Houston (April 22, 2015) – The Council for Responsible Sport announced today that the Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) has been awarded the Gold Certification for its achievements while hosting the 2015 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon. The HMC earned credit on 46 of the best practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events.

In 2012, the HMC became the first organization to earn dual certification from the Council for separate events conducted on consecutive days (2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon; 2012 Chevron Houston Marathon). After earning Silver Level Certification in 2012, the HMC earned Gold in 2013-14 and are now recertified at the Gold level for 2015-16.  Certification is achieved by complying with standards across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, access and equity, resource management and community legacy.

“The Council is very impressed with the diligence of the Houston Marathon Committee and staff,” said Shelley Villalobos, certification director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “They’ve made and acted on a commitment to producing a responsible event year after year, including an eye for genuine improvement. They’re not afraid of change when it’s change for the better—and the results of that leadership are clear for all to see.”

The three-day event weekend diverted 77% of its waste, an increase over years past that the HMC achieved by asking guests to place discarded items on tables near the waste receptacles, where ‘Green Team’ volunteers then sorted them into the proper bins—recycle, compost or trash. Organizers also worked with their finisher’s awards and t-shirt suppliers to eliminate the individual, non-recyclable plastic wrappers that previously came with each unit.

“The HMC is truly appreciative of the Council for Responsible Sport for their efforts to improve social and environmental behavior within the sports event industry, and extremely thankful to receive Gold Certification again this year,” said Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee and Foundation.  “Four consecutive years of certification are possible due to the passion and commitment of our amazing volunteers, committee members and staff.”

Reducing barriers to participation was another area where the event earned credit. The HMC granted over $50,000 in support to Students Run Houston – providing race registrations, coaching, shoes, apparel and transportation to and from the event for more than 200 local high school youth. The Students Run Houston initiative assisted after-school running programs at Katy Students Run (Morton Ranch High School and Katy High School), Chavez High School, Sharpstown High School, Trinity Classical School and Ortiz Middle School.

About the Chevron Houston Marathon:
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC), a Running USA Founding Member, annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually. In 2015, the Run for a Reason Charity Program raised $2.5 million and the HMC retained Gold Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport for industry-leading sustainability initiatives. Host to 16 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005 and the 1992 women’s Olympic Trials Marathon, the HMC conducted the nationally-televised 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, which featured men and women competing on the same course simultaneously for the first time, vying for the chance to represent Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games.

About the Council for Responsible Sport:
The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014. www.CouncilforResponsibleSport.org