Le Champion’s core purpose is to help create a healthy and active society by organising walking, running and cycling events for people of all ages and all levels of fitness. Embedding sustainability is an important aspect of this idealistic aim. Le Champion endeavours to organise of events as sustainably as possible and is also committed to supporting charitable institutions. To emphasise the social importance of sustainability, in 2012 Le Champion joined forces with the municipality of Amsterdam to run a pilot project designed to make the TCS Amsterdam Marathon more sustainable. Among other things the project identified sustainability aspects and partner organisations of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon and established sustainability performance scores for each aspect. This was repeated for the Saucony Egmond Half Marathon and the AGU Egmond-Pier-Egmond cycling event.
In addition to this, from 2013 to 2015, together with the municipality of Amsterdam, Stichting Duurzaam Organiseren (sustainable event organisation) and Stichting Milieukeur (SMK) (sustainability certification), Le Champion took part in the Event Sustainability Barometer (Barometer Duurzame Evenementen). This is an environmental certificate that denotes the level of accreditation of a sustainable event (bronze, silver or gold) based on a set of environmental criteria. The conclusions and recommendations drawn from the pilot project, the observations in Egmond and the sustainability barometer form a basis for Le Champion’s sustainability policy, which applies to its own organisation as well as events. The policy is meant to serve as a starting point for the sustainable operating plans developed and implemented for each event. These operating plans are developed annually and are evaluated and adjusted where necessary.
The aims of Le Champion’s sustainability policy are:
1) To increase the positive and reduce the negative impacts of its own operations (events and other activities) and those of partner organisations on society (people, planet and profit).
2) To ensure that partner organisations operate in a way that is demonstrably sustainable and/or socially responsible.
3) To enhance Le Champion’s positive image as a sustainable organisation that makes a positive contribution to society.
4) To attract and retain stakeholders (including our own employees) who value Le Champion’s commitment to sustainability.
Generally speaking, Le Champion places the emphasis on issues that can be most effectively addressed by sustainability efforts and those considered most important by stakeholders. These issues are emphasised in Le Champion’s internal and external communication. The focus is therefore on energy, water, waste, catering, mobility, location, soil and greenery, which are regarded as key issues. As far as possible we aim to make performance in these areas measurable, by monitoring and keeping records of environmentally relevant factors and acting accordingly. Together with municipal authorities and suppliers we identify ways in which they can help make events more sustainable. Le Champion keeps participants and stakeholders informed of the progress of its sustainability efforts and explains how they can contribute where possible.