How Sustainable is the London Marathon?

New report from London Marathon Events (LME) highlights
environmental successes and sets out sustainability targets

London Marathon Events (LME) hosts 13 major running, cycling and swimming races across the UK each year. Imagine thousands of athletes drinking rivers of water and ripping off (and leaving behind) enough sweaty active wear to fill the Tooting Bec lido. Not ideal swimming conditions. Not too great for the environment.

To address the impact of these “mass participation” events, LME released their first ever sustainability report entitled “Leaving the Right Impression.” The report lays out a 5-pronged environmental policy, details recent steps towards sustainability objectives, and discusses future commitments.

How LME entered the sustainability race in 2019

  • Created an environmental data collection framework and “impact register” to capture and rank environmental impacts
  • Introduced closed loop recycling for plastic bottles
  • Commissioned the design and manufacture of a bottle belt made from 90 per cent recycled material
  • Reduced the number of plastic bottles used at the Virgin Money London Marathon
  • Appointed a Head of Procurement and Sustainability for sourcing and purchasing materials
  • Signed up to a responsible sourcing program
  • Reduced the number of generators used at events and introduced low-energy hybrid tower lights
  • Committed to producing an annual sustainability report
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