Houston (June 4, 2012) - The Council for Responsible Sport announced today that the Houston Marathon Committee received a Silver ReSport Certification for its sustainability efforts while conducting the 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon weekend of events. As host of the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, Houston's local organizing committee also earned Basic ReSport Certification for the quadrennial race to become the first event ever to achieve dual-Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport.
"Of all the events that have become ReSport Certified, none have taken on a bigger challenge than the Houston Marathon Committee did last January," stated Keith Peters, Executive Director of the Council for Responsible Sport. "Applying for ReSport Certification is a rigorous process, one that requires attention to detail and lots of documentation. By striving for dual certifications, the Houston Marathon Committee took on twice the workload, at least, and there were no time or cost-saving shortcuts available to them."
For the past two years, the Houston Marathon Committee has partnered with Waste Management Sustainability Services to incorporate their greening efforts into every stage of their events. In addition, this year Eco-Logistics was added to the green initiatives team to help devise a comprehensive approach to achieving ReSport Certification. The Chevron Houston Marathon Events received the Silver rating by earning 44 of 54 credits applied for, while the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon earned 37 of 46 credits for its Basic Certification.
"Our certification in two events on one weekend took a complete team effort, with tremendous contributions from the event staff, volunteers, sponsors/partners, participants and spectators," stated Race Director Brant Kotch. "We could not have attained this distinction without the guidance and counsel of Keith Peters and the Council for Responsible Sport and the head start given to us by the already environmentally friendly George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green. A strong commitment to the environment is an important and continuing focus for our team."
Among the many successful sustainability initiatives implemented in 2012, following are a few examples:
- 3,180 pieces of clothing discarded at the start of the races was collected and given to Star of Hope Mission, a local agency dedicated to meeting the needs of Houston's homeless;
- 4,625 pounds of food from the post-race party was donated to the Houston Food Bank; and
- An estimated 87% of all power used came from renewable energy sources.
The following is one example of the challenges involved in submitting two separate applications for ReSport Certification:
Stations for collecting recyclable bottles, cans and cardboard, compostable food service items and organic waste, and a minimal amount of actual trash had to be set up for two expos -- Trials Town in Discovery Green Park as well as the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann EXPO in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Those same waste collection stations also had to be set up for countless elite athlete and VIP meals served throughout the week. Waste collection set-ups were needed for events on both Saturday and Sunday as well. The diversion rates, which are materials kept out of the landfill, were 79% for the Olympic Trials and 83% for the marathon. One of the largest challenges to this achievement was that event organizers had to keep the waste stream from the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon event separate from that of the Chevron Houston Marathon events to be able to make those calculations.
In addition to waste stream metrics, the impact or footprint of a number of other aspects were measured:
- The carbon footprint of Houston Marathon participants traveling to and from the event totaled 3225 metric tons, while the carbon footprint of elite athlete travel to the Olympic Trials totaled 265 metric tons.
- The carbon footprint of event related operations for the Houston Marathon was 109 metric tons, operations related carbon emissions for the Olympic Trials was 91 metric tons.
- The water footprint attributed to the Houston Marathon was 290,000 gallons, while the Olympic Trials used 31,000 gallons of water (in both cases, due to water conservation measures in place in the LEED Certified George R. Brown Convention Center, it is estimated that some 20% less water was used than would have been in a conventional building.
- Finally, all grey and black water from portable sanitation stations were transported to a wastewater treatment plant, while liquid waste containers were provided throughout the George R. Brown Convention Center to allow runners to empty beverage containers prior to recycling them.
For a complete look of the 2012 Waste Study provided by Waste Management, click here.