Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon And 5K Earns Gold

February 25th, 2016

Newly Certified at the Gold level by the Council for Responsible Sport, the run surpassed its sustainability goals

EUGENE, OR (02/25/2016) – The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and 5K once again proved its commitment to producing a world-class event that showcases the city and is both socially and environmentally responsible. The Council for Responsible Sport announced that the 2015 event has been awarded a Gold level certification, making it the only event in Canada to do so. The event had previously earned a silver level certification in 2013.

Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport formally recognizes significant achievements through the successful completion of socially and environmentally responsible best practices at sporting events. Standards must be achieved across five categories including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. The only other currently certified event in Canada is the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (Silver – 2014).

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this designation”, said Operations Director Tom Skinner.  “Our staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly over the years to achieve this goal.  We can all feel proud that we are doing our very best for the environment.  We feel that we have set the bar high for other events in the region and across Canada.”

The Council for Responsible Sport’s certification director, Shelley Villalobos, commended the achievement by saying, “this gold certificate is well-earned by Canada Running Series for its extremely thorough approach to hosting a responsible event. The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon did an exemplary job.”

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon has worked over the years to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the events’ production. Earning 50 out of 50 of the standard-based credits it applied for. Some of the highlights from the responsible event effort are listed below:

Waste Diversion Highlights

  • 98% of waste diverted from the landfill over two days at the Expo and Race Day
  • More than 600kg of composted waste and 300kg of cardboard/paper
  • 350kg of food donated to Quest Food Exchange
  • Only 56kg of garbage was produced by an event hosting 6,000 runners
  • Participants brought hard-to-recycle items (batteries, light bulbs, etc) from home to be recycled

Carbon Footprint and Offsets

  • All electrical energy use at the event expo was offset by purchasing renewable energy from Bullfrog Power
  • Almost 30% of the event’s operational power came from solar and bike power, covering the majority of the Finish Area’s power needs
  • Carbon footprint of event calculated at 5.03 tonnes, 100% of which is being offset through carbon credits, making the event carbon neutral
  • A new bike valet increased the number of participants who rode their bikes to Stanley Park


  • 100% of food purchased for the event was either from local businesses or sustainably produced (e.g. organic bananas)
  • A majority of services and supplies procured came from locally owned businesses
  • Participants all received a Virtual Event Bag, to cut down on waste from paper flyers and handouts

Improvements Planned for 2016

While ecstatic about the Gold certification, the team at Scotia Half is already thinking of ways to improve for next year. Over 80% of participants surveyed said sustainability efforts were good or great, and many provided suggestions on ways to improve. Plans for 2016 include:

  • Additional recycling and compost stations to be added to the finish area
  • On-course waste diversion at Water Stations to be simplified with improved signage and infrastructure
  • On-course water bottle refill stations will be expanded to reduce reliance on paper cups
  • Supply orders will be further refined to reduce packaging waste, thanks to data collected at 2014 and 2015 events

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 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.

About the Scotiabank Vancouver Half- Marathon

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K is part of the prestigious Canada Running Series.  As one of Vancouver’s premier running events, the SVHM attracts more than 7,000 runners and walkers of all levels, including many elite athletes and spectators to the city.  The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K takes place on Sunday, June 26th starting at 7:30 a.m. for the Half-Marathon and 9:30 a.m. for the 5K.  Register today at

Council for Responsible Sport

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon And 5K Earns Gold

Contact Info

Keith Peters

Share This Article


Submit Your Press Release

Get your news delivered to thousands of media contacts and industry insiders in the running, cycling and triathlon industries now.


Join ESW Today!