Runner’s World Half & Festival Powered by Altra Strikes Gold Again

They did it again! Runner’s World Magazine’s annual Half & Festival powered by ALTRA has earned a third Gold Level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. This is the third consecutive certification for the event that gathers 6,000 runners in Bethlehem, PA for a fresh fall run.

“As we gear up for the Runner’s World Half & Festival in Bethlehem, PA this October 14-16, we are committed to hosting an environmentally-friendly event that reflects our healthy lifestyle,” says Warren Greene, Runner’s World brand editor. “We are thrilled to be a Gold-Certified event again this year, and proud to be making a difference in the community through efforts such as offering paperless entries to donating post-race food.”


Runner’s World, a leading industry publication with over 34 million visits to its website monthly, earned a third certification for its signature event by implementing best practices across each of the five categories of the certification standards, including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy.

“Gold level certification from the Council is a hard-earned accomplishment achieved by forward-thinking leaders in the industry who take action on their social and environmental values,” says Shelley Villalobos, managing director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “The Runner’s World Half & Festival remains a steady leader in the field, and the way the event is hosted reflects the organizers’ continued commitment to responsibility and improvement.”

Highlights of Runner’s World’s green initiatives include:



  • ArtsQuest is close to the public transit allowing many runners and participants to leave their cars at home. Shuttle buses were offered, carpooling encouraged, and a free bike and gear check was provided.
  • Source separation of compost, recycling and hard-to-recycle items such as heatsheets and energy shot packaging resulted in keeping 63 percent of all waste generated out of the landfill through recycling efforts.
  • Heatsheets were collected and recycled through the ‘Blankets to Boards’ program in conjunction with Trex, a manufacturer of composite decking materials.
  • 450 pounds of post-race food was donated to Second Harvest Food Bank for local distribution.
  • Pre-event pasta dinner featured locally grown produce, reducing the ‘food miles’ and thus energy from fuel needed to transport goods while supporting area farmers.



  • Fundraising for the official race charity partner, St. Lukes, supports programs including the HealthStar Mobile Youth Clinic Program providing medical, dental, and vision services to underserved youth communities and Community Health Centers providing health care programs within area elementary schools.
  • Clothes-pin booth at ArtsQuest expo collected over 700 articles of clothing and 200 pairs of shoes from participants who donated them for reissue to people in need.


You can read the full press release here and follow the Runner’s World action on social media on Twitter: @runnersworld  Facebook: & Instagram: @runnersworldmag

September 8th, 2016 | | News & Views

WIN for KC Triathlon Earns Gold Level Certification for the First Time in Third Re-certification

Finishers of all ages celebrate their participation in the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

Finishers of all ages celebrate their participation in the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

Where to begin? The WIN for KC Triathlon has achieved re-certification at the gold level for the first time from the Council for Responsible Sport (the Council). The host organization, Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation, expanded programs to earn 45 of the Councils 61 standards, achieving an impressive 73 percent of all possible credits at the event held on July 26, 2014.

This is just the 15th gold level certification ever, and the third since the current edition of the standards was released in January 2014. Over 100 events have become certified since the Council was founded in 2007.

“I am so proud of our entire Green Team committee and volunteers for their commitment to a socially and environmentally responsible event,” said Lisa Diven, the Director of WIN for KC. “They really stepped it up this year developing new, innovative ways to minimize our environmental footprint and maximize the positive impact our event has on the community.”

The all-female event earned more credits than in the past by finding ways to minimize the event’s carbon and waste footprints, including conducting a paperless registration for all participants and volunteers, using recyclable materials for things like race bibs, collecting and donating gently used shoes to Soles4Souls, encouraging participants and spectators to carpool, and offering the opportunity for participants to opt out of receiving a race T-shirt or medal.

On the day of the triathlon, 420 lbs. of waste was collected onsite, of which 405 lbs. was composted or recycled making diversion from landfill 96 percent! Left over race food—including 480 bagels, six boxes of oranges and six boxes of bananas—was donated to a local food bank.

“The WIN for KC should be regarded as a leading example in the industry of how hosting a truly responsible event is done,” said Shelley Villalobos, certification director for the Council for Responsible Sport. “This most recent successful re-certification effort, in which organizers worked tirelessly to implement initiatives that would warrant gold level certification, is proof that the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation walks its talk.”

The WIN for KC first earned silver certification in 2009, then re-certified in 2011 at the silver level. Other efforts that bumped the event up to gold this year included:

  • Using suppliers who source recycled materials for both medals and awards and hosting a medal collection for old or unused medals.
Rhoda Powers designed recycled glass awards for the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

Rhoda Powers designed recycled glass awards for the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

  • Partnering with a local bike shop to help provide bikes to women who without one couldn’t participate.
  • Expanding training resources available to girls ages 6-12 who want to complete a triathlon but who are not yet old enough to compete.
  • Offering a team option for women who would rather share the effort with friends, sisters, family, moms, aunts, etc. and eliminating the barrier of doing it all on their own.

For more information and to read the full press release about the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon re-certification at the gold level, click here.

The Council offers its congratulations to the dedicated organizers of the event and thanks the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation for its continued commitment to hosting responsibly produced events.

November 4th, 2014 | | Access & Equity, News & Views, Planning & Communications, Procurement, Resource Management

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


March 2nd, 2018 | | Innovation, Inspire, News & Views, Planning & Communications

California International Marathon is Officially a Gold Level Certified Event

February 21, 2018

The 2017 California International Marathon (CIM) produced by the Sacramento Running Association has officially earned gold level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. Organizers created and implemented new plans and expanded on existing programs to benefit the local community to earn a total of 48 of the best practice standards set forth by the Council, in each of program’s five categories, including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy.

“I am so proud of the hard work of our staff, Board, and volunteers to comprehensively integrate sustainability into our race planning and operations processes at CIM,” said Race Director Eli Asch. “We strive to be a leader in our events’ positive impact on our community, and this recognition by the Council as a gold-level sustainable event–one of only two races in California to receive this distinction in 2017–is a testament to those efforts. It’s our hope that we inspire our fellow Sacramento-area races to follow our lead and make sustainability a core value and a key consideration while planning and operating their running events.”

Highlights from the 2017 race weekend that earned credit towards certification included:


  • Developed a formal plan to reduce event’s environmental footprint and increase social impact
  • Diverted 45 tons (77 percent) of all event waste from going to landfill by recycling and working to procure biodegradable materials then collect and compost them
  • Promoted sustainable practices through interactive volunteer stations
  • Encouraged active and public transport by offering a free bike valet at the State Capitol for secure bicycle parking, and partnering with Sacramento Regional Transit to handout free one day passes at the CIM Expo & Packet Pick-up at the Sacramento Convention Center
  • Identified and calculated all uses of water and energy, as well as the resulting greenhouse gas emissions related to producing the event
  • Shared intentions, sustainability plans and calls to action on social media, at community outreach events, and in participant newsletters

Social Justice and Inclusion:

  • Hosted the annual United States Association of Blind Athletes Marathon Championships
  • Partnered with Goodwill Industries to collect clothing items at the start line, on course, and at the Expo for redistribution and reuse in the community

    Volunteers collect clothing after runners take off at the 2017 California International Marathon

  • Engaged 66 schools and more than 2,400 local youth in the ‘Runnin for Rhett’ fitness and healthy lifestyle program. 1,802 students finished the MaraFUNrun 5k and Fitness Walk during the 2017 event weekend.
  • Promoted partnership with the American River Parkway Foundation to raise awareness and funds. The foundation is the sole beneficiary of the annual ‘Run the Parkway 20 miler,’ produced by the Sacramento Running Association.
  • The two-year certification was awarded based on planned activities and programs, documentation of policies and on-site assessment of the 2017 race weekend by a third-party evaluator from Waste Management Sustainability Services.

“The 35th annual California International Marathon was such an impressive display of what a sustainable sporting event can look like. From recycling and composting to water conservation and community legacy, the level of commitment from race organizers to ensuring that all considerations were made was outstanding. This all-inclusive event made for such a great experience for runners, kids, families and spectators alike and it was a pleasure for Waste Management to assist in the race’s certification efforts” said Waste Management evaluator Eric Gray.

You can read the Full press release here and breathe easy knowing that another leading road race has successfully implemented a sustainability program that links community values to event planning and production practices. Certified events like the California International Marathon are leading the way towards a world where responsibly produced events are the norm.


About the Sacramento Running Association and California International Marathon:
The CIM is organized by the Sacramento Running Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners. The 36th annual California International Marathon will be held on December 2, 2018.

February 22nd, 2018 | | News & Views, Uncategorized

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.

November 6th, 2017 | | Innovation, Inspire, News & Views, Uncategorized

Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities Earns Silver Level Inspire Certification

Community Foundation of Jackson Hole recognized for producing ‘Old Bill’s Fun Run’ event using international best practice standards for social and environmental responsibility


EUGENE–September 6, 2017–Old Bill’s Fun Run, celebrating its 21st running on September 9, 2017 and produced by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, has earned Silver Level Inspire Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport (Council), an Oregon-based non-profit supporting and promoting sustainability in sports.

Inspire event status is awarded by invitation to events achieving multiple certifications from the Council, to recognize the legacy of their commitment to social and environmental sustainability and thoughtful resource management. Old Bill’s Fun Run first earned certification in 2012 and has retained its silver level status each year since.

“For years Old Bill’s has reduced, reused and recycled, both for environmental and budgetary reasons,” said Old Bill’s Coordinator Annie Riddell. “In 2012, Council for Responsible Sport certification gave us the opportunity to strategize, organize and codify our efforts. Given Old Bill’s leadership role in the philanthropic realm, it makes sense to also demonstrate leadership in terms of environmental sustainability.”

“What the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has accomplished through this event is nothing shy of incredible, and that work extends to the 30-person volunteer Run Committee that ensures the event is as responsible as it is fun by using the sport industry standard for best environmental and social practices,” said Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport.

The Foundation gives out Old Bill’s Fun Run T-shirts made from 100% recycled materials and produced in the U.S., reduces waste sent to the landfill by using biodegradable plates, bowls and cutlery for food and beverage, sorts recyclable and compostable waste for processing and reuse, promotes biking and bussing to the event and much more.

A spirited volunteer engages visitors with information about recycling right at the 2016 Old Bill’s Fun Run

Inspire certified events are required to measure and report on sustainability performance indicators and expected to share their story with fellow event organizers. Inspire event organizers are also asked to mentor other events on aspects of their responsible sport program—a requirement Old Bill’s has met by working with the Community Foundation of Teton Valley on a waste management program for its Tin Cup Challenge. Other Inspire events include the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, Eversource Hartford Marathon and the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.


About Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities: The first event of its kind in the nation, the idea for Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities came from an anonymous couple that has pledged more than $10 million in matching funds over twenty-one years to encourage local philanthropy. Through the event, produced annually by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, the community has raised over $133 million to benefit local charities. In 2016, Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities raised $12.1 million for 221 local nonprofits with about 4,000 people running, walking or wheeling in the event.

About The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole: For 28 years, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has worked with donors and nonprofits to enrich all aspects of Teton County, Wyoming. The Foundation enables donors to establish personal philanthropic funds including donor advised, endowment, field of interest and legacy funds to facilitate their giving, makes grants to nonprofits and regularly convenes nonprofit professionals for training and stakeholder conversations.

September 5th, 2017 | | Community Legacy, News & Views, Planning & Communications

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