IRONMAN and the Council for Responsible Sport have announced that, in collaboration with Waste Management (NYSE:WM), IRONMAN has earned the highest possible level of certification — Evergreen — ‘recognizing the successful implementation of socially and environmentally responsible practices at the 2016 IRONMAN Boulder triathlon’.
The event earned credits across all five categories of standards including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity as well as community legacy.
“The Council applauds IRONMAN on the achievement of Evergreen certification for 2016 IRONMAN Boulder,” said Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport. “Staging events in many places poses a challenge for genuine local cooperation, but IRONMAN has shown itself to be a willing partner in working to leave a positive impact on the Boulder community and steward borrowed venues as if they were home.”
Since 2008, the Council for Responsible Sport has certified over 100 sporting events within four levels – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Evergreen. IRONMAN Boulder is in elite company being amongst only nine events to receive the highest (Evergreen) status, and is also the only triathlon to achieve this level of certification.
“Achieving this certification is the result of a strong and strategic partnership with the team at Waste Management,” said Cameron O’Connell, Senior Director of Sales for IRONMAN. “With their guidance, we have been able to implement sustainable standards across our event series. Our success with IRONMAN Boulder can now serve as a best-practices example for our company and for race organizers everywhere.”
IRONMAN worked with Waste Management, first, by capturing current environmental initiatives and then by identifying opportunities for improvement and innovation with a focus on IRONMAN Boulder. This led to green initiatives that have now been rolled out across the North American race series, such as utilizing compostable cups at all aid stations and donating leftover nutrition to local food pantries and shelters.
“Waste Management is proud to support IRONMAN on a wide variety of sustainable event programs on its journey to achieve the highest level of certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for the Boulder race,” said Lee Spivak, Senior Associate with Waste Management’s Sustainability Services group.
“We are excited to continue this relationship and help IRONMAN grow its sustainability initiatives across all five categories of standards. It was also great for our team to utilize our sustainable event management expertise to help another major event achieve Council certification.”
Highlights from the IRONMAN Boulder triathlon sustainability initiatives included:
- Collected bike inner tubes and tyres for reuse through TerraCycle.
- Reduced waste generation by reusing fencing, flags, finish line materials, tents, signs, inflatable arches and the IRONMAN Village truss from previous IRONMAN events.
- Collected 64 carbon dioxide canisters from event activities to ensure they were reused instead of ending up in landfill.
- Provided a free shuttle service to and from major venues; IRONMAN shuttled close to 10,000 people between locations, reducing about 3,000 vehicle trips in each direction.
- Reduced the material sent to landfill by asking all vendors to sign a participation agreement so they only use materials for the event that were locally recyclable, compostable or reusable.
- Measured the total event water use at 14,925 gallons and purchased Water Restoration Certificates from Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to restore 50,000 gallons to the Colorado River Basin.
- Offset 100% of the greenhouse gas emissions from event operations by purchasing 10 MTCO2e through the Colorado Carbon Fund.
- Donated 5,621 pounds of unused, perishable food and 9,022 pounds of bottled water to Community Food Share in Louisville, Colorado.
- Engaged children ages 3-15 in the United Healthcare IRONKIDS Boulder Fun Run to include individuals who otherwise might not participate in an IRONMAN race.
- The IRONMAN Foundation presented Paradox Sports with a US$10,000 Community Grant for a second straight year to support its mission to create adaptive outdoor adventures, such as rock, ice, and mountain climbing for individuals with physical disabilities.
- IRONMAN encouraged fundraising for a cause through the ‘Your Journey, Your Cause’ initiative. Participants in IRONMAN Boulder raised over US$26,000 for their causes in 2016.
- Waste Management and IRONMAN estimate that the 2016 IRONMAN Boulder race generated an economic impact of approximately US$3.9 million.