98.6% Waste Diversion - Gold Standard!
In 2016 the Banff Marathon had an incredible 98.6% Waste Diversion! The event produced almost 1000lbs of waste and only 10lbs went to landfill!
The green strategies utilized for the event included:
- 857 tons of Global Greenhouse Gasses Offset!
- Used trhe BVWC Towards Zero Waste Certification to rate our accomplishments. 98.6% of waste diverted from landfill
- Utilized Green Energy from renewable sources
- Utilized a Purchasing and Procurement guiding document
- Education and Engagement with sponsors and partners to targer waste diversion.
- Environmental and Wildlife Mitigation with Parks Canada and Environment Monitor
- Free rides with ROAM transit for participants
- Virtual Event Bags were used instead of lastic or paper athlete race kits
- Bio Digestible Water Cups were used in place of plastic or wax coated cups
- An Education Program was conducted with teh Sunstainability committee and through the "Sustainability Village" at the Sport Expo.
2016 Sustainability Goals
SustainDriven will attempt to have 100% waste diversion with the 2016 Banff Marathon. This will be a first for an event that draws over 6000 people.
10 Steps to the Worlds Greenest Marathon (again) in 2016
2016 Banff Marathon Environmental Plan
The 2015 Banff Marathon was the #worldsgreenestmarathon and is on track to do so again in 2016. The 2016 Marathon is taking the most successful aspects of the 2015 event and using this as a foundation to improve performance. The “mantra” for 2016 is “100% waste diversion.
The strategies employed for race weekend are:
We will utilize grid energy that is certified as from renewable sources. Our partner with this is Bow Valley Power.
GHG offsets (Global Greenhouse Gasses)
We will calculate the total greenhouse gas generation for the event. This includes Race operations, home and remote office operations, all travel from point of origin including all competitors. Our partner is Walker Industries and Brightspot.
Towards Zero Waste
In 2015, we piloted the BVWC Toward Zero Waste certification Program and achieved a “gold” standard. In 2016, we are targeting 100% waste diversion from our activities.
Purchasing and Procurement
The Banff Marathon will utilize the purchasing and procurement-guiding document within the internal and external operations and partners.
Education and Engagement
Almost all the sponsors and many of the funding partners view education and knowledge transfer as a critical element of their participation. The participants of the race, their friends and families, the various staff and volunteers for the race, the media, and Albertan’s will all be targeted with messages encouraging their engagement to accomplish the “Worlds Greenest Marathon” and within this the specific target of 100% waste diversion.
Environmental and Wildlife Mitigation
All special events held in the Banff Park must utilize a Parks Canada Wildlife Resource Management Officer along with a subcontracted Environmental Monitor to monitor and follow the strategies outlined in the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) that is mandatory for all public events in the national park.
In 2015, we piloted a perimeter parking plan and use the Roam Transit bus program. We targeted 100 riders and surpassed this goal. Participants simply have to show their race bib and were offered free Roam Transit for the race weekend. In 2016, we are again running this program with a target of 250 utilizations. Exhibitors will get a Roam Transit pass for the weekend.
Virtual Event Bag
Once again we will employ the Virtual Event Bag. This software eliminates the need for a physical Swag Bag for each participant and the resulting waste.
Bio Digestible Water Cups
On a hot day, the Marathon can utilize up to 20,000 disposable cups. Bio-digestible cups are better than recyclable, compostable or worst cases “coated” that are simply garbage. Our cups would completely melt if placed in a dishwasher. They are easy to compost and this is what we do.
A substantial education program will be conducted again. While the various elements required to achieve the World Greenest status is commendable we found the guests were overwhelmed with the “shopping list” of initiatives. For 2016, we will focus our message on our goal of 100% waste diversion.
An additional education goal is to work with our sustainability committee with a goal of teaching them everything about sustainability. These incredible students will run the world some day. We want them to understand how easy it is to be the world’s greenest in the hopes that will lead us this way.
About SustainDriven www.sustaindriven.com
SustainDriven is an innovative provider of environmental consulting and event operations that integrates world-class front-end and mid stream project consulting to execute sustainable water, waste, global green house gas and energy solutions. These actions, when integrated in an overall operations plan makes a facility, business, event or construction project attain “most sustainable in its class” level of accreditation.
Our 2015 accomplishments
The 2015 Banff Marathon is a full and half marathon and 10k running race held in the town of Banff, Alberta. The event was held June 20th and June 21st, 2015.
The 2015 marathon was called the “Third – Second Annual” as the 2013 event was cancelled at the last minute due to the epic floods in 2013 that shut down all transportation corridors. The third time “was a charm” as almost everything went according to plan.
Parks Canada capped the total number of participants at 1500. The event was sold out with a waiting list.
SustainDriven acted as the Director of Sustainability for the race and expo.
SustainDriven hosted an “Event Within the Event”. It was called the Sustainability Summit where parties involved in creating the greenest marathon presented to the group and politicians assembled.
For 2015 SustainDriven and the Banff Marathon accomplished the following initiatives:
1. Total Green House Gas load for the event and all participant travel were completely offset with certified retired GHG credit’s
2. Certified green energy for the entire event was used.
3. A Towards Zero Waste program for the offices, race course and expo was executed with an amazing 94.3% waste diversion rate.
4. Launching of the VEB (Virtual Event Bag) for all participants to eliminate the normal “Swag Bag” of coupons and the resulting waste.
5. CRAZ (Calgary Regional Airshed Zone) exhibited their MAML (Mobile air monitoring laboratory) to showcase the clean air the runners competed in.
6. We utilized a “bio digestible” water cup for participants instead of paper compostable cups. The purpose was an experiment with the Banff N-Viro facility to shorten the distance traveled for waste products and the resulting reduction in GHG’s.
7. We partnered with ROAM Transit to have a perimeter-parking plan and to encourage participants to take the bus rather than private vehicles.
8. We held a Sustainability Summit to showcase the elements of sustainability as displayed in the Marathon to accomplish its goals.
9. We utilized a purchasing and procurement guide to affect all decisions made by the operations team.
10.A substantial education program was conducted:
o To the participants through every newsletter.
o To the participants with a “Most Environmentally Sustainable Runner” contest.
o To the aid station captains with inclusion in their guiding documents and speaking to them at the morning meeting.
o To the expo participants with inclusion in the document requiring their signatures as well face to face all weekend.
o To the Sustainability committee with complete inclusion in the process including meetings with the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission Towards Zero Waste staff.
o To the Sustainability Committee student captains where they designed the suggested usage of the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corp scholarship.
o The use of flash drives courtesy of Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corp for the Sustainability Summit in place of printed info in a binder.
o SustainDriven prepared for the Town of Banff a draft special event sustainability matrix for the permitting process based upon the Banff Marathon.
o The media attended the summit to showcase the successes.
o All signage for the event was prepared with future use in mind.
The environmental sustainability efforts were a success. It was likely the most environmental sustainable event ever in the Banff National Park.
We will conduct a full review of other world-class marathons at year end to confirm that we may use the title “Worlds Greenest Marathon for 2015”