London Marathon Events publishes second annual environmental impact report
London Marathon Events (LME) outlined its commitment to continuing to reduce its environmental impact in its second annual report published today (Thursday) and announced it has planted more than 1,000 trees to balance its carbon emissions.
The 1,086 trees were planted in partnership with Trees for Cities at a site in east London and will, over time, offset 381 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions created by LME’s use of generators and vehicles, along with staff and elite athlete travel in 2020. This is a major step forward in LME’s path to carbon neutrality. The wide variety of trees were chosen to provide a long-lasting healthy urban woodland and for their ability to absorb carbon dioxide.
The east London site is currently disused and the tree planting is part of Trees for Cities’ long-term plan to create a new urban woodland, bringing it back into community use. It is in an area that suffers from high pollution and the trees will help absorb both air and noise pollution, and provide a home for wildlife.
2020 was a very challenging year for LME as the Covid-19 pandemic meant that the company was only able to hold The Vitality Big Half (1 March) as originally planned. LME worked to create virtual editions of its running and cycling events and delivered the elite races for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon in a biosecure environment in central London, alongside the world’s biggest virtual marathon.
LME’s environmental impact report, Leaving the Right Impression, sets out the organisation’s achievements during this very challenging year, which include:
- Joining the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework
- Reducing total waste by almost 20 per cent from 2019 in the one like-for-like event, The Vitality Big Half
- Switching to 100 per cent renewable energy at LME’s offices and warehouse
- Promoting pro-environmental behaviour by joining with other mass participation sports organisations to share knowledge, experience and set cross-industry standards
- Introducing a carbon levy for international ballot participants in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon
- Donating more than 8,000 items of clothing to charitable causes
- Introducing electric vehicles at the Virgin Money London Marathon elite event
The report also outlines how LME adapted its events to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and identifies new areas of focus including:
- Delivering socially distanced events and the impact on all aspects of sustainability
- Increasing research on the environmental impacts of the new virtual events
- Exploring opportunities for participant self-sufficiency across our mass and virtual events.
Read more about London Marathon Events' commitment to reducing its environmental impact on our sustainability page.