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    Posted: February 12, 2016:  

    Athletics: Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon And 5K Wins Gold

    Gold Certified sustainable event is Canada's Greenest Race

    VANCOUVER, BC (02/11/2016) - The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and 5k is committed to producing a world-class event that showcases the city and is both socially and environmentally responsible. The event can now officially claim the title of Canada's Greenest Race! After a complete analysis by the Council for Responsible Sport, the 2015 event has been awarded a Gold Certification, making it the only event in Canada to do so.

    Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport formally recognizes significant achievements through the successful completion of socially and environmentally responsible milestones at sporting events. Standards can be achieved in areas ranging from waste management and climate impact to community involvement, health promotion and more. The only other certified event in Canada is the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (Silver - 2014).

    The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon has a big job which includes integrating sustainability into all aspects of the eventsí production. The event was able to achieve Gold level certification by receiving 50 out of 50 credits it applied for, building on a silver certification it earned in 2013. Credits in the Councilís certification program are based on industry best practices in the areas of planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy.

    "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 Sportís certification director, Shelley Villalobos, commended the achievement by saying, "this gold certificate is well-earned by Canada Running Series for its mature, thorough approach to hosting an exemplary responsible event in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon."

    Waste Diversion Highlights

    • 98% of waste diverted from the landfill over two days at the Expo and Race Day
    • This includes over 600kg of composted waste and 300kg of cardboard/paper
    • Over 350kg of food donated to Quest Food Exchange
    • Only 56kg of garbage was produced for over 6000 runners
    • Participants brought hard-to-recycle items (batteries, light bulbs, etc) from home to be recycled

    Carbon Footprint and Offsets

    • All electrical use at the Event Expo was offset by purchasing clean energy from Bullfrog Power
    • Almost 30% of the eventís operational power came from solar and bike power, covering the majority of the Finish Areaís power needs
    • Carbon footprint of event calculated at 5.03 tonnes, 100% of which is being offset through Offsetters.ca carbon credits, making the event Carbon Neutral
    • New Bike Valet increased the number of participants who rode their bikes to Stanley Park
    • Event paid for additional public transit service on select routes headed to UBC on Sunday AM
    • Event will also purchase carbon credits to cover 50% of greenhouse gases produced by local participants travelling to the event (additional 17 tonnes)

    Procurement

    • 100% of food purchased for the event was either locally or sustainably produced
    • Majority of services and supplies procured from event come from locally owned businesses
    • 100% of registration performed online to remove paper registration forms
    • Participants all receive 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 Finish Food 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, thanks to data collected at 2014 and 2015 events, reducing waste

    Join us at Canada's most sustainable run on June 26, 2016! Sign up today at VancouverHalf.com to show your support for sustainable events!

    About the Scotiabank Vancouver Half- Marathon

    The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K is part of the prestigious Canada Running Series. As one of Vancouverís 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 VancouverHalf.com.

    About the Council for Responsible Sport:

    The Councilís 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 Councilís 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. (CouncilforResponsibleSport.org.


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