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Cincinnati Zoo’s 2013 Cheetah Run Earns Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for its Social and Environmental Leadership

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98.7% waste diversion from landfill exemplifies wide range of sustainability initiatives

January 29, 2014 – Portland, OR: The 2013 Cheetah Run, produced by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s special events team, has earned certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for efforts to reduce the event’s environmental footprint and increase its social impact.  Event organizers achieved 33 credits, coming oh-so-close to the 35-credit threshold required to earn silver certification.

“The Zoo’s special events staff, led by Susan Ludwig, Special Events Manager at the Cincinnati Zoo, scored remarkably well for a first time applicant for certification from the Council,” said Keith Peters, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport. “The Zoo’s long-term commitment to green building, solid waste management, renewable energy, water conservation, storm water management, energy efficiency and community outreach, provided Cheetah Run organizers with a great platform upon which to build the sustainability efforts for their event.

Among the many initiatives implemented and tracked throughout the 2013 Cheetah Run, there were  several that were especially  notable:

  • 98.7% of all waste was diverted from the landfill; this success is due in large part to having trained volunteers at all primary collection points and, of course, the infrastructure the Zoo has in place to support its zero landfill goal.
  • Shrink wrap was collected and taken to Kroger’s for recycling, while the plastic bags bagels were delivered in were collected and given to a local dog park—innovation at its best!
  • Thanks to sponsor Whole Foods, well over 50% of the food and beverages supplied to race participants were produced locally or certified organic.
  • After calculating the carbon footprint of participant travel to and from the event, organizers purchased carbon offsets from Terrapass to offset 50% of travel impact.
  • Working in partnership with Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon—a CRS silver certified event—event organizers initiated a fundraising program to be able to offer discounted registration fees to Avondale area youth in 2014.

The Council congratulates the special events staff of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for their accomplishments as well as their commitment to an ongoing process of planning, deliberate actions, measuring progress and continuous improvement in the areas of social and environmental responsibility.

About the Council for Responsible Sport:

Our vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm. Our mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities.

Our Certification program provides a comprehensive method for event directors to incorporate environmental and socially responsible initiatives into their events, while informing stakeholders about events that adhere to a rigorous set of standards. Certified events range in size from ParalympicsGB Training Camps held at the University of Bath in the UK, with some 150 athletes participating, to the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia, with 55,077 timed finishers. To date, 75 different events have achieved certification from the Council for Responsible Sport, serving over 860,000 athletes in the process.

The Council’s current certification standards (v4.1) were finalized after a period of stakeholder review in the fall of 2013, and were implemented in January 2014. Certification is modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System, which certifies buildings and materials according to resource conservation and energy efficiency criteria. www.CouncilforResponsibleSport.org

 For more information contact:

Keith Peters, Executive Director

Keith@CouncilForResponsibleSport.org

 (307) 690-6803