November 2, 2016—The Council for Responsible Sport (Council) announced today that the TD Five Boro Bike Tour hosted by Bike New York has earned gold level certification, recognizing the successful implementation of socially and environmentally responsible practices at the 2016 event. Held each year on the first Sunday in May in New York, more than 30,000 riders reclaim the streets of New York for a day to raise awareness and funds for Bike New York’s free bike education programs. This is the second certification of the event, which earned silver certification from the Council in 2014.
“Being able to turn the iconic TD Five Boro Bike Tour into a leader in the growing movement of social and environmental responsibility is certainly one of our finest achievements,” said Ken Podziba, President & CEO of Bike New York. “Reaching the Gold has been a real team effort,and we could not have done so without such committed partnerships from organizations and city agencies like GrowNYC and NYC Compost Project, and the support of our very green title sponsor, TD Bank. This certification encompasses everything we strive to be as an organization and as individuals; and I’d like to thank the Council for giving us this opportunity and for guiding us so brilliantly to do something that is so incredibly important for the environmental and social well-being of our planet.”
Bike New York hosted an exemplary event in 2016 that brought to fruition dozens of initiatives that enhanced the responsibility of the event—think impacts, access, legacy—some were very visible (zero waste stations), while others were more subtle (waiving the helmet rule for a group of riders whose religious observations preclude helmet usage so that they could participate). All were done with the simple, effective intention to increase the social benefit to people while reducing negative environmental impacts.
Highlights from the 2016 TD Five Boro Bike Tour responsible sport initiatives include:
- Through partnerships with Grow NYC and NYC Compost Project, Zero Waste Stations were used at Bike Expo New York, Tour Rest Areas, and at the Finish Festival to divert 91% of event waste from the landfill, including composting 6,000 lbs. of food waste.
- Green Team volunteers managed the Zero Waste Stations, ensuring that participants followed signage to place waste in the proper recycling, compost, and waste receptacles.
- 29,000 lbs. of leftover food was donated to City Harvest.
- Seventy percent of the food provided at the Tour was organic or locally sourced, including 24,000 apples from the New York State Apple Association and 90,000 Clif products including, Clif Bars, Clif Organic Energy Food, and Clif Bloks.
- Used bike tubes were collected at Rest Area Bike Repair Stations to be upcycled into wallets and messenger bags.
- The Tour program was produced on paper that was sourced in an environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable manner, through the Forest Stewardship Council program.
- 10,000 Tyvek rider bibs were recycled through post-Tour collection efforts.
- The Start Line and Bike Expo New York were in transit-dense locations, making the events easily accessible by all.
- Through a partnership with DEP’s NYC Water Program, world-renowned New York City tap water was available for riders, eliminating the need for disposable water bottles.
- With support from Clif Bar, more than 20,000 foil-lined food wrappers (otherwise bound for the landfill) were collected for upcycling through a program run by Terracycle.
- The Tour and the Bike Expo New York were ADA Accessible.
- Proceeds from the Tour fund Bike New York’s free bike education programs for kids and adults. In 2015, Bike New York taught more than 17,000 New Yorkers how to ride safely and confidently.
- Outreach Teams engaged with NYC Community Boards in the Tour planning process, promoted Bike New York’s free bike education programs in their districts, and encouraged community members to participate in the Tour as riders, volunteers, or spectators.
- TD Bank sponsored performers along the route, many of who operate as non-profit organizations.
- TD Bank provided electricity from their branches, which comes from Green Mountain Energy, a renewable energy company, to power the performances along the route.
See what we mean? This is an event to celebrate, and to ride if you can! You can read the full press release here
and check out more information about the TD Five Boro Bike Tour here.