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Banff, Alberta, Canada - "Banff Marathon is Canada’s first UN Sports for Climate Action member" RMO Today, by Jordan Small - Read HERE


​The Banff Marathon continues to strive to be the “Greenest” Marathon on the planet.  The event, with the assistance of SustainDriven, the Sustainability Committee and many incredible sustainability partners, will implement and manage 10 green strategies.  The strategies are as follows:

1. Waste Diversion from Landfill (Towards Zero Waste)

The goal of the Banff Marathon is to achieve the “gold” standard in waste diversion (away from landfill). Utilizing the Bow Valley Waste Commission, Sustainability Committee members and volunteers, the Banff Marathon will achieve the Towards Zero Waste Gold Certification by diverting a minimum of 90% of waste generated by the event from landfill.  The event achieved the ultimate 100% diversion rate in 2018.

2. GHG offsets (Global Greenhouse Gasses)

The Banff Marathon calculates the total greenhouse gas generation for the event which included all travel from point of origin including all competitors, race operations and home and remote office operations. These emissions will be offset in their entirety by the event thanks to our partners in calculating and funding the GHG offsets - Brightspot Climate.

3. Green Energy

The Banff Marathon utilizes green power - grid energy that is certified from renewable sources. Our partner with green energy is Bow Valley Power who provides EcoLogo certified power to the Banff Marathon.  What is EcoLogo certified power?  Power which is…

  1. Generated in a manner which meets the Fisheries Act and Canadian Environmental Protection Act

  2. Generated in a way that does not jeopardize the survival or recovery on any species designated as endangered or threatened

  3. Produced with air pollution falling under certain guidelines - emissions from carbon monoxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur oxides do not exceed certain thresholds

  4. Generated in the same calendar year, the first three months of the following calendar year and the last six months of the previous calendar year in which the green power is sold

  5. Evaluated with the overall environmental impact in mind, for example, not all hydro plants can be certified under the standard as some hydro plants result in a very high impact to their surrounding environment

4. Purchasing and Procurement Guidelines

The Banff Marathon utilizes a sustainability purchasing and procurement guiding document within the internal and external operations and partners.

5. Education and Engagement Modules

Almost all the sponsors and many of the funding partners view education and knowledge transfer as a critical element of their participation. The participants of the race, their friends and families, the various staff and volunteers for the race, the media, and local members of the community are targeted with messages encouraging their engagement to accomplish the “Worlds Greenest Marathon”.  This takes place via electronic newsletters, web, social media, direct communications, media, print and on-site signage and programs.  The Health and Fitness Expo features a "Sustainability Village" where participants, guests and vendors can learn even more about the sustainability initiatives.  This pavilion showcases some of the sustainability sponsors, has a TZW sorting station and is often staffed by enthusiastic students on the Sustainability Committee.  These students will be driving the next generation of leaders who will continue to lead us with strong sustainability programs for the future of the planet. 

6. Environmental and Wildlife Mitigation

All special events held in Banff National Park must undertake an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) and develop a WRP (Wildlife Response Plan).  The Banff Marathon utilizes Parks Canada Wildlife Resource Management Officers, other Parks Canada personnel and a subcontracted Environmental Monitor to follow the strategies outlined in these plans.

7. Banff National Park Stewardship

The Banff Marathon takes place in a very unique and special place – Banff National Park.  This provides an excellent opportunity to promote an understanding and appreciation of Banff National Park through Park stewardship.  The entire theme and concept of the Banff Marathon is “The Bow Valley Experience” and includes many stewardship opportunities to educate participants on the extensive wildlife, historical and geographical treasures that Banff National Park provides.

8.  Roam Transit and Responsible Transportation

All participants, family members and volunteers are eligible for free local transportation with Roam Transit bus program.  The popularity of this program has grown significantly since its inception.  Banff is the first municipality in Canada to introduce an all-hybrid electric transit fleet and continues to be a steward in environmental advocacy for the Bow Valley region.  Participants simply show their race bib to gain free access to Roam Transit for the race weekend.  In addition to the ROAM transportation, participants and spectators are encourage to car pool, use other mass transit, hotel shuttles along with being encouraged to bike, walk and run to the event site.

9.  Virtual Event Bag

The Banff Marathon utilizes an electronic “Virtual” Event Bag. This software eliminates the need for a physical race bag for each participant and the resulting in significant reduction of paper and plastic waste.

10.  Bio Digestible Water Cups and Good Practices

On a hot day, the Banff Marathon can utilize up to 20,000 disposable cups. Bio-digestible cups are better than recyclable, compostable or in worst cases “coated” cups that are simply garbage. The bio-digestible cups are made from corn and compost very quickly – in a matter of a few days!


Banff, Alberta, Canada – June 10th 2019

Banff Marathon Wins Prestigious Environmental Award!

The Banff Marathon has received the "Environmental Innovators of the Year Award" from the Green Sport Alliance.
These annual awards celebrate environmental innovation and sustainability achievements in sports. Congrats to everyone that did their part to make this happen!

Read the full article HERE


Banff, Alberta, Canada – June 10, 2019 - "Banff Hosts the Greenest Marathon on the Planet" Crag & Canyon, by Marie Conboy - Read HERE


Banff, Alberta, Canada – June 25th, 2018

The Banff Marathon Sets New Industry Record

Once thought Unachievable, the Banff Marathon Produces No Garbage

The results are in and the Banff Marathon has achieved its ultimate goal of diverting an incredible 100% of its waste from the landfill!  This achievement is unprecedented in the endurance event industry.

The Banff Marathon went to extensive measures to accomplish this goal over the course of 3 days of programs which involved 10,000 participants and family members participating in a two-day Health and Fitness Expo, a Kids Run, and race day which included a Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K on June 17th.  The goal was achieved through extensive pre-event education with stakeholders, suppliers and participants along with a team of staff and volunteers led by SustainDriven that sorted all waste while educating participants at the same time.

In 2016, the event produced 1043 pounds of waste and diverted 98%.  In 2017, the event took a significant step reducing the total waste to 754.5 pounds while diverting 99% from landfill.  This year, waste was further reduced to 709.5 pounds with all 100% being recycled!

Not only is the event one of the most stunningly beautiful running events on the planet, the Banff Marathon also lays claim to being the “Greenest Marathon in the World” and has 11 other Sustainability Programs including offsetting all greenhouse gasses to be carbon neutral, purchasing only green electrical power from renewable sources, free mass local transportation for participants, families and volunteers on environmentally friendly ROAM bussing – even the cups the participants drink from are biodegradable from annually renewable corn - and many more successful sustainability programs.

More about SustainDriven
SustainDriven is an innovative provider of environmental consulting and event operations that integrates world-class front-end and mid stream project consulting to execute sustainable water, waste, global green house gas and energy solutions. These actions, when integrated in an overall operations plan makes a facility, business, event or construction project attain “most sustainable in its class” level of accreditation.

More info:


Highlights of the 2017 Waste Diversion/Toward Zero Waste program:

  • 99.01% waste diversion!  New record!

  • The total waste decreased from over 1000 lbs in 2016 to 754 lbs in 2017.

A summary of the diverted items as:

Item/ Weight (lbs)/ % Of total


Compost/ 267.5/ 35.81%

Mixed Paper/ 72.5/ 9.71%

Refundable/ 40.5/ 5.42%

Hard Plastic/ 19.5/ 2.61%

Soft Plastic/ 52/ 6.96%

Cardboard/ 138.5/ 18.54%

Metal Plastic Combinations (Gel packs, some wrappers etc.)./ 34.5/ 4.62%


Totals = 747/ 83.67%

7.5 lbs Non-Recyclable/ 7.5/ 0.99%

Liquids/ - litres 122

Totals = 754.5/ 99.01%


98.6% Waste Diversion - Gold Standard!

In 2016 the Banff Marathon had an incredible 98.6% Waste Diversion! The event produced almost 1000lbs of waste and only 10lbs went to landfill!

The green strategies utilized for the event included:

  • 857 tons of Global Greenhouse Gasses Offset!

  • Used the BVWC Towards Zero Waste Certification to rate our accomplishments. 98.6% of waste diverted from landfill

  • Utilized Green Energy from renewable sources

  • Utilized a Purchasing and Procurement guiding document

  • Education and Engagement with sponsors and partners to target waste diversion

  • Environmental and Wildlife Mitigation with Parks Canada and Environment Monitor

  • Free rides with ROAM transit for participants

  • Virtual Event Bags were used instead of plastic or paper athlete race kits

  • Bio Digestible Water Cups were used in place of plastic or wax coated cups

  • An Education Program was conducted with the Sustainability committee and through the "Sustainability Village" at the Sport Expo. 

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