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
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 | Shelley | 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.”
February 28th, 2017 | Shelley | Community Legacy, Innovation, News & Views, 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