2020 Bath Half Marathon becomes the first running event in the World to win AGF Run Award from the sustainability team at A Greener Festival
The AGF Awards are a series of independent sustainability awards and certification for festivals and public events. Participants in the AGF awards, a leading kite mark of sustainable and regenerative events, undergo a detailed evidence-based assessment throughout the whole event process including self-assessment, independent site visits, and post-event proof and analysis, including a detailed CO2 analysis and sustainability report of the event’s operations and impacts.
The areas assessed included travel and transport, procurements including food and beverage, power, solid waste, recycling, circularity, communications and CO2 analysis. Actions included enhanced provision and location for maximum public transport usage, banned sales of single-use plastics by partners and traders and encouragement of runners to bring refillable bottles, hiring and reuse of materials, equipment and signage, and salvage operations for surplus food to Bath Food Bank, Bath Vegan Food Bank, and T-Shirts to Hope & Aid Direct Refugee Charity.
Bath Half Marathon has demonstrated a passionate drive for a greener run. The team has shown great efforts and a clear determination to boost the event’s sustainability. Furthermore, the Bath Half Marathon is the first in history to achieve the AGF Run Award!
This Award signifies great strides on the green event journey, with continued improvements, and shows your event exhibits a significant engagement with the process of reducing negative environmental impacts and enhancing positive impacts.
The whole AGF team is very proud of the achievements of our winners and participants. We thank you wholeheartedly for your efforts and actions to make the event industry greener.
Claire O’Neill – Co-Founder – A Greener Festival
The Award will be presented at the Green Events Innovations & Conference (GE113) on 2nd March, which this year will be held digitally
We are delighted to receive this prestigious award as a recognition of our work to minimise the impact of our event on the environment. We are particularly proud to have been the first event in our sector to receive this award. The AGF assessment process and report was a challenging and robust examination of our waste processes, providing very helpful and informed third-party insights and validation of our work, highlighting areas of improvement for future years.
We would like to thank our event partners, particularly Wessex Water for working with us to replace bottled with mains drinking water at last year’s race, also MJ Church who have provided event waste management services for our event a number of years, and our team of volunteers from local community groups who staff our aid stations.
Anyone working in events will understand that managing waste at temporary venues at outdoor events is a challenging and complicated process, and our type of mass-participation running event – which is staged on a single day – presents particular challenges. We only have a 4-hour window to set up, manage and clear away waste generating activities such as water stations on the public highway, and to collect litter spread by participants and spectators along the course route. We also have to service runners in quick time, literally as they run past our aid stations.
We have been measuring our event waste outputs since 2012, and working with our waste management contractors, suppliers, event partners, participants and volunteers to minimise waste and maximise reuse and recycling. Over the last 9 years we’ve seen significant improvements and innovation in event waste management, but as a sector we’d suggest there is still significant work to be done to align customer aspirations and expectations, with supplier and contractor products and processes before we can achieve our carbon neutral and circular economy goals.
We are a very small team, with limited resources, and we rely on advice from a network of other event organisers, local organisations and individuals who share our desire to minimise the impact of events on the environment.
Andrew Taylor – Bath Half Marathon Race Director – Running High Events Ltd
The 2020 Bath Half was the first time a UK water company has worked in this way with a large-scale running event.
Runners and spectators were able to fill up their reusable bottles at our HydroZones, with tap water stations also supplying water in compostable cups during the race for those who preferred to run without a bottle.
Supplying the Bath Half came about through our commitment to supporting community events, highlighting the benefits of tap water and reducing single-use plastics across our region.
Kirsty Scarlett – Head of Community Engagement – Wessex Water
We are delighted for the team at Running High. It is great that the effort and time they have put in to make Bath Half more sustainable has been recognised. We have been working with the team for a number of years, and each year we look for ways to improve the recycling and minimize waste outputs. 2020 was a significant step forward, replacing plastic bottled water with mains tap water was a huge improvement to the sustainability of the event. We look forward to working together in the future to help them deliver their carbon neutral objective.
Jess Church – Event Waste Management Director – MJ Church