In an era of rapidly escalating climate change, resource depletion, plastic pollution and species extinction, the necessity of taking action to minimise our environmental impact has never been as strong as it is today.
With a socially responsible business model at our core, Run 4 Wales has a duty to deliver ambitiously green, sustainable and low impact events.
With over 50,000 participants taking part across our event programme each year, we recognise the important role we have in shaping the environmental behaviours of our participants; as well as the importance of minimising our environmental impact and setting an example in cutting plastics, minimising waste and avoiding unsustainable materials and business practices.
We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving our environmental performance as an integral part of our business strategy. This is to be backed up by key environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) which will shape our approach to business development and future growth.
To achieve our environmental ambitions, we recognise the need to be brave in pioneering new options, engaging participants in our goals, achieving eco standards (such as ISO20121) and challenging the status quo in the mass participation sports event industry.
The Objectives of the Run 4 Wales Environmental Policy:
- No waste to be sent to landfill by 2023 with an average recycling rate of 90% or above across the whole year within 5 years.
- Reduce dependency on plastic and damaging materials by 2023.
- Introduce and implement an ESG policy by 2022.
- Introduce carbon off-setting initiative for unavoidable carbon emissions by 2022.
- Achieve the ISO20121 Environmental standard by 2022.
- Educate and change the behaviour of participants on sustainable and environmental issues at our events.
- Develop a supportive political landscape for sustainability in the events sector across Wales.
- Green the Run 4 Wales office and establish a sustainable company-wide ethos
Actions taken through our Green Action Plan in 2019
- Considering environmental, social or corporate governance factors when tendering for services and choosing suppliers
- Encouraging sustainable travel and promoting the use of public transport
- In an effort to improve on the high 80%+ recycling rates from our 2018 events, splitting all waste at source to maximise the amount of waste disposed of correctly
- Employing a cleansing team to work at the event with participants to ensure waste is not contaminated – preventing it from being recyclable
- Alternative materials used for branding and signage, avoiding the use of PVC material and opting instead for non-woven recycled materials
- Working with water partner Brecon Carreg to offer smaller water bottles made of recyclable plastic, and to create educational environmental content to share with participants – so they understand the importance of recycling and sustainability
- Printed advertising materials and leaflets were printed on recycled paper
- Phasing out the use of plastic goody bags at the event, instead opting for 100% plastic-free bags made of corn starch, which are fully compostable and biodegrdable – made to European Standard EN13432 – which can be disposed of in the green waste bin
- Encouraging partners and samplers who place items in the goody bag to consider the environment and the materials their packaging is made of
- Working with finishers medal suppliers to ensure those given out at the race are made from recycled zinc – reducing the CO2 produced in the refinement process
- Placing dump bins at every mile around the route – allowing participants to throw away their waste correctly – limiting any effects on the local environment.
The Race for Sustainability
Read the Cardiff University research report, around the sustainability of the Cardiff Half Marathon here.
Run 4 Wales and Cardiff University are hosting a conference on Tuesday 3 December 2019. For more information on the ‘Race for Sustainability’ event please click here.
Learn more about what we’re doing to improve the sustainability of all R4W events.