The organizer of the world’s largest marathon looks to bolster its sustainability strategy and strengthen year-round practices
New York, September 23, 2019 – New York Road Runners (NYRR), the organizer of the TCS New York City Marathon, announced today that it has joined the UNFCCC’s Sports for Climate Action Framework. By joining other industry leaders as a signatory, NYRR acknowledges its responsibility to strive toward climate neutrality and the major opportunity the sports sector is faced with to operate sustainably.
“New York Road Runners is excited to join leaders from across the sports world in the movement for sports climate action and further enhance our commitment to ensuring our events, programs, and locations are playing their part to lessen our footprint,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of NYRR. “We’re committed to improving the health of communities through running which aligns us with the vision of the UNFCCC’s Sports for Climate Action Framework and the other signatories.”
As a signatory, NYRR will prioritize the framework’s emphasis on undertaking systemic efforts for greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating and sharing knowledge, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action.
NYRR has a long-standing, year-round commitment to better the communities that host its races, community events, and youth programs. Throughout the year at events, including the TCS New York City Marathon, NYRR works with vendors and city agency partners to divert waste. For more than a decade, NYRR has utilized a single-stream recycling method, diverting on average more than 80% of the waste collected. At the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, 82% of the 222 tons of waste collected by NYRR was diverted from local landfills.
Additionally, through its partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the organization is transforming New York City public school schoolyards into state-of-the-art community playgrounds that include green infrastructure design elements, a hallmark of The Trust for Public Land. Features such as specialized plantings and porous pavement help reduce storm runoff. Each playground absorbs hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually and includes 20-30 new trees that bring shade and better air quality to its neighborhood.
“While New York Road Runners has a long history of implementing sustainable practices within all aspects of what we do, we’re excited to evolve our overall strategy to enhance that long-standing commitment to the environment,” said Jim Heim, race director and senior vice president of events at NYRR. “Over the next few years we will launch a number of new, innovative, and sustainable practices across our events, programs, and facilities.”
To enhance its sustainability commitment and identify action items, NYRR will work with Waste Management Sustainability Services as its sustainability advisor. Waste Management Sustainability Services specializes in working with sports venues and events to determine their sustainability goals. The company will provide recommendations to achieve goals for stakeholder engagement, material management, water conservation, greenhouse gas mitigation, and sustainability reporting.
“Managing comprehensive sustainability programs for the largest PGA TOUR event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, as well as stadiums and large events across the country, provides us with a unique perspective on NYRR’s facilities and events,” said Lee Spivak, managing principal of Waste Management Sustainability Services. “We understand the challenges that come with baselining, implementing, and continually improving sustainable sport initiatives, while also helping various operations, venues, events, and stakeholder engagements evolve.”
Waste Management Sustainability Services will evaluate NYRR’s infrastructure, build a baseline management plan for NYRR events, and create platforms for more frequent and transparent data collection and reporting.
More information on NYRR’s year-round sustainability commitment is available here.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.