J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Chicago Earns Certification from the Council

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The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge partnered with Get In Chicago in 2014 to raise awareness and funds for the new public-private initiative to reduce violence and crime and make the city safer.

The Council is excited to announce a newly certified event in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Chicago. The event was held May 22, 2014 and drew over 25,000 participants from 594 companies to Grant Park for a 3.5 mile run/walk.

The Corporate Challenge is a series of races sponsored by J.P. Morgan and hosted in cities across the world each year, including in Singapore, Sydney, Johannesburg and several major U.S. cities. The 2014 Chicago event was organized by Lakeshore Athletic Services and is the first of the series to earn certification from the Council.

Tom Cooney, the President of Lakeshore Athletic Services said of the effort, “the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is dedicated to taking a proactive approach to reduce our environmental impact as we strive to  execute the most current and efficient operational practices at our Grant Park event, ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all participants.”

A discount on park use permit fees offered by the Chicago Parks District for events that become certified by the Council has encouraged numerous Chicago-based events to try for certification in the past year, providing a working model for how municipalities can encourage sustainable behaviors at events while working to achieve broader community goals around social and environmental responsibility.

One innovative thing organizers implemented this year in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was to eliminate outdoor grilling. In past years, individual corporate teams transported and setup then took down barbeques for the post-race party. Now, seven select caterers provide all the event food preventing hundreds of vehicle trips and all the gas and charcoal burned for grilling.

For a more robust description of efforts towards certification at this year’s event, see the full press release here and to see a video of the Get In Chicago partnership coming to life, click here!

TD Five Boro Bike Tour Leads New York City Down Responsible Sport Path

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In a city that struggles to divert even 20% of its waste from landfill, organizers of the recent TD Five Boro Bike Tour successfully diverted 83.8% of their waste from landfill. And that’s saying something for an event that traversed all five boroughs of New York City, involving some 32,000 bicyclists!

Of course, waste diversion is just one of the many initiatives that led to the TD Five Boro Bike Tour earning silver certification from the Council. The folks at Bike New York have an ongoing commitment to environmental and social responsibility that runs the gamut from their Learn to Ride programs for kids and adults — what could be more environmentally responsible than riding a bicycle, rather than driving a motor vehicle — to partnering with other NYC organizations that are dedicated to sustainability like the CIty’s Department of Environmental Protection, Grow NYC and the NYC Compost Project.

As Bike New York CEO and President Ken Podziba says:

Our hope is that this certification will encourage other organizations and events to join us in going green.

We couldn’t agree more.

For a complete copy of the press release announcing this silver certification, please click here.

July 31st, 2014 | | News & Views, Resource Management

Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5k Achieves Silver Certification, Hosts a Zero Waste Event

The Council is excited to announce that Gazelle Sports has achieved silver level certification of its Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5k in Grand Rapids, Michigan held on April 13 this year. In doing so, the event becomes the first in Grand Rapids to be awarded certification by the Council.

Organizers placed a heavy focus on waste minimization and by utilizing collection bins for compost, recycling, and even separate collection of food bar wrappers for repurposing by TerraCycle, Gazelle Girl achieved zero waste, diverting 99% of waste and sending just six pounds of trash to the landfill. Consider that in comparison with the fact that the average American trashes five pounds every day according to the Environmental Protection Agency. What a feat!

In the realm of social benefit, the Gazelle Girl donates all proceeds to three non-profit organizations serving the area: Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), YWCA, Girls on the Run-Kent County and D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s—Sisters in Support.

It’s worthwhile noting that the City of Grand Rapids has gained a good reputation in recent years for being forward thinking on community planning for sustainability, making the certification an extra boon to the area. With programs like Green Grand Rapids, an effort to initiate a citywide green infrastructure master planning process with broad public input, and the Community Sustainability Partnership, a collection of over 200 endorsing partners to develop sustainable neighborhoods, it’s fitting that Gazelle Sports chose to reflect the values of its clientele and host a socially and environmentally responsible half marathon and 5k event.

For more information on how the silver certification was earned see the list below, or read the official press release here.  Congratulations from the Council to everyone involved with this year’s success at the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5k—here’s to many more to come!

Here is a partial list of credits earned:

  • 350 articles of clothing collected from the starting line were donated to the local YWCA chapter.
  • Waste free water stations—bottled water was eliminated by serving purified tap water in compostable cups
  • Over 10,000 foil-lined food bar wrappers were collected separately and sent to TerraCycle to be creatively repurposed.
  •  Contracted with local jewelry designer, Imua, to procure event gift ‘charms’ made from recycled sterling silver.
  • Utilized a digital race packet for the first time, saving over 21,000 pages of paper from being used.
  •  Removed cost barriers for myTeamTriumph athletes. myTeamTriumph is an athletic ride-along program created for people with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events like road races.
  •  Offered free meet-ups including group training runs, yoga ($12 value) and cross training ($10 value) at local fitness facilities to help individuals with their training and help create an inclusive community feeling leading up to the race.
  •  Generated an estimated $650,000 of local economic impact from race activities.
  •  With funds provided from the event, the YWCA will include a fitness room in their upcoming new domestic safe house.

UC San Diego Tritonman Triathlon Achieves Silver Certification

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If you were going to map a path to consistently producing environmentally and socially responsible sports events, you would do well to follow the lead of the world’s first sustainable triathlon team–the UC San Diego Triathlon Team. In the past six years they’ve produced four events that have earned certification from the Council, most recently the 2014 Tritonman Triathlon, which achieved silver certification.

In addition to Tritonman, the team also produces the Coveskipper Aquathlon and the Grove Run each year. The 2009 Grove Run was the very first running event to achieve evergreen certification from the Council.

The team is not only committed to directing and hosting sustainable events. They also work with a UCSD group to re-engineer training equipment to generate renewable energy; seek environmentally and socially responsible sponsors, pursue carbon neutrality, and promote a sustainable community.

And they do all this with an ever-changing group of student athletes!

A PDF copy of the press release announcing Tritonman’s silver certification is available here.

May 21st, 2014 | | Community Legacy, News & Views

Gran Fondo Città della Spezia Achieves Silver Certification

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No, the photo above isn’t the Gran Fondo Città della Spezia itself, but it is of a wonderful event for kids held in conjunction with the Gran Fondo–a bicycle safety session hosted by local polizia in the lovely coastal town of La Spezia in the Liguria region of northern Italy. And it’s just one of the many notable socially and environmentally responsible initiatives event organizers implemented this year.

In earning silver certification from the Council, Gran Fondo Città della Spezia becomes the first cycling event in the world to achieve CRS certification–a notable accomplishment indeed.

Alberto Musso, President of Sporting Group Tarros, the event organizer, had this to say:

Being the first cycling event in the world to be awarded the Concil for Responsible Sport’s certification is for us a source of great pride. The Gran Fondo Città della Spezia was born from passion–a passion for the values of sport and for the environment.

The certification process was managed by IMQ, the Council’s exclusive partner in Italy.

A PDF of the complete press release is available here.