Bath Half becomes the first running event in the UK to win a national sustainability award

By Nick Batten on 22 February, 2021

The 2020 Bath Half Marathon is the first running event in the UK to win a prestigious ‘AGF RUN AWARD’ from the sustainability team at A Greener Festival.

The AGF Awards are a series of independent sustainability awards and certification for festivals and public events. Participants in the AGF awards, a leading kite mark of sustainable and regenerative events, undergo a detailed evidence-based assessment throughout the whole event process including self-assessment, independent site visits, and post-event proof and analysis, including a detailed CO2 analysis and sustainability report of the event’s operations and impacts.

The areas assessed included travel and transport, procurements including food and beverage, power, solid waste, recycling, circularity, communications and CO2 analysis. Actions included enhanced provision and location for maximum public transport usage, banned sales of single-use plastics by partners and traders and encouragement of runners to bring refillable bottles, hiring and reuse of materials, equipment and signage, and salvage operations for surplus food to Bath Food Bank, Bath Vegan Food Bank, and T-Shirts to Hope & Aid Direct Refugee Charity.

Claire O’Neill – Co-Founder – A Greener Festival, said, “Bath Half Marathon has demonstrated a passionate drive for a greener run. The team has shown great efforts and a clear determination to boost the event’s sustainability. Furthermore, Bath Half Marathon is the first in history to achieve the AGF Run Award!”

The Award will be presented at the Green Events Innovations & Conference (GE113) on 2nd March, which this year will be held digitally.

Andrew Taylor Race Director for Bath Half Marathon, Running High Events Ltd, said, “We are particularly proud to have been the first event in our sector to receive this award. The AGF assessment process and report was a challenging and robust examination of our waste processes, providing very helpful and informed third-party insights and validation of our work, highlighting areas of improvement for future years.

“We would like to thank our event partners, particularly Wessex Water for working with us to replace bottled with mains drinking water at last year’s race, also MJ Church who have provided event waste management services for our event a number of years, and our team of volunteers from local community groups who staff our aid stations.

He added, “We have been measuring our event waste outputs since 2012, and working with our waste management contractors, suppliers, event partners, participants, and volunteers to minimise waste and maximise reuse and recycling.”

The 2020 Bath Half was the first time a UK water company has worked in this way with a large-scale running event. Runners and spectators were able to fill up their reusable bottles at HydroZones, with tap water stations also supplying water in compostable cups during the race for those who preferred to run without a bottle.