With sustainability at the top of the agenda, the Royal Parks and Limelight Sports work together to do everything we can to help reduce the impact of the Half Marathon on the environment.
Here at the Royal Parks Half, we're committed to making the event as sustainable as possible and as part of this for 2019 we've developed an environmental policy which details the steps we're taking to help us achieve this. We're encouraging all of our partners, charities and runners to join us in this movement and follow the principles outlined in the policy. You can read the full environmental policy by clicking here.
Plastic on the Course
We are committed to going plastic bottle free on the course by 2020.
In 2018 we took the first steps towards fulfilling this commitment. By introducing two water stations with compostable cups and reducing the size of plastic water bottles from 330ml to 250ml, we eliminated 100,000 plastic bottles from the course and festival area.
For 2019, there will be no plastic water bottles on the route, all water stations will be cup stations. Runners will receive a 500ml carton of water at the end of the race, as per 2018, and there will be no istonic provided. If your preference is to have sports nutrition on race day, we recommend bringing your own or having a friend or family member meet you along to course.
All runners will receive a canvas finisher goodby bag, donated by Royal Bank of Canada, and they can collect free samples (no flyers/vouchers) from the Festival site. This reduces waste as runners only pick up want they want!
Litter areas set up for the public have clearly labelled bins for recycling and general waste. We even have special bins to collect and compost banana skins. These areas are staffed during the event to maximise the amount being recycled.
Participant race t-shirts are made from sustainably sourced bamboo and recycled polyester. Our local supplier works closely with her manufacturer in China to ensure a closed loop of sustainable work practices.
- Race shirts are shipped, not flown.
- Participant medals are made from FSC-certified Beech wood. The lanyards are made from recycled materials, and a split ring attachment to the wooden medal encourages re-use e.g. as a key fob.
- Where possible, we produce race branding, signage and décor without dates for re-use in future years.
- We order only what is necessary, to reduce waste.
New for 2019 - all runners will receive their Royal Parks Half race shirt upon crossing the finish line.
- Exhibitors, charity partners and sponsors are not permitted to “leaflet” within the event site, reducing the paper brought to site and minimising litter.
- Balloons are not permitted, due to the potential dangers to wildlife if they get free.
- All plastic bottles used on site are collected and taken for recycling locally.
- In 2017, 58% of waste from the food festival and 95% of the plastic bottles used for the event were recycled and 891kg of discarded clothing was saved from going to a landfill site.
- Separate recycling areas for food market traders and other exhibitors ensure that all waste is recycled – particularly packaging
- Discarded clothing is collected and donated to charity.
- Surplus food from the catering areas, the exhibitors or the food market is collected at the end of the event and distributed to those in need.
Sustainable Event Management
- Limelight Sports, our sports management agency partner, has been certified to ISO 20121 (International Standard for Event Sustainability Management Systems) since July 2012 and since March 2010 to BS8901.
- A stakeholder management record identifies issues, objectives and actions for social, economic and environmental requirements of the event; a key part of the event planning.
- The event build and de-rig times are managed to minimise the need for artificial lighting –saving energy while ensuring that the Park wildlife is as little disturbed as possible.
- Participants register online, with all communications via email or social media.
- Event staff are provided with bicycles to move quickly around the route, keeping vehicle movements to a minimum.