In a joint release today, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Council for Responsible Sport announced a collaborative effort to draw more attention to, and participation in the IAAF’s social responsibility program, Athletics for a Better World (ABW). The hope and intent of this global partnership is to stimulate social and environmental responsibility programs at competitions of all levels, from fun runs to world championships.
To that end, it is fitting that this announcement immediately follows the release of news about the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships having earned gold certification from the Council. The World Junior Championships served as the North American launch event for Athletics for a Better World.
In keeping with our three service platforms — supporting, certifying and celebrating responsibly produced sports events — the Council will provide counsel and support to IAAF events that may not be ready to apply for certification, but do want to support the ABW initiative. Long term, it is our hope that all IAAF World Athletics Series events as well as other key IAAF sanctioned competitions will pursue certification from the Council. The next event on the calendar to do so will be the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships, to be held in Portland, Oregon, March 18-20, 2016.
Athletics for a Better World harnesses the commitment and energy of the worldwide athletics family to inspire lasting change. ABW provides a common brand and platform to promote projects that seek to use athletics as a tool for social good, concentrating on the fields of Health, Environment, Social Inclusion and Peace.
To download a PDF of the joint release, please click here.
After awarding gold medals to 28 athletes age 19 years and under, organizers of last summer’s 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships have earned a gold medal of their own — gold certification from the Council, recognizing a job very well done by the folks from TrackTownUSA! (aka Eugene, Oregon)
As the flags in the photo above indicate, this was truly an international event with 167 countries represented. While nearly 1600 athletes from around the world came together to compete at Historic Hayward Field, event organizers focused not just on hospitality for the international delegations, but also developed a wide variety of environmentally and socially responsible initiatives to engage fans and athletes alike.
Perhaps the most engaging activity was the We Can! Sustainable Scavenger Hunt, which sent participants to all corners of Eugene to experience everything the community has to offer in the way of infrastructure to support its sustainability initiatives.
Local organizers also earned certification credits by providing 100 percent renewable power; offsetting all local travel emissions; staging the TrackTown Youth Challenge in which 1,200 kids earned free tickets by running a mile; and providing an on-line training guide for volunteers focusing on access, equity, diversity, inclusion and public safety.
And, while there isn’t (yet) a Council certification credit for doing so, TrackTownUSA and the IAAF teamed up for the North American launch of the IAAF’s social responsibility program, Athletics for a Better World.
To download a PDF of the press release announcing TrackTownUSA’s latest gold medal, click here.
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.