Friday, November 6, 2015

City Announces Sustainability Success of Worlds

~ 2015 UCI Road World Championships event goals exceeded ~

The 2015 UCI Road World Championships Sustainability Report to be released next week by Mayor Dwight C. Jones shows that the event achieved or exceeded all of its sustainability goals. A goal was set to divert a minimum of 60% of event waste from going to the landfill, and the efforts undertaken surpassed that goal, achieving a 76% waste diversion rate.

Waste diversion was achieved by composting food wastes; requiring caterers and vendors to use compostable serve ware; operating a robust recycling effort that included cardboard, pallets, and plastic bags, reusing event signage, recovering and donating unused food, collecting cooking grease to turn into bio-fuel, using water filling stations and reusable beer cups in lieu of plastic. 

An additional goal of offsetting 100% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced from event operations was met. Sources of emissions included electricity use in the Greater Richmond Convention Center, fuel use for generators and equipment; propane and cooking fuel for vendors and caterers; and fuel use for official event vehicles, shuttle buses, refuse, recycling and compost haulers. The 100% offset was attained via Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) provided by the City of Richmond Sustainability Office through its participation in the Dominion Green Power Program. Dominion Green Power RECs come from wind, solar and biomass facilities in the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions. 

“I want to recognize Alicia Zatcoff, the City of Richmond Sustainability Manager; Tom Griffin, Executive Director of Virginia Green Travel Alliance, and everyone who worked to make the 2015 UCI Road World Championships a sustainable event,” said Mayor Jones. “Sustainability was a significant factor in the success of the event and in providing athletes and spectators with an overwhelmingly positive experience. This effort also showed how sustainability can enhance tourism and economic development in our community.”

The 2015 UCI Road World Championships was the first Road World Championships ever to receive the official UCI reCycling eco-label. The eco-label recognizes environmentally responsible cycling events that submit an Environmental Management Plan documenting intended actions to address transportation, energy and water conservation, recycling and waste management, accommodations, catering and supplies.

The event was certified as a Virginia Green Travel Event. The Virginia Green Program is Virginia’s self-certifying program to encourage green practices in all aspects of its tourism industry including festivals and sporting events. The program is run through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association. 

The Worlds is in the process of obtaining the Council for Responsible Sport event certification which is based on the event’s actual performance in key areas of equity, access, community impact, and legacy. 

“We strategically aligned the focus of our sustainability activities for the Worlds in four key areas that were designed to move the city’s broader RVAgreen sustainability initiatives forward: reduce waste, reduce emissions, be healthy and leave a positive legacy,” said Alicia Zatcoff, City of Richmond Sustainability Manager. “As a result, we not only succeeded in our sustainability efforts for the event but we also made progress on big picture initiatives that will benefit our community for many years to come.”

As a result of the sustainability achievements for the Worlds, the City of Richmond and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance are developing a Green Event Toolkit to share lessons learned and provide free resources to enhance the sustainability of future events. 

“The Worlds was an opportunity for the Virginia Green Travel Alliance to help showcase how green an event can actually be when the proper planning takes place and adequate resources are made available,” said Tom Griffin, Executive Director of the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. “The Sustainability accomplishments of the Worlds have set a new standard for events and festivals in the community and the Green Event Toolkit will help organizers meet this new standard.