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 Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada on the environment.
Here at the Royal Parks Half, we have committed to making the event as sustainable as possible, whilst maintaining the high quality race experience that you’d expect. As part of this, in 2019 we've developed an environmental policy which details the steps we're taking to help us achieve this. We've encouraged 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.
Hydration on course
We couldn't be prouder of the steps we've taken so far to reduce our impact on the environment (see below for more information!), but now we're beyond excited to be taking things one massive step further...
- From this point onwards, we'll be asking all of our runners to be self-sufficient with their hydration whilst out running or on course at the #RoyalParksHalf.
- At future editions of the event, this means that we'll be able to permenantly and significantly reduce all waste associated with water stations, including plastic bottles and biodegradable cups.
- We're encouraging all of our runners to practice training and racing with this in mind, using whatever hydration method you wish, so that long term we can commit to ditching plastic bottles for good
- On race day itself, there will be plenty of water refill points along the route for runners to use.
Ditch The Plastic!
- In 2019, we went plastic bottle free on the course, removing over 165,000 plastic bottles from the course and festival site.
- For 2019, there were no plastic water bottles on the course and the first water station had Ooho pouches, edible water capsules made from seaweed. To find out more, please click here.
- No isotonic drinks are provided on the route. 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 the course.
- The Royal Parks are committing to installing two permanent mains water supply points for water stations three and four on North Carriage Drive in Hyde Park to avoid the requirement to bring water in.
- On The Mall and in Kensington Gardens we will supply bowsers of water and use cups as per our trial in 2018.
- We are working with catering partners to avoid single use plastic in concessions and food and beverage outlets in the food & fitness festival.
- Balloons are not permitted, due to both the potential dangers to wildlife if they get free and also their single-use nature.
The expert team at Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada are looking at every single aspect of the event for areas that we can optimise with regard to efficiency, sustainability and operational resilience. Find out more about what we're up to below!
- Reducing the emissions from transport and logistics related to the event by utilising greener forms of transport, reducing requirements for larger equipment.
- We use petrol rather than diesel buggies with trailers on site to reduce the use of vans once equipment has arrived on site.
- We encourage all of our staff to take public transport to the event site, but where that isn't possible, we have moved our travel supplier to Green Tomato Cars to ensure the many miles that our staff are required to travel to arrive are as green as possible.
- Our lead vehicle will be electric or hybrid to minimise the associated emissions and use the event platform to encourage electric / hybrid vehicle use.
Reducing the requirement for generator power:
- In the short term by using generators more efficiently by loading to capacity and gathering information from telemetry devices in order to understand our demand for power clearly and then match supply effectively.
- In the long term, we are investigating the potential for The Royal Parks to install more permanent power solutions throughout the park to minimise the requirement for generators to be brought into the park.
We are not only focusing on reducing the overall waste from the event but also improving the Waste Management systems. Currently we have the below measures in place:
- Discarded clothing is collected and donated to charity.
- Compostable cups will be disposed of to a digesting plant to create further energy for use in the future.
- Leftover products such as medals, t-shirts and goody bags will be recycled into usable products.
- No leaflets or paper will be given out at the event.
- Banana skins are collected separately to compost and we encourage participants to use the banana bins provided throughout the village.
- Staff caterers will use crockery and metal cutlery not single-use items.
- Staff lunch bags, sandwich cartons & delivery boxes are 100% recyclable.
- Surplus food that is still edible will be saved from the catering areas, the exhibitors or the food market and collected at the end of the event and distributed to those in need.
- Race bibs are made from Tyvek which is fully recyclable. These are still sent out to participants but we have removed the plastic bags that the safety pins come in and ensured that our envelopes are fully recyclable.
- Goody bags are made from recycled rPET, meaning that we are re-purposing old plastic bottles. The goody bags are also designed to be re-used making them bags for life.
- Participant race t-shirts are now finisher t-shirts removing the need for the t-shirts to be packaged in single-use plastic. They are made from sustainably sourced bamboo and recycled polyester and are ordered early to ensure they are shipped, not flown.
- Participant medals are made from FSC-certified Beech wood. The lanyards are made from recycled plastic bottles, and a split ring attachment to the wooden medal encourages re-use e.g. as a key fob.
- Our race booklet is digital and is emailed out to all participants prior to the race rather than posted.
Branding, Signage & Consultation
- Where possible, we produce race branding, signage and décor without dates for re-use in future years.
- We are finding the most environmentally friendly cost-effective options on the market and are aiming to get to a point where all products that we use are recyclable.
- We are using ‘enviroflags’ from one of our suppliers which are made from recycled branding previously created and are working with them to build a closed loops system for banner roll, whereby in future years our banner roll will be made from the banner roll we have previously created.
- We have sourced recycled and recyclable cable ties, so the many thousands of cable ties used at the event are no longer single use.
- We are reducing the size of our communications to local residents and businesses to A5 and using recycled paper.
- Tower Lighting - we use the most efficient tower lighting systems currently available on the market during the event which are programmed to switch on and off as at daybreak and twilight.
- Marquees – we use GL structures, a reputable marquee supplier with significant environmental policies. We choose structures that are most efficient at providing covered space and we have minimised the requirement for flooring and carpeting as far as possible. Where carpets are installed, these are removed at the end of the event, returned to the depot and taken to be recycled into rubber pellets to be used for other products.
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 the vast majority of communications via email or social media.