HOUSTON – The Council for Responsible Sport announced on Tuesday that the Houston Marathon Committee has been awarded a Gold Certification for its sustainability efforts while conducting the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon event weekend. The Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) is now one of only eight organizations ever to achieve this distinction since the Council launched its certification program in 2008.
The three-day event weekend generated 17.74 tons of waste, 83% of which was diverted out of landfills. The HMC recycled 11.27 tons and composted 3.45 tons, while sending 3.02 tons to landfills. The integrated planning efforts of the HMC, corporate partners, the GRB Convention Center, Discovery Green, Waste Management, Eco-Logistics, and green crew volunteers made this initiative a reality.
“We have a responsibility to the local communities, to our loyal participants, and our corporate partners to operate responsibly in regard to environmental and social best practices,” stated Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee. “We are grateful that the Council of Responsible Sport has created a quantifiable method to measure success in these areas, and to garner a gold certification in the second year of this initiative is truly gratifying.”
For the past three years, the HMC has partnered with Waste Management and their Sustainability Services to incorporate their greening efforts into every stage of the race weekend events. Waste Management donates sustainable port-o-lets and assists with the HMC’s waste collection, removal and diversion to their state-of-the-art recycling and composting center.
“Last year, the Houston Marathon Committee took on the ambitious challenge of having both the 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials certified by the Council for Responsible Sport,” said Keith Peters, Executive Director of the Council. “Their dedication to continuous improvement in the areas of environmental and social responsibility is truly remarkable. People often think of our certification as being all about environmental responsibility, but over half of the credits pertain to socially responsible things like community involvement, promoting healthy lifestyles and inclusion. The Chevron Houston Marathon scores well in every category.”
The HMC earned 52 of the 55 credits for which it applied. This included credits for collaborating with the Houston Fire Department to produce a Hands-Only CPR Awareness video for training race attendees, in addition to partnering with Hirsch Elementary School to assist with their Dream Team Recycling Rally.
Here is a partial list of the many successful sustainability initiatives implemented in 2013:
- The HMC partnered with Virtual Race Bags to eliminate the printing and distribution of over 15,000 pounds of paper.
- 100% online registration for the Chevron Houston Marathon event weekend
- 3,700 pounds of the clothing discarded at the start of the races was collected and given to Star of Hope Mission, a local agency dedicated to meeting the needs of Houston’s homeless.
- 1,223 pound (978 pairs) of running shoes were collected and donated to SEARCH Homeless Services.
- Of the 93 vehicles used for race operations, 57% used alternative fuel (electric)
- The HMC’s relationships with Clif Bar allowed 73% of GU packets distributed at EXPO and the race course to be collected, terracycled and created into products for additional use.
- 8,930 pounds of unused bottled water and food from the post-race party was donated to the Houston Food Bank
- The HMC implemented 100% no Styrofoam policy
In addition to the metrics above, the impact or footprint of a number of other aspects were measured:
- The carbon footprint of Chevron Houston Marathon participants traveling to and from the event totaled 1,765 metric tonnes.
- The carbon footprint of event related operations for the Houston Marathon was 2.75 metric tonnes.
- The water footprint attributed to the Houston Marathon was 295,000 gallons. Due to water conservation measures in place in the LEED Certified George R. Brown Convention Center, it is estimated that some 20% less water was used than would have been in a conventional building.
- Finally, all grey and black water from portable sanitation stations were transported to a wastewater treatment plant, while liquid waste containers were provided throughout the George R. Brown Convention Center to allow runners to empty beverage containers prior to recycling them.
For more information on the Houston Marathon Committee’s green initiatives, please visit http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/GeneralInfo/GreenInitiative.cfm.
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA Founding Member, annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually. Host to 12 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, HMC conducted the nationally-televised 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, which featured men and women competing on the same course simultaneously for the first time, vying for the chance to represent Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games.
For more information, visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com.
About the Council for Responsible Sport:
Our vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm.
Our mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities.
Our Certification program provides a comprehensive method for event directors to incorporate environmental and socially responsible initiatives into their events, while informing stakeholders about events that adhere to a rigorous set of standards. Certified events range in size from ParalympicsGB Training Camps held at the University of Bath in the UK, with some 150 athletes participating, to the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia, with 55,077 timed finishers. To date, 50 different events have achieved certification from the Council for Responsible Sport, serving over 710,000 athletes in the process.
The current version of the Council’s Certification standards was developed by an outside working group of 18 sustainability experts and reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders. Certification is modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System, which certifies buildings and materials according to resource conservation and energy efficiency criteria.