Organizers improve on past performance to earn gold level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for Social and Environmental Initiatives
Eugene, OR — The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), held October 16, 2016 and hosted by Canada Running Series, has achieved Gold Level Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport (Council) by improving performance from its first certification effort (silver) in 2015. Organizers earned credit on 45 of the best practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events, up from 38 achieved in 2015. The marathon, which hosted over 25,000 participants in 2016, remains the only certified event in Toronto out of over 150 total certified events worldwide.
Race Director Alan Brookes said “Canada Running Series is passionately committed to ‘building community through running’ – and that means the cities we live in as well as the sport we love. Sustainable communities; green, healthy cities for people, and the organizing of environmentally responsible runs are core values for us. We’re proud of this achievement for our city, and the certification will inspire us to do more.”
Certification is valid for two years. It is achieved by complying with criteria across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. Highlights from the event that earned credit towards certification included:
- Continual improvements to a comprehensive solid waste management plan to strive for high rates of diversion from landfill. Green team members assisted with proper placement of garbage, recycling and compost at each waste station.
- 135 pairs of lightly used running shoes were collected and redistributed through partner organization Community Education Services (CES) Canada, which provides secondary school education for youth orphaned in Kenya.
- 740 pounds of food was donated to Second Harvest, a local food bank that distributes the food to those in need.
- 1,200 local youth in grades 4-8 finished an active lifestyle training program by running in the 5K event weekend free. Canada Running Series covered all transportation costs, t-shirts, bib numbers and a nutritional snack, with gifts totaling around $36,000.
- Canada Running Series staff coordinated a staff outing to clean-up a community park along the marathon route.
- The Neighbourhood Challenge annually provides an opportunity for neighborhoods along the marathon route to gather and celebrate their communities by providing resources, coordination support and even prize money for categories including most people, most noise, best costumes and best entertainment.
- Supported locally owned businesses such as Chiovitti Banana and Vert Catering through direct purchases and promotion.
- The Scotiabank Charity Challenge helps to make runner’s participation meaningful by fundraising for causes important to them. Scotiabank adds an additional total of $33,000 in cash awards to the participating charities who recruit the most runners, fundraise the most dollars and who raise the most on average per fundraiser. The Scotiabank Charity Challenge is a turnkey fundraising program that provides a simple way for runners to support the charity of their choice and make a significant impact locally. Participating charities keep 100 per cent of the proceeds raised, as Scotiabank pays for all transaction and credit card fees.
“The Council for Responsible Sport congratulates Canada Running Series on this most recent accomplishment. It’s a group that has worked hard for many years now to think strategically about what it means to host events that truly support local economies, build community and reduce the environmental impacts of their planning and purchases. That’s the core of the responsible sport movement!” Said the Council’s managing director, Shelley Villalobos.
About the Council for Responsible Sport:
The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its 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. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014. www.CouncilforResponsibleSport.org
About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon:
An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 7-race Canada Running Series. In 2016 it attracted 26,000 participants from 70 countries, raised $3.24 million for 182 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast was watched by more than 72,000 viewers from 129 countries. http://STWM.ca