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Tackling waste during sport events:
they’re doing it!

How can sport events organizers reduce their environmental impact by tackling the waste issue?
Let’s dive together into an inspiring world of very concrete examples that have already been tested and implemented by events organizers across the globe!

French National Stadium (France)

The Stade de France has been a symbol of French football. The organisation works on continuisly improving its services, and has adopted strong sustainable development commitments, with a large focus on waste management.

The Stadium, has been the first stadium in France to offer sorting bins for visitors (600 bins) and to adopt eco-cups in 2010 to reduce the production of plastic cups. The Stadium also work on preventing food waste, by redistributing unsold food to local NGOS.Just for 2015 and 2016, it is estimated at 2,43 tons of waste prevented, fistributing over 5000 meals.

The stadium’s waste is currently collected by SUEZ: 100% is recovered, either through reuse, recycling or energetical recovery.

Check their annual report on the topic for more informations

Logo Stade de France

London Olympic Games (UK)

London 2012 adopted strong targets and Commitments in term of waste management: no waste arising during the 77-day Games period to be sent directly to landfill (zero waste to landfill).Among that number,  62% of that waste has been reused, recycled or composted. Additionally,  99% of the waste from installing and decommissioning the Games venues was reused or recycled.

The Olympic disposal and recycling relied on approx. 4,000 or so colour-coded bins that dot the park – and, later in the Barking waste-sorting site where it will all be processed.  The bins has a three stream source separation of waste, into recyclables, residual, and compostables.

  • The main organizers of London 2012, passed the BS 8901  (British Standard for a Sustainable Event Management System) certification and won the ISO 20121 (Sustainable Events Management)
  • The report entitled London 2012 from vision to reality, gives an overview on how the games answer their challenges.
  • You’re dealing with 205 nations competing; that’s more than there are United Nations members; you’ve got 10,500 athletes; double that number of media; a workforce of 200,000; 11m ticket spectators plus all the broadcast interests and sponsors, so it’s a massive undertaking. On food alone, it’s 14m meals.”

David Stubbs, Locog’s head of sustainability (Interview The Guardian)

London Olympics

Eco trail de Paris (France)

In partnership with WWF France, the EcoTrail de Paris® has been carrying out environmental actions since its creation.

Learn more about their eco-responsability policy:

logo ecotrail Paris

Ultra trail du Mont Blanc (France)

Responsible purchases

We give priority to products and services from the region (Espace Mont-Blanc), to avoid unnecessary transport and to involve local stakeholders. The supplies are made of regional products, and as much as possible from organic farming. In a country where spring water is abundant, we favour tap water, which allows avoiding 8,000 plastic bottles and their transport.

No more plastic at the refreshment posts

To reduce consumption of plastic, both by runners and UTMB® volunteers, and therefore limit your carbon footprint and your waste production, the organization will not distribute any more disposable crockery (cutlery, beakers, bowls) at the life bases and the refreshment posts (this is the same for the volunteers). This action called ” Bring Your Own Utensils ” (BYOU) was inaugurated at the Vibram Hong Kong 100 in January 2018. You are, therefore, invited to bring you own utensils if you wish to eat hot food at the refreshment posts.

Waste management

Each UTMB® volunteer has been made aware of sorting waste, and everything is done to recycle any waste. The UTMB® uses the services of specialists in this domain from the local region:
AREMACS, the association which manages waste, and the sorting of it, in Chamonix.
Elise Alpes: which specializes in collecting and sorting, it recuperates the plastic beakers which we collect from the first refreshment posts of each race (the flow of runners is too great and very concentrated) so that they can be recycled in to protheses or small electrical goods.

Individual beaker

To reduce waste, the UTMB® has, since 2006, included a reusable beaker into the list of mandatory equipment.

Transporting your waste

We ask each trail-runner to keep their waste with them between refreshment posts, fruit skins included. You will find trash bins at each refreshment post for waste disposal. When leaving the post you will find, about 100m after the post, the last trash bin (marked with a sign).Small trash bags are distributed at race-bib distribution, they are for containing used toilet paper and other soiled trash like open gel containers, or film which has contained food.

Prioritize the use of rechargeable batteries and if that is not possible, do not abandon used batteries: special containers are at your disposition at the refreshment posts.

Results of their efforts:

  • 60 m³ of waste collected and sorted in Chamonix
  • 100 000 disposable cups saved
  • 25% soiled paper waste
  • 55% non-organic food waste
  • Cleaning of the entire Mont-Blanc tour before and after each race

Learn more about their eco-responsability policy:

logo utmb Mont Blanc

A list of events across the globe commited
to improving their waste management

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To better understand the event industry’s waste impact,
check out those 7 key resources.

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