We are committed to making our event more sustainable year-on-year. We believe sustainability is much more than recycling and reducing paper – we also want to explore ways we can become more supportive to local businesses, community and charity groups.
Check out some of the great initiatives we rolled out in 2019/20 listed below. You can also read our ESG Statement here including some of our future plans laid out in by independent sustainability consultants – Delta Simons. We will be drawing on the excellence of the team at Base4 Innovation to help us achieve this goal.
Here are some of our key 2019/20 initiatives:
We have contracted Greater Cambridge Waste as well as working alongside the City Council Streetcare Team to guarantee a closed loop recycling scheme, ensuring none of our plastic cups or bottles go to landfill or are shipped overseas.
2. A digital Race Information document only available online means we no longer print 10,000+ 24 page booklets.
3. With the help of Base4 Innovation one of these initiatives was to provide a reusable goodie bag, which we will be doing again in 2020, switching to a Jute Bag to further reduce our impact.
4. Our athlete race packs and goody bags are leaflet free zones.
5. We install clothing bins on Midsummer Common, ensuring that any leftover items from the event are donated to charity.
7. We endeavour to make recycling onsite as easy as possible with clearly signed bins.
8. We offer a local priority scheme and work with the City Council to promote the benefits of taking part in the event and leading a healthier lifestyle through running and physical activity, helping to reduce the strain on the NHS.
9. To continue a positive impact for the city we work with a number of local businesses, restaurants, gyms and services in Cambridge and the surrounding areas offering incentives to increase visits before, during and after the event
10. Events such as the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon are a fantastic opportunity for runners to fundraise and help raise awareness for a charity close to their hearts. Figures from the 2019 race show that over £300,000 was raised for the charities that officially registered through us.
11. A large proportion of this total was raised for our headline partner Cancer Research UK. Cambridge is home to one of their research facilities at Addenbrookes Hospital. To find out more about their work, click here.
We are now targeting plastic bottles and we need your help. There will be no plastic bottles given out on Midsummer Common or from the first Drinks Station on course. Those of you happy to run with a reusable bottle please bring it along and fill it up from the event village, drinks station 1 and the finish area. We understand that not everyone wants to run with a bottle so we have been researching the plastic vs compostable debate, which is a very tricky one. Extremely well summed up in this article written for Varsity by Verner Viisainen in November last year.
The technology does not currently exist in Cambridgeshire to correctly treat a compostable cup. It goes into a ‘compost-like’ high heat aerobic environment that reduces the mass of the material by approximately 50% over a two month period. The resulting end product is then landfilled as a near-inert and dry material which produces minimal gases (methane) which can then be captured for use. Therefore, those of you without a reusable bottle will be offered a plastic cup. We have assurances from our refuse partners that ‘closed loop recycling’ will be employed meaning 100% of the cup is recycled, they will not go to landfill and they will not end up in our oceans.
Depending on the success of this trial we will then remove plastic bottles from the other drink stations moving forward. As technology develops we will once again revisit our options making sure we make the right decisions for the right reasons. With your help we can make a difference.
Keep an eye on this page, as we strive to improve our social and environmental performance we’ll keep you updated with our new initiatives. If you have any ideas please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.