Chicago Marathon 1st to Earn Highest Certification

of America Chicago Marathon Becomes the First Marathon to Earn Highest
Possible Level of Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport

Ore. – The Council for Responsible Sport announced today that the 2016
Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been awarded evergreen level
certification for achieving 57 of the best-practice standards offered in
the council‰Ûªs certification program for social and environmental
responsibility at sporting events.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the largest in the world,
with 39,313 participants finishing the 2016 event in front of over a
million spectators. It is the largest marathon to have earned
certification from the council since the organization was founded in
2008. This is the fourth certification for the event after basic
certification was achieved in 2010 and 2012, then silver level status
was gained in 2014.

“The council continues to be impressed by the way organizers have
incorporated social and environmental values into their decision-making
and staging of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Those choices
positively influence the event‰Ûªs supply chain, as well as inspire
participants and spectators to incorporate healthy, low-impact behaviors
such as recycling and taking alternative transportation into their
lifestyles,” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director at the Council
for Responsible Sport.

Certification is achieved by complying with standards across five
categories: planning and communications, procurement, access and equity,
resource management and community legacy. Highlights from the 2016
certification effort included:

  • Participant T-shirts, a product of Nike‰Ûªs Considered Design line, were made from 100 percent recycled polyester fibers.
  • Organizers,
    with the help of more than 60 Green Team volunteers, diverted 77
    percent of all waste from the race course and the Abbott Health &
    Fitness Expo from the landfill‰ÛÓmore than 76 tons of materials‰ÛÓthrough
    reuse, recycling and compost programs.
  • McCormick Place, home to
    the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo, is the world‰Ûªs largest convention
    center to be a certified sustainable venue under the APEX-ASTM
  • 34,000 pounds of remaining food and water were
    donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository post-race, a 36 percent
    increase from the 25,000 pounds donated in 2014.
  • 42,000 apples
    from Michigan were provided as a locally sourced treat for athletes to
    refuel themselves. Michigan produces more than 900 million pounds of
    apples annually, according to the Michigan Economic Development
  • 10,000 people from the Chicago community volunteered at the 2016 event, from over 100 local groups.
  • The
    Bank of America Chicago Marathon gives back to the Chicago Park
    District by annually supporting the Chicago Park District Cross-Country
    Championships. By helping host three qualifying youth races, the Chicago
    Marathon shares the joy and reward of exercise and fitness with the
    next generation. Participating youth receive finisher medals,
    certificates and T-shirts, along with the thrill of racing.

an event, we are both honored and excited to have earned Evergreen
Level Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport,” said Bank of
America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski.
“Since 2010, we have worked closely with our runners, volunteers,
spectators and partners to make the Bank of America Chicago Marathon as
sustainable as possible. This certification recognizes the hard work
that has been done and encourages us to continue these efforts in
supporting the environment and communities our race runs through.”

“Honoring the Bank of America Chicago Marathon’s impact on our community
and the environment demonstrates how one positive action can make a
huge difference in the lives of many,” said Paul Lambert, Chicago market
president, Bank of America. “We’re proud to be part of this great
initiative, and it builds on Bank of America’s commitment of becoming
better environmental stewards in our local communities.”

About the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 40th year, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes
thousands of runners from more than 100 countries and all 50 states,
including a world-class elite field, top regional and Masters runners,
race veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners. The race‰Ûªs iconic
course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an
architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. Annually, an estimated 1.7
million spectators line the streets, cheering on more than 40,000
runners from the start line to the final stretch down Columbus Drive. As
a result of the race‰Ûªs national and international draw, the Chicago
Marathon assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of
charitable causes while generating $277 million in annual economic
impact to its host city. The 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a
member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start and finish in
Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 8. In advance of
the race, a two-day Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be held at
McCormick Place Convention Center on Friday, October 6 and Saturday,
October 7. For more information about the event and how to get involved,
go to To learn more about the bank‰Ûªs environmental programs and initiatives, go to

About the Council for Responsible Sport
The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events
are the norm and its 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. The current version of the
Council‰Ûªs Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside
working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts,
reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented
in January 2014.

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