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Sustainability

Inspiring and delivering innovation in mass participation event sustainability

As organisers of Swim Serpentine, London Marathon Events is proud to lead the way in showing the power of mass participation sport as a force for good, and of the hugely positive effects our events have had on millions of people since the first London Marathon in 1981.

Our events have a proven track record of inspiring activity, improving physical and mental health and bringing communities together – raising billions of pounds for charities and supporting local businesses in the process.

Driving positive change

We want to ensure our events and activities drive positive change in sustainability too, therefore environmental sustainability is one of six company objectives that guide everything we do – and since 2019 we have focused on measuring and continuously reviewing our impacts to inform our decisions. To find out more, read our environmental policy.

Environmental report front cover

Introducing environmental impact reports

In 2020 we launched our first-ever environmental impact report, Leaving the Right Impression, which set out the waste, emissions and products produced and used across all our events, and at our head office and warehouse in 2019.

We have now committed to producing an environmental impact report each year, and you can read them via the buttons below.

Our environmental reports

Our areas of focus

We have split our focus across four key impact areas: waste, emissions, product and supply chain. 

Here are just a few of the things we have achieved across each of these areas across all our events – for full information check out our latest environmental impact report… 

Waste

  • reduced total waste by almost 20 per cent in our one like-for-like event in 2020, The Vitality Big Half
  • donated more than 8,000 items of clothing to charitable causes
  • use bottles made of 100 per cent recycled and recyclable materials
  • collect waste in 2021 to use in the production of mile markers for future events

Emissions

  • switched to 100 per cent renewable energy at our head office and warehouse
  • introduced electric vehicles
  • introduced lower-emission generators using HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel
  • supporting certified, international carbon offset projects in Kenya for 2021 to balance emissions we cannot yet reduce

Product

  • use kitbags made from sugarcane that have a lower carbon footprint
  • provide Lucozade Sport in compostable cups
  • reduced packaging on finisher’s T-shirts
  • encouraging the use of bottle belts shown to reduce the number of bottles used by each participant by more than 40 per cent

Supply chain

  • introduced a responsible procurement toolkit
  • incorporated sustainability considerations into our terms and conditions
  • chair a procurement working group with other mass participation event’s organisers

Collective action

We also recognise the importance of collective action and have joined the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, working with other sports organisers across the globe to take climate action. In addition we work with our fellow Abbott World Marathon Major partners and other UK Mass Participation Sports Organisers to share knowledge and learnings. We are excited about what we and our partners have achieved, but know there is still much more to do, and this work will continue long into the future.