CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (December 12, 2016) – The TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race has earned the top-level Evergreen Certification for its sustainability efforts and achievements from an international social and environmental assessment organization, race organizers announced Monday.
The Evergreen Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport followed a rigorous review of the TD Beach to Beacon’s environmental and social sustainability programs at the 2016 race in August, which ranged from comprehensive recycling to measuring and reducing carbon emissions to raising money for charities and leaving a positive legacy in the community.
“This is truly a shining achievement for the TD Beach to Beacon,” said race founder and running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson, a lifelong Mainer and committed environmentalist who won gold at the 1984 Olympics. “Achieving evergreen status is a testament to the dedication of our race Organizing Committee plus the hard work of Bruce Rayner and his team at our sustainability consulting partner, Athletes for a Fit Planet. The TD Beach to Beacon has built a reputation as an event that cares about the planet and about each other – it’s so rewarding to see those efforts affirmed.”
The non-profit, Oregon-based Council for Responsible Sport, founded in 2007, provides objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing nationwide. The process is meticulous as event organizers are required to provide a detailed measurement and documentation of sustainability efforts and outcomes.
The TD Beach to Beacon achieved Silver Certification in 2012 and Gold Certification in 2014 before reaching the Evergreen level this year by implementing 57 of 61 best practices, according to Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director at the Council for Responsible Sport. The certification is valid for two years.
"The TD Beach to Beacon’s achievement is proof of its enduring commitment to hosting a world-class, elite athletic competition responsibly, serving the community and leading by example,” Villalobos said. “The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of the race as well as actively including community members to make it an inclusive event. The TD Beach to Beacon race achieved both results and the Council commends these efforts and encourages other events to take notes from this race as an example of how to host a responsibly produced event."
Villalobos highlighted five areas of achievement at the 2016 TD Beach to Beacon that stood out to the Council:
- Qualified as a ‘zero waste’ event by diverting 90 percent of all waste generated from going to the landfill through compost and recycling efforts.
- Offset the 5.6 ton ‘carbon footprint’ of event operations through Native Energy, making the event carbon neutral (not including participant travel).
- Redeemable bottles were sorted separately and sent to CLYNK for recycling, sending the proceeds from the deposits redemption to the 2016 race charity, My Place Teen Center.
- 240 participants, volunteers and spectators utilized a bike valet service stationed at the finish area. Runners who used the service were provided with a shuttle to the start of the race.
- Finishers t-shirts provided by Nike were made from polyester made from recycled plastic, helping to close the loop on waste created at events while reducing demand for harvesting new materials.
For more details about the TD Beach to Beacon’s sustainability efforts, see www.beach2beacon.org/green.
The TD Beach to Beacon is one of only seven mass-participatory events to achieve Evergreen Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport – and the first major road race in North America to achieve the top status. (A small road race in La Jolla, Calif., achieved the honor in 2009, but is no longer certified.)
Other events presently holding Evergreen Certification are the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships in Portland, Ore., and the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a golf event in Arizona. In addition to the La Jolla race, the other prior Evergreen events were a triathlon in California and a half marathon in England.
TD Beach to Beacon President Mike Stone said the Evergreen achievement is the result of a true team effort.
“We are honored and very proud of our accomplishments that have led us to this very prestigious certification,” he said. “Our deep gratitude goes out to our Board, runners, volunteers, spectators and sponsors who have embraced our commitment to make our event environmentally responsible for the community.”
Athletes for a Fit Planet’s Bruce Rayner advises the TD Beach to Beacon on cost-effective strategies and products and services for reducing, recycling and composting waste, reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, and minimizing the impact of the event on the local environment.
“Earning Evergreen Certification is extremely difficult as it touches all aspects of an event and requires broad-based support,” said Rayner. “But the rigorous process was made easier because for the TD Beach to Beacon, sustainability and environmental awareness has always been deeply embedded in its mission.”
Samuelson said running and environmental awareness are naturally enmeshed. “Runners are in tune with environmental changes by the nature of their daily runs and running experiences,” she said. “It only makes sense for a race that receives great acclaim and visibility to do its part to reduce the runners’ footprints throughout the event - from before they start the race until well after they cross the finish line.”
The achievement from the 2016 race comes as race organizers are preparing for next year’s special 20th running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K (www.beach2beacon.org) on Saturday, Aug. 5, in Cape Elizabeth. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, is the title sponsor of the race, founded in 1998. Registration for the popular race takes place each March.
The TD Beach to Beacon 10K draws runners from around the world and throughout New England and the U.S. to the picturesque coastal community. The race begins near the Crescent Beach entrance on Route 77, winds along tree-lined roads and past breathtaking ocean vistas, and ends in Fort Williams Park at the historic Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8.9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,275 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.
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About the Council for Responsible Sport
The Council’s 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 Council’s 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. For more information, visit www.councilforresponsiblepport.org.
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