New sustainability pledge at heart of Cardiff Half Marathon

The Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon has launched a new Green Action Plan to ensure sustainability is at the heart of the race.

Event organisers Run 4 Wales alongside title partner Cardiff University are committed to minimising the environmental impact of Wales’ largest mass-participation event by delivering on this ambitious green plan.

By utilising Cardiff University research referenced in their ‘Race for Sustainability’ study, the aim is to help shape behaviour of the 27,500 participants, cut down on plastic use, reduce waste, avoid unsustainable materials and encourage more sustainable travel choices. Last year’s race saw a 49 percent decrease in CO2e travel related emissions and a recycle rate of 96 percent.

But the new Green Action Plan will be implemented to improve on the positive strides that have already been made. The key areas of focus are as follows:

  • To consider environmental, social and governance factors when choosing suppliers and service providers.
  • Encourage sustainable travel, public transport and and car sharing to minimise the event’s carbon footprint.
  • Employ dedicated team to sort recycling at source with aim of reaching 100% recycling rate.
  • Avoid use of damaging PVC materials for branding & signing, instead opting for recycled materials.
  • Work with Cardiff University School of Geography and Planning and Cardiff University Business School on a pioneering new research project, with the goal of creating more sustainable events.
  • Using goodie bags made of 100% biodegradable corn starch.
  • Encourage partners and samplers who distribute finisher’s items to consider the materials their products and packaging is made out of.
  • Print advertising materials on recycled paper.
  • Switch to medals made of recycled zinc, reducing CO2 from refinement process.
  • Add waste drop zones on every mile of the route.
  • Working with Size of Wales to offer runners the chance to offset their carbon footprint when signing up.

Run 4 Wales Chief Executive Matt Newman said:

“The Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon has grown to become Wales’ largest mass-participation event. This year we will accommodate for 27,500 runners from across the United Kingdom and beyond and thousands more spectators will flock to the city to add their support.

“The increased volume of footfall in the city has brought with it an unavoidable increase in carbon emissions and other harmful environmental factors. But thanks to the cutting edge research from Cardiff University, we are now battling back to ensure a greener future for the event.

“We are seeing improvements year on year as the public awareness of these environmental issues increases, and we are looking forward to working closely with all partners and stakeholders to continue our mission to make the Cardiff Half the most sustainable event it can be.”

Run 4 Wales will continue to develop environmental ambitions and explore new ways to challenge the status quo in the mass participation events industry.

The event is also supporting Recycle for Wales’ Run, Refuel, Recycle campaign, in association with Brecon Carreg Water for a fourth successive year to encourage participants to correctly dispose of waste during race day.

Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said:

“A major part of our involvement in the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon is using our expertise to support organisers Run 4 Wales in making the race as successful – and sustainable – as possible. 

“It’s very pleasing that one of the outcomes of this collaboration is a Green Action Plan that commits to minimising the environmental impact of the event through a series of meaningful initiatives.

“More needs to be done of course because the race is getting bigger every year, but, underpinned by our research, significant environmental improvements are being made.”

To read the ‘Race for Sustainability’ report in full on the Cardiff Half Marathon website follow the link: