination marketing professionals are invited to participate in a survey intended to assess the ways destination marketing organizations (DMOs) help host events in their communities that meet the ‘triple bottom lines’ of economic, social and environmental responsibility.

The Council for Responsible Sport is supervising the survey in partnership with Eugene, Cascades & Coast as part of a ‘Responsible Events’ project that received grant funding from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) to explore how events can be managed to set and meet ‘triple bottom line’ sustainability goals in cities across the U.S.

The survey is open to tourism industry professionals in any U.S. city that are involved with the recruitment, bidding, sales and production of events in their destination. While there are eight primary participating U.S. cities collaborating on the project, including: Eugene, OR; San Jose, CA; Houston, TX; Boulder, CO; Minneapolis, MN; Phoenix, AZ; Chicago, IL; and Washington D.C., the results of the survey will be published in early 2018 by USDN and the Council for Responsible Sport.

The City of Eugene’s ‘We Can!’ booth for events showcases ways citizens can get involved, be healthy and reduce impacts

Research gathered through the study will help inform the development of comprehensive sustainability guidelines and valuable tools to cities and event organizers nationwide to make it easier to produce and host events that reach standards for environmental consideration, social inclusion and economic impact.

“There isn’t very much reliable data on how DMOs and Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVB) contribute to things like enabling and activating sustainability-related sponsorships, on-site waste management efforts, promoting public transport to event guests, and getting local youth involved” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “We’re really excited to invite people in this field to pitch in a little time for the greater good and to see what insights we can find and share out.”

DMO, CVB and sports commissions professionals from across the country are called upon to contribute to this work in an important and valuable way by participating in the responsible event survey now. If participants would like to receive updates on the results of the survey, they can sign up for the Council for Responsible Sport’s mailing list here.

The survey can be Accessed here.

The survey will run from August 10-25, 2017.

August 11th, 2017 | | Innovation, News & Views

2017 NCAA Final Four Earns Evergreen Level Certification with a Focus on Water in the West

The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee achieved Evergreen, the highest-level certification possible from the Council for Responsible Sport

The 2017 NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship held in Phoenix this April has earned the top-level Evergreen Certification for its sustainability efforts and achievements.

“The 2017 Phoenix Final Four is proud to have attained this level of certification. From the start of our local planning we made a commitment to Sustainability” said Dawn Rogers, 2017 Final Four LOC Executive Director and CEO.  “We are thankful for the partners we had across Arizona including donors, cities, organizations and the thousands of volunteers that worked hard to deliver an exceptional experience to Final Four fans. This really is a shared achievement by everyone involved.”

Dan Gavitt, Senior Vice President of Basketball at NCAA remarked, “The NCAA is both proud and deeply appreciative of the efforts of the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee and all of our partners for achieving the highest level of certification for sustainability.  The 2017 Final Four was highly successful in every way, and to be recognized as a socially and environmentally responsible event means we accomplished another important goal.  It is fitting that the entire community of the naturally beautiful Valley of the Sun helped reach this remarkable achievement for the 2017 Final Four.”

“Congratulations to the local organizing committee, NCAA, sustainability committee and all the contributing partners on this unprecedented level of achievement with regards to social and environmental responsibility for the Final Four.” Said Ray Anderson, Vice President for University Athletics at Arizona State University. “It makes me proud to be part of the community that so fully embraces the values represented in this certification effort.“

Photo booths set up around the Fan Festival and ‘Tip Off Tailgate’ areas engaged 5,300 people to take a picture and a pledge that would translate to the restoration of 1,000 gallons of water to local watersheds per pledge in partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s ‘Change the Course’ campaign.

“We set out to ‘Leave a Legacy’ through the power of sports. Evergreen level certification is not only attainable, but opens new partnership opportunities, decreases costs and liabilities, and increases fan engagement and experience.” Said Colin Tetreault, chair of the 2017 Final Four sustainability committee. “Credit for reaching this goal is due to the willing efforts of many partners—from the NCAA and local organizing committee, to the myriad regional partners and tireless team members of the sustainability committee.”

The Evergreen level certification was earned by achieving more than 90 percent of the 61 total best practice standards offered in the Council’s framework across five categories including: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy.

Environmental highlights that earned credit toward the certification included:

  • 91 percent of all unavoidable waste was diverted from the landfill via a robust recycling, reuse and compost strategy led by the City of Phoenix Department of Public Works, which has a goal for Phoenix to divert 40 percent of waste from landfill by 2020. Other strategies coordinated by the sustainability committee included requiring vendors to use compostable service wares, donating leftover unserved concessions foods, and donation of hard-to-manage items like vinyl signage to groups like Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Girl Scouts Cactus Pine Council.
  • 5,300 Fan Fest, Tip Off Tailgate, and Music Fest visitors took a water saving pledge (and a selfie to #DropBuckets4AZ). The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) pledged to restore 1,000 gallons of water to Arizona Watersheds for each picture taken. The fan pledges resulted in restoring 5.3 million gallons of freshwater into an Arizona ecosystem as part of the largest sport event activation to-date from BEF’s ongoing ‘Change the Course’ campaign.
  • All of the electricity used at the Phoenix Convention Center (Fan Fest) and stadium during the event weekend was sourced from greenhouse gas emissions free sources through the purchase of verified Renewable Energy Certificates. Arizona is the state with the second most installed solar energy capacity in the U.S.—2,303 Megawatts—enough to power 327,000 homes.
  • An e-waste collection alongside volunteer training sessions resulted in the proper recycling of 925 pounds of electronic waste with support from LG.
  • The sustainability committee orchestrated a community-based watershed service project where volunteers worked for a half-day in the Tonto National Forest Arnett Creek Wilderness, in partnership with Salt River Project and the Northern Arizona Forest Fund to remove water-stressing invasive species from the local ecosystem.


Social and community highlights that earned credit toward the certification included:

  • 34,000 third graders combined to read 6.2 million minutes over a three-month period through participation in ‘Read to the Final Four,’ a statewide literacy competition to inspire reading and academic excellence.
  • 3,075 youth participated in the ‘Final Four Dribble’ in downtown Phoenix and got to take home a basketball.
  • Local First Arizona created an “eat like a local” guide for residents and visitors to support local businesses and services in order to boost the local economy before, during, and after the Final Four weekend.
  • A partnership of the NCAA, Phoenix Local Organizing Committee and Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority made possible the restoration of an outdoor basketball court at Harmon Park in Phoenix, which annually serves more than 18,000 neighborhood youth. The refurbishment included a completely reconstructed court and new goal stanchions, backboards and baskets.

Read the full press release here and join the Council in congratulating the Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee, their dedicated sustainability team, and the NCAA on this unprecedented success for the Final Four!


About the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee

The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee (PLOC) is an Arizona Nonprofit Corporation formed to work in conjunction with the NCAA as it plans for the Final Four in 2017. Composed of local community, sports and tourism leaders, the PLOC collaborated with the NCAA to help host the Final Four.


About the NCAA
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit and for more details about the Association and the corporate partnerships that support the NCAA and its student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola as official corporate champions and the following elite companies as official corporate partners: Allstate, Amazon Echo, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Enterprise, Infiniti, Intel, LG, Lowe’s, Marriott International, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Pizza Hut, Reese’s, Unilever and Wendy’s.

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.