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.
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!
Waste Management Phoenix Open Gains Prestigious Inspire Evergreen Status from
the Council for Responsible Sport, Expands Mentorship and Storytelling as part of
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.
December 12, 2016– The TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race has earned the top-level Evergreen Certification for its sustainability efforts and achievements from the Council for Responsible Sport. The road race achieved Silver Certification in 2012 and Gold Certification in 2014 before reaching the Evergreen level this year by implementing 57 of 61 best practice standards.
The awarding of the Evergreen Certification followed a rigorous review of the TD Beach to Beacon’s environmental and social sustainability programs at the 2016 race in August, which ranged from comprehensive recycling to measuring and reducing carbon emissions to raising money for charities.
“This is truly a shining achievement for the TD Beach to Beacon,” said race founder and running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson, a lifelong Mainer and committed environmentalist who won gold at the 1984 Olympics. “Achieving evergreen status is a testament to the dedication of our race Organizing Committee plus the hard work of Bruce Rayner and his team at our sustainability consulting partner, Athletes for a Fit Planet. The TD Beach to Beacon has built a reputation as an event that cares about the planet and about each other – it’s so rewarding to see those efforts affirmed.”
Five key areas of achievement at the 2016 TD Beach to Beacon included:
- Qualified as a ‘zero waste’ event by diverting 90 percent of all waste generated from going to the landfill through compost and recycling efforts.
- Offset the 5.6 ton ‘carbon footprint’ of event operations through Native Energy, making the event carbon neutral (not including participant travel).
- Redeemable bottles were sorted separately and sent to CLYNK for recycling, sending the proceeds from the deposits redemption to the 2016 race charity, My Place Teen Center.
- 240 participants, volunteers and spectators utilized a bike valet service stationed at the finish area. Runners who used the service were provided with a shuttle to the start of the race.
- Finishers t-shirts provided by Nike were made from polyester made from recycled plastic, helping to close the loop on waste created at events while reducing demand for harvesting new materials.
The full press release about the Evergreen certification is here and even more about the TD Beach to Beacon’s responsible sport practices is here.
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 ‘Learn to Ride’ Ambassadors got a free entry and helmet to share and promote BNY’s bike education programs.
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.