Since last year, the Paris Marathon has significantly reinforced its CSR actions, adhering to a movement impelled by the Ministry for Sport which brings together twenty organisers of major international sporting events.

There are three major vectors: 100% recycling, a neutral carbon footprint by 2019 and supporting young generations via sport.

1 – Exemplary waste management

Although the Paris Marathon was already aware of the need to preserve Paris from the waste generated by the runners during the race, the plan took on greater magnitude in 2017, with the objective of only generating recyclable waste by 2019. For the 42nd edition this year, that goal will almost have been accomplished. Vittel, which supplies almost 520,000 bottles of water, is only distributing 100% recyclable bottles and more than 1,000 selective sorting points will be set up on the 42.195-km route! Collection of the waste left over at the end of the race will again be accentuated this year.

A major movement towards going paper-free and limiting packaging is underway, with the involvement of the marathon’s partners and suppliers. The runners have also been called upon to use old clothes rather than bin bags to protect themselves against chilly temperatures in the morning. These clothes will then be collected and recycled.

2 – A neutral carbon footprint in 2019

The Paris Marathon is aiming to be the first carbon neutral marathon on the face of the planet! The idea is to offset the carbon footprint generated not only by the overall organisation of the marathon, but also by the marathon runners’ travel. According to a study conducted by the consultancy Carbone 4, in 2016 the carbon footprint of the Paris Marathon amounted to 26,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, with 95% of these emissions caused by air travel. This footprint was stabilised in 2017 thanks to the first actions conducted. A Gold Standard label offset plan was set up with the Livelihoods organisation.

Three actions have already contributed to this offset plan:

  • A talented athletes’ incubator plan was set up in Kenya by the Livelihoods Carbon Fund.
  • The organisation is also active in the reforestation of Kenya and is tackling the causes of dramatic deforestation in the country. Each year, 50,000 hectares of trees disappear in Kenya – 5 times the area of Paris – in particular due to the use of wood by the local population for cooking fuel.
  • Livelihoods equips families with more efficient wood-fired cookers, which makes it possible to reduce their use of wood by 60%. 300,000 people have benefitted from this measure so far.

Offsetting is not all. The Paris Marathon endeavours to limit its use of fossil energy by using 100% electric vehicles, thanks to its partner BMWi. While in 2017 this measure already concerned 80% of the organisers’ vehicle pool, in 2018 all the vehicles will be electric-powered. Finally, the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris clearly incites users to prefer the least energy-intensive means of transport in its promotion of sustainable mobility.

3 – Innovating for future generations

With the Paris City Authorities, the Paris Marathon launched the Generation Marateens programme in 2016. It is a programme whose aim is to promote taking part in running among the young people of Paris. This year, 1,500 children aged 10 and 11 years old from different districts of Paris (in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th arrondissements) will take part in the programme, under the supervision of neighbourhood instructors and the city’s youth and sports service.

Generation Marateens is broken down into three phases:

  • Sports and educational workshops (on nutrition, physiology, health, games, motor functions and history).
  • A special meeting with athletes from INSEP (the French institute of sport, expertise and performance) ten days before the marathon.
  • Lastly, the children will have the honour of crossing the finishing line on the big day, just before the thousands of finishers of the Paris Marathon.

Other CSR actions by the Paris Marathon:

  • Promotion of sustainable accommodation.
  • Actions in favour of gender equality.
  • Actions to support responsible and eco-sustainable communication.
  • Support for para-sports.
  • Participant health and safety measures.
  • Reinforcement of sporting ethics.
  • Highlighting the work of the organising teams and 3,000 volunteers.
  • Contribution to the influence of Paris.
  • Sharing of the Paris Marathon good practices.
  • Priority for sustainable, organic and local catering.

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