News & Releases >> September 22 2009
Toronto, Ontario (September 24, 2009) — More than 50,000 runners and spectators from 40 different countries will gather in downtown Toronto on Sunday, September 27, 2009 in the hope of setting personal bests, new records for speed and fundraising at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half & 5k. Among the feats accomplished during the celebrated marathon's 20th anniversary will be its first-ever green plan that aims to reduce the event's impact on the environment by collecting recyclables, composting and reducing carbon emissions.
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) environmental plan has been created in collaboration with partners including Aquafina® water and the Boston-based sporting events eco-consultant company Athletes for a FitPlanet. Through the Aquafina sponsorship of the STWM, the brand will provide 240,000 compostable drink cups, 72 recycling bins, and a dozen staff to manage the collection activities, as well as sponsorship funds to execute the program. Athletes for a FitPlanet was brought on board by the Aquafina brand to develop a comprehensive green plan for the event. The company will audit and measure the success of this year's green program and build on it in the years ahead. Future plans include adding new environmental initiatives and gaining eco-accreditation for the STWM.
This is the first time the STWM will undertake a major recycling and composting effort, as well as reduce carbon emissions by asking runners and spectators to ride share and take public transit. The STWM environmental plan has also launched a Green Page on its website www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com, which provides information about the recycling and composting efforts, as well as offering transportation alternatives like public transit information and marathon ride share options via www.pickuppal.com. The marathon's environmental partners will also interact with race participants during the marathon's Expo, held September 25 and 26, at Toronto's Direct Energy Centre (Exhibit Hall D), where they will communicate details about the green initiatives being undertaken at the waterfront marathon.
According to Race Director Alan Brookes, who is leading the greening project, the plan was undertaken because environmental awareness is integral to the marathon's future success.
"There is no doubt that the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is becoming more and more of a signature event for the city. The race has quadrupled in size since 2003," Brookes says.
"We wanted to commit resources to effectively reduce the environmental impact created when we draw so many thousands of people together," he continues. "And also show that we share a vision of Toronto as being a great, green, world-class city. As a result, we're going to make the STWM as environmentally-friendly as possible."
"This is the beginning of our commitment towards environmental stewardship and social responsibility, and we envision ourselves leading the way in greening Canadian marathons through this new environmental program."
Brookes says he was delighted when the Aquafina brand approached the STWM to offer their partnership. "After seeing the Aquafina green initiatives at the Chicago, Marine Corps and Los Angeles marathons, we jumped at the chance to expand the partnership to Canada," Brookes says. "Aquafina brings a great deal of experience and support including enhanced on-the-ground recycling capabilities and sponsorship of our first environmental assessment. Together with our partners, including the City of Toronto, we can make a big impact. Partnerships like this, between public and private sectors, are a key to success for many large events especially when it comes to preserving the local environment and taking responsibility for the communities we live and run in."
According to Cheryl Radisa, Vice President, Consumer Marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada, "We wanted the Aquafina brand to be a significant part of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, to demonstrate our commitment to being an active partner in an effort to enhance recycling capacity in communities, parklands and public spaces. This marathon is part of the fabric of Toronto, and it is such an exciting event for thousands of athletes and attendees including our consumers who come to Toronto to enjoy the race. We are proud to be part of this program and look forward helping it evolve in the future to maximize the sustainability efforts of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon."
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k is the flagship event of the Canada Running Series, and is both an international-class race and a major community festival. The 42km marathon is currently the third largest in Canada, and was the site for the fastest marathon ever run on Canadian soil in 2007. Its Neighbourhood Challenge and Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge tie the sporting event strongly into the broader Toronto community, and this year, 99 local charities expect to raise a record of more than $1.5 million that will go back into the neighbourhoods, communities and families of the GTA. The STWM has the distinction of being one of only five IAAF Label marathons in North America, along with New York, Boston, Chicago and Ottawa.
It was also recognized as one of "Ontario's Top 100 Festivals" for 2008 and 2009, and was recently voted "Best Marathon in Eastern Canada" by Get Out There magazine.
Athletes for a Fit Planet is a leading provider of environmental services to organizers of athletic events, including running, multi-sport, cycling and walking events. Fit Planet's Pledge of Sustainability and Green Events Directory provide a cost-effective way for event organizers to communicate their green practices to athletes, and for athletes to make informed decisions about the events they participate in. The company also offers environmentally-responsible companies creative marketing solutions for reaching the athlete community.
The Aquafina® Community Recycling Initiative is a sustainability program whereby Aquafina water, part of the PepsiCo Canada family of beverages, develops working partnerships with local communities and large-scale event organizers to help enhance on-the-ground recycling capacity within parklands and other public spaces. The Aquafina brand recycling support offers communities the resources to strengthen their recycling infrastructure, better enabling them to collect recyclable materials, divert waste from landfills, and ensure public spaces can 'go and stay green.' Community recycling projects are part of the Aquafina brand's global effort to support communities by being actively involved in sustainability programs that help restore and preserve the local environment. Community leaders, organizers, and recycling experts join forces to develop the right recycling plans in order to have measurable impact.
PepsiCo Beverages Canada is a leader in the Canadian beverages industry and markets a variety of beverages under the following trademarks: PEPSI, DIET PEPSI, 7UP, MOUNTAIN DEW, MUG, AQUAFINA, SOBE, LIPTON and BRISK ICED TEAS, STARBUCKS BOTTLED FRAPPUCCINO, and GATORADE.