Sustainability is in our core values:
We’re committed to environmental responsibility. Preserving the natural environment guides the choices we make as a company and honours the connection between healthy people and a healthy planet. We believe healthy running communities begin with a healthy planet. As a company we are serious about contributing to a positive future for the communities we run through.
In 2022, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon was the first Canadian event to achieve Evergreen Certification with the Council for Responsible Sport.
Since 2007, the Council for Responsible Sport has been helping people measure and manage the social and environmental impacts of their events. Events certified by the Council for Responsible Sport are some of the world’s leading examples of responsible sport in action.
The standard implements sustainability objectives in the categories of Planning and Communications, Procurement, Resources Management, Access and Equity, and Community Legacy.
Canada Running Series has previously attained Gold and Silver Certification through the Council for Responsible Sport with both the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Vancouver Half Marathon.
Here are some examples of how we’re making Canada Running Series races more sustainable:
- All CRS races use compostable cups, and we make sure those end up in commercial composting facilities where they can be properly composted
- We work with event waste management providers for all our races, to ensure event waste is sorted and diverted into the correct streams.
- Our Vancouver races are power by the sun! We use solar-powered batteries instead of generators to provide our event power needs whenever possible
- We recycle! Our warehouse and office spaces are outfitted with multi-stream waste receptacles to ensure our waste goes in its place.
- “Evergreen” race signage. We believe the lifecycle of a sign is more than just one day. We use unbranded race signage whenever possible to ensure we get the most out of the materials we use. When comes time to replace signage, it’s recycled in the correct facility to ensure it doesn’t end up in the landfill.
- Virtual event bags are here! All CRS races have gone digital, providing partner discounts and incentives in a virtual event bag, accessible to participant through their registration dashboard and sent via email during race week.
- CRS races are plastic water bottle-free. We use city water to support the hydration needs of our runners on our race routes, saving hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles from the waste stream every year.
- We donate all leftover participant food to local charities and food programs. In 2022, the Vancouver Food Runners delivered 1285 lbs of food from our Vancouver races to those in need.
- We provide shoe and clothing donation stations at the TWM race expo, and donate all clothing and gear left at start lines and on course.
In 2023 we’re continuing our sustainability journey, focusing on improving the sustainability of our race operations and engaging and supporting partners with sustainability goals that match ours.
In 2023, our sustainability goals include piloting a green bib program at the Vancouver Half Marathon, implementing recycling projects for hard-to-recycle items, partnering with a carbon offset program to provide our participants with ways to reduce their race day impact, and continuing our journey towards zero-waste events.
New in 2023, we’ve partnered with Carbon Neutral Club for the Vancouver Half Marathon and the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon to offer a complimentary offset of participant race day travel emissions. By funding verified carbon offset projects on their behalf, Carbon Neutral Club offers participants the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of their race day and learn more about carbon offsets and climate projects.
In 2022 we launched charitable partnerships with Trees for Life and Trans Canada Trail to help us give back to our communities and our planet. These charities are supported through donation links in the registration process, allowing participants to support local charities aiming to improve the sustainability of our communities.
We’ve partnered with the Trans Canada Trail to support increasing accessibility in the spaces our communities run and train in. The Trans Canada Trail is the longest recreational trail in the world, spanning over 28,000 kilometres on land and water. Linking three oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic, the Trail connects 15,000 rural, urban and Indigenous communities across every province and territory.
Supporting Trans Canada Trail – through $10 donation increments at registration, or through the Charity Challenge – enables trail infrastructure maintenance and development, and supports a programs that increase access to trails. One such project, their Trail Accessibility Mapping Program, creates opportunities for people living with disabilities to discover routes that meet their needs. Additionally, the program identifies areas where barriers to accessibility exist so they can be addressed and improved, resulting in increased accessibility along the Trail.
Trees for Life
We’ve partnered with Trees for Life to plant trees to help our participants offset the impact of their race participation. Trees for Life is a Canadian charity driven to inspire, enable and mobilize native tree and shrub-planting initiatives in communities across the country. Their mission is to create a healthier, happier Canada and help combat climate change by planting trees where people live, work and play.
We Want To Hear From You
We know we can always do better. We are here to listen and learn. If you have any feedback on how we can continue to strive towards a more sustainable future, we want to hear from you! You are part of what makes our running community so unique so please, let us know your feedback.