Ironman, a Wanda Sports Holding Co., and The Council for Responsible Sport announced today that, in collaboration with Waste Management, 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,” Shelley Villalobos, managing director of the Council for Responsible Sport, said in a statement. “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 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.”
Some of its environmental accomplishments included:
- Collected bike inner tubes and tires 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 the 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 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from event operations by purchasing 10 MTCO2e through the Colorado Carbon Fund.
In 2016, Waste Management became a certification evaluator for the Council for Responsible Sport.