Track Shack Events and OUC, the Reliable One, Go for Sustainable Event Certification of OUC Orlando Half Marathon & Lake Eola 5k

Striving to Keep Orlando Beautiful while producing environmentally responsible events.

Track Shack and OUC- The Reliable One announce a sustainability plan to achieve green event certification for the 2016 OUC Orlando Half Marathon and Track Shack Lake Eola 5k. The certification process is applied for and verified by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS), an Oregon based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports and certifies events that are working to improve their social and environmental, responsibility practices. The 40th running of the event is December 3, 2016.  

“We unite with OUC to produce this distinguished race as a celebration of fitness, human achievement and community.  Under the leadership of OUC and aligning with their Green Initiatives, we have the ability to conduct the OUC Orlando Half Marathon responsibly and minimize the event’s impact on the environment,” says Jon Hughes, race director and co-owner of Track Shack Events, the event producer.

“In four years or 40 years we envision this as a world class race for runners and walkers of all abilities that is working toward 100% waste diversion, an electric powered fleet and solar powered generators, easily accessible locally grown fruit provided for all, 100% paperless, and the material generated would be 100% recyclable and/or compostable.”

Sustainability Plan Overview and Certification Process

One of the key components of the event’s sustainability plan is that the hometown utility OUC-The Reliable One has been supplying runners race day water from 10 hydrants along the 13.1 mile route since 1999.  

An overview of the five point plan is supplied below:

• INITIATE – Establish a manageable plan of action that is accepted by the organizing committee including OUC, Track Shack Events staff, community members, the City of Orlando and Keep Orlando Beautiful program, Compost Orlando and race day volunteers. 

• EDUCATE – Bring forth the depth of OUC’s educational resources and information that is applicable to individuals, families and business uses.  Use press and publicity efforts, social media and in-store communication to convey the importance of long-term sustainability of active lifestyle events.  Our community is defined as runners/walkers, customers, sponsors, business and residential neighbors, municipalities, vendors, local media, volunteers, fans and followers. 

• COMMUNICATE – Make our sustainability plan and content interesting, shareable and inviting; using communication methods such as direct mail, local media, video production, branding, neighborhood communication, race day PSA’s.  Communicate our success and shortcomings post event.

ACTIVATE Deliver on our plan and evaluate.
Waste Reduction
- Online registration (71%) – eliminating over 4,500 pieces of paper
- Volunteer waivers are electronic – eliminating 200 pieces of paper
- Virtual Event Bag – with final race info, course map and deals - eliminating 75,000 pieces of paper.
- Using OUC water from OUC hydrants – reduces 2,700 plastic gallon jugs.
- Devising a system for waste diversion during all phases of the event including pre-race packet pick up, race day and post event.

- Recycling of plastic bottles, paper and cardboard through collaboration with City of Orlando and Keep Orlando Beautiful
- Receiving used running shoes at Track Shack and repurposing/redistributing them locally

Sustainable Purchasing
- Bamboo Shirts – Raw Threads shirts are made from bamboo, a sustainable resource.
- Research compostable or recyclable cups

- Understand the sustainability policies of our sponsors, vendors, partners
- Promote the use of public transportation and/or carpooling; offer bike valet parking, promote Orlando Bike Share for spectating.
- Survey participants and sponsors post-race to gauge successes and shortcomings.

• CALCULATE – Document baseline figures for future evaluation.
Event certification is achieved by an application and documentation process, and independent evaluation. More than 120 events worldwide have achieved levels of certification which are Certified, Silver, Gold and Evergreen. Upon achieving certification, the OUC Orlando Half Marathon and 5k will be the first CRS certified events in Florida. More information available at http://www.councilforresponsiblesport.org/.

About the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC)

Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida and 14th largest municipal in the country. OUC provides electric, water, chilled water and/or lighting services to 240,000 customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. According to data provided by the Florida Public Service Commission, OUC has been more reliable than the state’s investor-owned utilities for 18 years running. OUC is focused not just on reliability and affordability, but weaves sustainability into everything it does. More information available: www.ouc.com 

If you have resources or would like to help, please comment below.

Use Facebook to Leave a Comment - We'd love to hear from you.