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

Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend Earns Gold Level Responsible Sport Certification for 5th Consecutive Year

EUGENE (June 22, 2017) – The Council for Responsible Sport announced today that the Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) has been awarded the Gold Certification for the fifth consecutive year for its achievements while hosting the 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon.

The HMC earned credit on 46 of the best practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events. Certification, which is awarded in two-year increments, is achieved by complying with standards across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, access and equity, resource management and community legacy.

The HMC earned Gold Certification in 2013-14, 2015-16, and now in 2017-18. In 2012, the HMC became the first sports organization to earn dual certification from the Council for separate events conducted on consecutive days (2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon; 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon), and the HMC has now achieved the Gold level every year since.

Green team volunteers help sort waste at the 2017 EXPO. Additionally, Waste Management collected over 500 pairs of running shoes donated by visitors to SEARCH Homeless Services.

“Clearly there is a long-standing commitment to the certification standards as a strategic sustainability framework by the Houston Marathon Committee and event staff,” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “They’re really ‘walking the talk’ of event greening, and it’s made possible by the fact that this race is truly a product of a broad community effort. It’s an example to be studied and celebrated.”

The three-day event weekend diverted 77 percent of its unavoidable waste, an achievement stemming from a partnership with Waste Management and a broad effort that included waste-sorting stations overseen by long-time sustainable event experts from ‘Athletes for a Fit Planet.”

“The Council for Responsible Sport provides guidance and mentorship to help event organizers reduce waste, implement best sustainability practices, and commit to social legacy initiatives,” stated Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee and Foundations. “What began as a conscious, planned initiative to improve our sustainability efforts, has evolved into an infectious way of thinking within the organization top to bottom, and now it is inherent when planning and executing the event.”

Other examples of efforts made by the HMC includes donating leftover unopened refreshments to the Houston Food Bank, collecting and distributing clothing left near the start line to Houston Star of Hope, and partnering with the METRO transit authority to offer participants free rides on Houston’s METRORail light-rail on race day to avoid emissions and congestion from personal vehicles. Additionally, race officials utilize the City of Houston fire hydrants for water and over 400,000 compostable cups instead of providing bottled water at refueling stations along the course.

“The last five years have proven to be an amazing journey,” said Lisa Doughty, Director of Public Affairs at Waste Management.  “Year after year looking for new and innovative ways to optimize the materials collected: while creating a bigger, better, more sustainable event.   Today’s Gold Certification is proof-positive evidence of what happens when we all work together with the same goals in mind.  It is a pleasure to partner with the Houston Marathon Committee and we applaud them for another successful year.”

Reducing barriers to participation was another area where the event earned credit. The Houston Marathon Foundation engages local youth in healthy training and life skills through its We Run Houston after-school running program, providing direct and in-kind support ranging from stipends for coaches, training gear, transportation, and free entry fees. In 2017, over 1,500 youth were directly supported with over $42,000 in donated value to youth who attend schools where 85 percent or more students qualify for free and reduced lunch.


About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.:
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC) annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. A founding member of Running USA, the HMC conducts IAAF rated events that retained Gold Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport and was awarded the AIMS Green Award for industry-leading sustainability initiatives. Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually. In 2016, the Run for a Reason Charity Program raised $2.3 million, while the Houston Marathon Foundation supported youth and community running initiatives. Televised annually by broadcast partner ABC13, 2016 was the first time that the event was syndicated live nationally and internationally on ESPN3 and the Longhorn Network. Host to 16 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, the HMC also conducted the 2012 men’s and women’s U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon.

About the Council for Responsible Sport:

The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission 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 current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014.

June 21st, 2017 | | Community Legacy, News & Views, Resource Management, Uncategorized

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.

April 11th, 2017 | | Community Legacy, Innovation, News & Views, Resource Management

2017 Men’s Final Four Championship Organizers Seek Certification for Social and Environmental Responsibility

EUGENE, March 30, 2017– As the surviving teams emerge from March Madness and get ready for the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships in Phoenix, Arizona, organizers are preparing to host what they hope will be the most social and environmentally responsible Final Four weekend ever.

The 2017 Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee has built programming upon a baseline created with the NCAA, Houston Local Organizing Committee and City of Houston at last years’ Final Four, using the Council for Responsible Sport standards for certification; the 2016 event earned basic level certification. Phoenix organizers hope to achieve a higher level of certification at this years’ event, which is awarded after a robust review process that includes an on-site evaluation by the Council’s primary evaluation partner, Waste Management, and post-event reporting of performance on specific criteria.

“Phoenix is honored to host the Final Four in 2017 and is making the same commitment to sustainability that Houston and former host cities have made,” said Dawn Rogers, CEO of the 2017 Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee. “We are working with an outstanding local committee to have a high waste diversion rate along with water and energy offsets. With our community working together under one banner, we’ll strive to ensure that Phoenix showcases the standard of excellence this iconic event deserves.”

“Waste Management is excited to continue utilizing our sustainable event management expertise and evaluate this year’s Final Four for the Council,” said Ben Mjolsness, Sustainability Associate with Waste Management and this year’s on-site evaluator. “The event organizers have put together a robust collection of programs focused on social and environmental initiatives. We are looking forward to seeing them all in action at this year’s Final Four tournament.”

Certification from the Council formally recognizes responsible practices at sporting events and is achieved by implementing best practices in each of five categories including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy.

Socially and environmentally responsible initiatives planned for the 2017 Phoenix Final Four include:

  • Attempting high rates of waste diversion from the landfill through signage and sorting of recyclable and compostable materials
  • Working with local partners such as Keep Phoenix Beautiful to repurpose signage, banners and other durable materials
  • Engaging volunteers and the public to show support and take action in their lives through the ‘Final Four Green Pledge’
  • Hosting 3,200 youth (18 & under) at the NCAA Final Four Dribble on Sunday, April 2 in downtown Phoenix where participants will receive a free t-shirt and Wilson basketball
  • The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee is providing 6,000 backpacks to 60 area schools in a partnership with NCAA Team Works
  • Engaging third grade students at 360 local schools in a literacy challenge geared to inspire reading and increase classroom achievement in partnership with ReadOnArizona and NCAA.
  • Opening the March Madness Music Festival to the public at no cost. The festival is at Margaret T. Hance Park featuring performances by top national musicians.

The Final Four basketball games will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The fan festivities will be held in downtown Phoenix starting Friday, March 31 through Monday, April 3.


March 29th, 2017 | | Access & Equity, Community Legacy, News & Views, Planning & Communications, Uncategorized

2017 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run Gains Gold Level Inspire Status From Council For Responsible Sport

Race organizers’ long-term commitment to producing a sustainable event results in invitation to join a very exclusive club

The Council for Responsible Sport is excited to officially award the 2017 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, to be held on April 2nd, Gold Level Inspire Certification. Inspire events represent the pinnacle of achievement and stand as an example and inspiration to others.

Inspire event status is awarded by invitation to events that have achieved multiple certifications from the Council, with the intention of recognizing the legacy that sporting events committed to sustainability and thoughtful resource management provide to their audiences and communities. Inspire certified events are required to provide important sustainability metrics and are expected to share their story with fellow event organizers. Inspire event organizers are also asked to mentor other Council-affiliated events on aspects of their responsible sport program.

According to Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport: “I am delighted to grant Gold Level Inspire Certification to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run! This award recognizes a legacy of certified responsible performance by event organizers as well as their commitment to mentor other events interested in becoming more sustainable. Following three consecutive biennial certifications by the group—Silver in 2011 and 2013, Gold in 2015—I look forward to supporting the work of Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run organizers at this new level of engagement for years to come.”

Event Director Phil Stewart said, “We are pleased to share what we have learned about creating a sustainable event while receiving silver and gold certification through the Council for Responsible Sport, and hope other events will jump on the sustainability bandwagon in the years ahead.”

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run is just the fifth event to have earned Inspire status. The 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open was recently granted Evergreen Level Inspire Certification, while the upcoming Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon has been awarded Gold Level Inspire Certification; the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Old Bill’s Fun Run, in Jackson Hole, were awarded Gold and Silver Level Inspire Certification, respectively, last fall.

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk attracts some 16,000 participants on a course which starts and finishes on the Washington Memorial Grounds and passes by all of Washington DC’s major memorials. The 45th running of the event is scheduled for Sunday, April 2, 2017, with the 10-mile starting at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K Run-Walk starting at 8:40 a.m. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Kids’ Run will move to a new time and location this year: Saturday, April 1 at 10 a.m. at the National Building Museum.

Over 27,000 runners submitted applications to participate in the 2017 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 5K Run-Walk, and the list of accepted runners represents all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. The event is limited to 16,000 finishers by the national Park Service.

The 2017 event will mark the 16th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day. Since 2002, over $7.5 million has been raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

If you’re interested to read more about the journey towards sustainability at the event, be sure to check our our interview with green team leader, Kim Nemire, found here!


March 15th, 2017 | | Inspire, News & Views

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!











February 28th, 2017 | | Community Legacy, Innovation, News & Views, Resource Management

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