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.
Shelley | News & Views
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.
- 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 | Shelley | Access & Equity, News & Views, Planning & Communications, Procurement, Resource Management
Evergreen Certified Golf Tournament Seeks to Inspire Others to Pursue Responsible Sport Certification
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.January 31st, 2017 | Shelley | Community Legacy, Innovation, News & Views, Resource Management
TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race Earns Prestigious ‘Evergreen’ Status from the Council for Responsible Sport
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.
Here at the Council for Responsible Sport, we continue to envision a world where responsible sports are the norm. To date, 133 certified events have helped bring about a culture shift towards greater focus on environmental stewardship and enhancing the positive social outcomes of sporting events.
From marathons like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon, to (slightly) shorter road races like the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and TD Beach to Beacon 10K, to cycling events like the TD Five Boro Bike Tour and 2015 UCI Road World Championships; from track and field championships like the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in ’12 and ’16, to major PGA golf tournaments like the AT&T National Pro Am at Pebble Beach and the Waste Management Phoenix Open, events are increasingly acting beyond the bottom line according to their broader values and achieving incredible results along with official certification according to the Responsible Sport Standards. According to us, we’re just getting started. Certified events still represent the ‘leaders of the pack’ in an industry where there are over 30,000 running events staged in the U.S. alone every year.
Waste Management, our primary evaluation partner since January 2016, has been instrumental in amplifying the Council’s reach and bringing in experiential knowledge to our on-site evaluation process. WM has helped us make certification more relevant to organizers in many ways, thus, in short—more valuable.
The history of how this partnership came to be is now available publicly for all who are interested in better understanding the advancement of social and environmental responsibility as it relates to sport. We’re humbled and honored to contribute, and we’re very grateful to have Waste Management on our team to help bring about the integration of triple bottom line thinking into sport event management in the U.S. and beyond. We hope you enjoy the read!
Our inbox is always open to your comments, ideas and feedback. You can send us a note here!December 14th, 2016 | Shelley | Innovation, News & Views, Uncategorized
Bike New York Solidifies Leadership in Responsible Event Production with TD Five Boro Bike Tour Gold
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.November 4th, 2016 | Shelley | Access & Equity, Community Legacy, News & Views, Planning & Communications, Resource Management
Hard work pays off. TrackTown USA, Inc. has continued to focus on incorporating more sustainable practices in the several years since earning its first event certification from the Council for Responsible Sport with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Track & Field Trials. Now it celebrates the fruit of that enduring labor with two new Evergreen level certifications for its 2016 events.
Already recognized as a global leader in producing sustainable sporting events, TrackTown USA, Inc. achieved a huge milestone this year when two separate events earned Evergreen certification by the Council for Responsible Sport. Evergreen is the highest level of certification granted by the Council and just three events have reached that pinnacle since the current standards (version 4.2) were implemented in 2014.
Now TrackTown USA has delivered two of them – the IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland (March 17-20) and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field (June 30-July 10).
“We are ecstatic about this recognition of the hard work of our volunteers, committee members and staff to make both events much more than just a track and field meet,” said TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna. “TrackTown USA is committed to hosting events that engage and inspire, whether partnering with public transportation agencies to cut carbon emissions from travel, sharing our diverse wine, beer, and food culture with visitors from around the world, or encouraging youth to get moving through sport and fitness programs.”
The list of initiatives implemented is long for both events; both achieved at least 90 percent of all the available standards across the five responsible sport categories including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy.
TrackTown USA places a heavy focus on growing the sport of Track & Field and one major way of doing that is providing ways for new people to get engaged. The Nike Run Club House of Track was a particularly significant initiative. Partnering with the City of Portland to build the 200-meter track and infield in a vacant warehouse in northwest Portland, the warehouse was transformed into a community resource in January and February. The House of Track was open seven days/week for athlete training, community runs, and elite track and field meets which drew competitors from around the country. Assembling the track in the warehouse prior to moving it into the Oregon Convention Center for the World Indoor Championships brought the sport of indoor track and field to thousands more.
Thousands of kids participated in the Youth Heptathlon—running, jumping, and throwing in seven events throughout the free fan festival surrounding Hayward Field during the Olympic Trials. For many of the kids, it was their first opportunity to try the events.
To achieve high scores in procurement and resource management, the venues themselves were keys to success. Both the Oregon Convention Center (for the IAAF World Indoor Championships) and Hayward Field/University of Oregon campus have well-established environmental programs that provided a foundation for success as organizers strove for high levels of waste diversion and prevention, utilizing green power, and being in close proximity to public transportation.
The Council’s primary evaluation partner, Waste Management’s Sustainability Services team (WMSS) evaluated both events. WMSS consultants provided consistent and systematic evaluations, and provided professional feedback and recommendations. Lee Spivak, the WMSS consultant onsite at the Olympic Trials in July said, “The U.S. Olympic Trials for Track and Field did an impressive job with event material management, utilizing tap water over bottled water, engaging youth in a variety of activities, and educating fans about sustainability through the We Can initiative.”
There’s more to this story. You can read the full press release here for more detail on the efforts that earned these two evergreen certifications. Look out everyone, TrackTown USA just set, and cleared, a very high bar!October 12th, 2016 | Shelley | Access & Equity, Community Legacy, News & Views, Resource Management