2014 has been a big year for the Council, and another new milestone was reached with the announcement this week of the Gold Level certification of the Gran Fondo NJ, the first-ever cycling event to achieve Gold!
Organizers sought certification for the first time for this year’s mid-September long-distance cycling event in the New Jersey highlands. With collaboration from local partners including Marty’s Reliable Cycle and Sustainable Morristown, the Gran Fondo NJ earned 51 out of the 52 credits it sought from the 4.1 Council for Responsible Sport standards.
Some of the highlights we’d like to share are listed below:
- Food at rest stops featured regionally and organically sourced produce and fruit.
- Signage and promotional printing was done on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper with low and no VOC solvents, locally manufactured inks and without toxic chemicals.
- Achieved a ‘zero waste’ event by diverting more than 90 percent of waste generated from the landfill through recycling and organics collection and separation.
- Five community partners received a charitable donation of $12,500 each from the Gran Fondo NJ after the event. Organizations included Sustainable Morristown, the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, the Seeing Eye, Homeless Solutions Inc., and Grow it Green Morristown.
- E-waste was eliminated by collecting re-usable timing chips (and charging a $40 fee if not returned).
- Offset the carbon emissions of the event operations and calculated the emissions of participant travel as well as the emissions of the participant’s riding. The total carbon footprint of riders riding was 96 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of 20 passenger vehicles on the road for one year, or about 9 homes energy use for a year (EPA).
- Offered a ‘breve’ distance of 18 miles for people who wanted to participate but could not ride 42 miles (the next shortest distance in a gran fondo). 80 people joined that ride, while 46 kids participated in the ‘kid fondo’.
The Council offers its congratulations and thanks to the Gran Fondo NJ for putting forth such a strong example of what it means to truly integrate responsible sport into an event from all angles. You can read the full press release here!
For the past 18 years, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has staged Old Bill’s Fun Run as a fundraiser for local charities. This year, Old Bill’s raised over $10 million, and over the past 18 years, over $111 million has been raised! Talk about an event creating a huge community legacy!
But Old Bill’s isn’t just about fundraising. Event organizers and community supporters have a tremendous commitment to the environment as well. Two of Jackson’s finest rode their electric motorcycles at the head of the race; Lower Valley Energy made sure all power needs were met with 100% renewable energy; the kids at the Children’s Museum created finisher’s “medal” for the kids run from discarded coffee cup lids, recycled magazines and old ribbon; and Journeys School students calculated the carbon footprint of event operations.
Photos from of the Jackson Police Department’s electric motorcycles, kids run medals, and a few of the participating non-profits are interspersed in our #responsiblesport Instagram gallery.
A PDF version of the Community Foundation’s press release announcing silver (re)certification from the Council can be downloaded here.
Also, Gritty Entertainment and filmmaker Sasha Motivala created a fun video that gives a good sense of how much folks in the community enjoy contributing to Old Bill’s success.
As many of you know, we’re always curious to see what other folks think responsible sport looks like. So much so that we’ve devoted a growing gallery page for photos submitted to our #responsiblesport Instagram account.
The photo above is one such photo — one that tells a very clear story about what community legacy looks like. The community is Monterey, California, and the legacy is an electric vehicle charging station courtesy of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation (MPF), host of the annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Here’s what MPF had to say about this particular initiative in the context of their overall effort to achieve gold certification from the Council:
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am set out to earn a gold level environmental certification through Council for Responsible Sport. This daunting task included diverting more than 90 percent of waste at an event hosting some 130,000 spectators, PGA TOUR professional golfers and sports and entertainment celebrities, while operating on three courses simultaneously. Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the non-profit that hosts the event, worked on purchasing, created strategic dumpster strategies, and bridged partnerships across the nation to find reuse solutions. In addition to waste diversion, there were many social components as well as water and carbon reduction efforts embedded into the event. There is one initiative, however, that sets this event apart from other certified events. Perhaps, this is a model that other events can consider. Instead of offsetting emissions through a national project that offered no tangibility, Monterey Peninsula Foundation invested their dollars locally by installing an electric vehicle charging station in the city where the event staff lives and works.
A PDF of the MPF press release announcing certification can be viewed here.
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!
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.