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


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.

Cincinnati Zoo’s Cheetah Run Earns Certification


Child Magazine has called the world famous Cincinnati Zoo & Biological Garden one of the 10 best zoos for kids. Now it can add certification from the Council for its 2013 Cheetah Run to its list of accolades.

One of the many notable accomplishments at the Cheetah Run was the diversion of 98.7% of all event related waste being diverted from the landfill. This success was due in large part to having trained volunteers at all primary waste collection points and, of course, the infrastructure the zoo has in  place to support its zero landfill goal.

As I said in the press release:

The Cincinnati Zoo’s long-term commitment to green building, solid waste management, renewable energy, water conservation, storm water management, energy efficiency and community outreach provides a tremendous platform for the zoo’s special events staff to build upon.

The complete press release is available as a PDF here.

February 6th, 2014 | | News & Views, Resource Management

Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k becomes Canada’s first Silver Certified Event

The volunteer recycling team at the Scotiabank Half Marathon & 5k celebrates a job well done.

The volunteer recycling team at the Scotiabank Half Marathon & 5k celebrates a job well done.

Canada Running Series hosts eight race events in Canada annually including the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k, which has achieved silver level certification for its 2013 effort. The event achieved a 97.8 percent waste diversion rate through a partnership with Green Chair Recycling, about as close to zero waste as is possible and certainly something to celebrate.

“At Canada Running Series, we’ve always been committed to producing world-class events that showcase the cities we run in and benefit our community. We are very proud of the green initiatives our Vancouver team has brought forward” said Alan Brookes, Canada Running Series’ National Race Director.

Event organizers helped bring awareness to another great project and offset climate impacts at the same time by purchasing renewable energy credits for the indoor expo through ‘Cow Power,’  which supports the development of anaerobic digestion as an alternative energy source and waste management tool for dairy farmers by processing methane gas-rich animal waste.

There’s more where that comes from. For more information on efforts from this year’s event read the downloadable PDF press release here and learn more about Canada Running Series by visiting their Web site here.