2023 TCS London Marathon wins gold certification from Council for Responsible Sport
- First major UK mass participation event to be certified by Council for Responsible Sport
- Biggest running event in the world to receive Gold certification
- Social and environmental impacts measured through ReScore app, developed by TCS
The Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) announced today (Wednesday 6 September) that the 2023 TCS London Marathon has been awarded Gold certification following a comprehensive assessment of its approach to social and environmental impacts.
The 2023 TCS London Marathon is the first major event in the UK to be awarded Gold certification by the world’s leading sustainability certification programme dedicated to sports events and organisations. The event, which was being assessed by CRS for the first time, achieved 50 out of a maximum potential of 61 credits, comfortably achieving Gold certification (45-54 credits).
In 2023, LME used the ReScore app, a cloud-based application developed by TCS for CRS. ReScore enabled LME to measure the environmental and social impact of the marathon, as well as report, verify, and certify against sustainability standards set by the Council.
The CRS assessment is based on five key areas of social and environmental impact. These are: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. CRS’s ReScore platform is used to consistently capture, measure and assess performance across these critical areas.
CRS highlighted the following standout achievements at the 2023 TCS London Marathon:
- Planning and communications: the event app, developed with TCS, which was downloaded by 547,510 people, extensively featured the social and environmental programmes around the event and the Sustainability stand at the TCS London Marathon Running Show
- Procurement: the partnership with Trees not Tees, which offered participants the option of planting a tree instead of receiving the official New Balance finisher T-shirt
- Resource management: use of electric vehicles (57 per cent of vehicles, including Nissan vehicles, used for the event were electric), the use of bio-diesel for required power generation and the volunteer-run waste stations to improve segregation of waste
- Access and equity: the extensive support programme for female participants, the bespoke training plan for participants during Ramadan, the mass TCS Mini London Marathon and the funding awarded by TCS to schools for each finisher
- Community legacy: Rainbow Row, a special section of the route created with the support of Nissan to celebrate London’s LGBTQAI+ community, featuring music, performers and activations for participants and spectators
Kevin Phelan, Board Member of the Council for Responsible Sport, said: “It is outstanding for such a large and complex event to achieve Gold certification in the first year of assessment. This achievement reflects the dedicated work that has been done by London Marathon Events, the organisers of the 2023 TCS London Marathon, who are clearly setting the pace in delivering responsible events that genuinely make a positive difference. The achievements across all categories reflect a genuine focus on the role of the event in terms of environment, communities and inclusivity.”
Hugh Brasher, Event Director for London Marathon Events, said: “London Marathon Events is committed to drive positive social and environmental change through our own actions and to inspire our stakeholders and partners to do the same. We are delighted that our work has been recognised by the Council for Responsible Sport with the Gold certification for the 2023 TCS London Marathon. We know there is much more we can do and we’ll work to achieve Evergreen certification next year. The ReScore app, developed for the Council by our headline and technology partner TCS, offers all event organisers the opportunity to effectively measure social and environmental impacts and we hope other events in the UK will also use ReScore to deliver responsible events.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the sporting capital of the world and I am delighted that the 2023 TCS London Marathon - one of the biggest events across the capital every year - has achieved a Gold certification for its commitment to driving positive environmental and social change. This achievement highlights London Marathon’s dedication to sustainability, inclusivity and community participation, and I’m excited to continue working together to build a better London for everyone."
Seb Coe, President of World Athletics, said: “Sustainability has to sit at the heart of everything that we do as organisations – sport or otherwise. We congratulate the TCS London Marathon for their achievements and for being leaders in this area. We encourage mass participation running events all over the world to deliver responsible events, either through World Athletics for a Better World Certification, or other leading certification standard programmes which focus on driving positive environmental and social change.”
Amit Kapur, Head UK & Ireland at Tata Consultancy Services, commented: “TCS is delighted that the 2023 TCS London Marathon achieved the high standard of Gold certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. When TCS developed ReScore, we envisioned our partners like LME using it to measure and improve their events' environmental and social impact. In London, this dream has become a reality through the power of innovation. TCS continues working with LME to provide best-in-class technology solutions that not only enhance participant experiences but builds a cleaner and more sustainable future for everyone."
The full list of events around the globe certified by the CRS can be viewed here. It includes world-leading basketball, track and field, golf, ironman and mass participation running events.
Testimonials from the organisations London Marathon Events (LME) has worked with to achieve the Gold certification
Jamie Berry, Senior Partnerships Manager, Trees not Tees: "Working with London Marathon 2023 was a huge milestone for Trees Not Tees and proves that, given the choice, people will make planet positive decisions. The LME team's commitment to reducing the impact of this, and all of their events needs to be applauded. We are proud to partner with this magnificent event and look forward to creating forests with future races."
Leon Parkes and Tara Mahmud from NOV run club: “As part of our work with LME's Inclusion Advisory Group, we guided 17 participants to complete the 2023 TCS London Marathon for the first time. We were able to celebrate the unity of London's diverse run communities in the company of friends and family to inspire more to join our community. As a result, we have had an increased amount of beginners join our ‘Introduction to running’ group and more than 40 people participate in a range of events including The Big Half, in preparation for the opportunity to run the 2024 TCS London Marathon.”
Tyler Williams-Green, Founder and CEO of Outrunners Charity: “Through the amazing collaboration and support from the community engagement team at LME, we developed a London Marathon Academy where we trained a diverse group of people to become marathon runners in 2023 – many for the first time. As the Outrunners Charity is an organisation that prides itself on diversifying running, having the TCS London Marathon as a pathway allows our community to dream big and show our young people that anything is possible! We were also able to use the Academy as a fundraising tool and those who offered to fundraise for our youth programmes raised over £20K which has enabled us to hire more coaches to grow our work across London! Thank you TCS London Marathon!”
Charlie Dark, Run Dem Crew Founder: “For the last 16 years myself and Run Dem Crew have been road side at the London Marathon cheering on the first runner to the very last. When I first started the crew, it was a dream to have our members participate in such an iconic event and over the years we’ve introduced many people to the marathon distance – it’s been amazingly inspiring to see the impact participation has had not only on individuals but the community around them. This has been particularly impactful amongst the people of colour within our group where sprinting and shorter distances has traditionally been the norm within the community. Running in any form is empowering for the mind but completing a marathon in your home city is a memory that can never be erased and something our members will treasure forever.
“You can’t be what you can’t see and London Marathon have made great steps in working with communities such as Run Dem to ensure there is more diversity on the start line. They’ve listened, put plans in place and gone out of their way to accommodate and include us in the fabric of the race and for this we are ever grateful. Long may this kind of outreach continue, and we look forward to many more years of working with the best marathon in the world.”