Press release from the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
HOUSTON – (October 15, 2015) – The Association of International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS), a leading world-wide running organization, announced today that the Chevron Houston Marathon is the recipient of the 2015 AIMS Green Award.
The award, which rewards and highlights best environmental practices in marathon events, will be presented to the Chevron Houston Marathon during the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Gala, to be held in Athens, Greece on Friday, November 6, 2015.
“We are delighted and very proud to be receiving this award,” said Brant Kotch, Race Director of the Chevron Houston Marathon. “We have worked very hard towards our sustainability goals and to receive recognition from an organization such as AIMS means a lot. We would like to thank AIMS, their Members and Sponsors for recognizing us with this award.”
Candidates for the AIMS Green Award were judged upon a number of criteria, including the impact the race has had on promoting environmentally friendly practices in marathon events, how volunteers contribute to the success of the project and the ability for the race to educate younger generations about the benefits of sport and environmental protection. The two other shortlisted races were the Mexican race Maratón de la Ciudad de Mexico and the Xiamen International Marathon in China.
Paco Borao, President of AIMS commented: “I am very much looking forward to receiving the Chevron Houston Marathon to the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Gala in the home of the Marathon in Athens, Greece. Their efforts to put good environmental practice at the heart of their race have been truly outstanding. Distance running is one of the oldest sports in the world and it is good environmental practice like these efforts in Houston that help ensure the future of our sport for the future.”
The Chevron Houston Marathon was recognized for year round efforts towards “Going Green”. The Chevron Houston Marathon closely follows the Council for Responsible Sport’s certification standards. These efforts include a senior manager overseeing all sustainability goals and a “Green Committee” formed to work towards attaining them.
The Chevron Houston Marathon became the first organization to earn dual certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for separate events conducted on consecutive days (2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon; 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon). After earning Silver Level Certification in 2012, the Chevron Houston Marathon earned Gold in 2013-14 and are now recertified at the Gold level for 2015-16.
In an effort to tackle CO2 emissions, the Chevron Houston Marathon calculated the carbon footprint of a number of race elements for the first time in 2015 and will use this as a target to lower for future events. Efforts for 2016 are already underway with race medals and t-shirts not being packaged individually, choosing host hotels within walking distance of race elements, ensuring all catering use recyclable materials and choosing a route designed to encompass 100% urban areas with no green space affected by runners or spectators.
In 2015, the Chevron Houston Marathon made big strides in reducing the waste created by the event. A “double sort” process was implemented to efficiently sort waste. In addition, all runner and volunteer registration was done online and all signage was created with no date to be re-used year after year. These efforts led to 76% of waste being diverted from landfill.
About the AIMS Green Award
AIMS has been honoring races with the AIMS Green Award that have shown exceptional work in this area since 2013. However, AIMS intention is not only to honor ‘environmental initiatives’ of its members, but also to help them improve their races, in terms of good environmental practices during their marathon events. To this end, AIMS in collaboration with the Institute Team for the World Environmental Alliance 2004+, a scientific non-governmental not-for-profit organization headed by Mr. George Kazantzopoulos, Member of the IOC Sport & Environment Commission since 2002, has established a set of environmental guidelines, in line with the IOC Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21**, over and above the creation of the AIMS Green Award.
AIMS is a member based organization and since being established in 1982 has grown to a membership of more than 390 of the world’s leading distance races, from over 108 countries and territories. AIMS Members come from every continent on the planet and include the Athens Marathon, The Authentic formed on the legend of Pheidippides, the Greek soldier-runner who ran from the town of Marathon to Athens in 490 BC to announce the Persians had been defeated in the ‘Battle of Marathon’. Other AIMS members include many of the world’s greatest distance races in history such as the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York & Tokyo Marathons. The three key objectives of AIMS are:
- To foster and promote distance running throughout the world
- To work with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) on all matters relating to international road races.
- To exchange information, knowledge and expertise among members of the association
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA Founding Member, annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually. In 2015, the Run for a Reason Charity Program raised $2.5 million and the HMC retained Gold Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport for industry-leading sustainability initiatives. Host to 16 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, the HMC conducted the nationally-televised 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, which featured men and women competing on the same course simultaneously for the first time, vying for the chance to represent Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games.