2015 Banff Marathon

The 2015 Banff Marathon is a full and half marathon and 10k running race held in the town of Banff, Alberta. The event was held June 20th and June 21st, 2015.


The 2015 marathon was called the “Third – Second Annual” as the 2013 event was cancelled at the last minute due to the epic floods in 2013 that shut down all transportation corridors. The third time “was a charm” as almost everything went according to plan.


Parks Canada capped the total number of participants at 1500. The event was sold out with a waiting list.


SustainDriven acted as the Director of Sustainability for the race and expo.
SustainDriven hosted an “Event Within the Event”. It was called the Sustainability Summit where parties involved in creating the greenest marathon presented to the group and politicians assembled.

For 2015 SustainDriven and the Banff Marathon accomplished following initiatives:

  1. Total Green House Gas load for the event and all participant travel were completely offset with certified retired GHG credit’s
  2. Certified green energy for the entire event was used.
  3. A Towards Zero Waste program for the offices, race course and expo was executed with an amazing 94.3% waste diversion rate.
  4. Launching of the VEB (Virtual Event Bag) for all participants to eliminate the normal “Swag Bag” of coupons and the resulting waste.
  5. CRAZ (Calgary Regional Airshed Zone) exhibited their MAML (Mobile air monitoring laboratory) to showcase the clean air the runners competed in.
  6. We utilized a “bio digestible” water cup for participants instead of paper compostable cups. The purpose was an experiment with the Banff N-Viro facility to shorten the distance traveled for waste products and the resulting reduction in GHG’s.
  7. We partnered with ROAM Transit to have a perimeter-parking plan and to encourage participants to take the bus rather than private vehicles.
  8. We held a Sustainability Summit to showcase the elements of sustainability as displayed in the Marathon to accomplish its goals.
  9. We utilized a purchasing and procurement guide to affect all decisions made by the operations team.
  10. A substantial education program was conducted:
    • To the participants through every newsletter.
    • To the participants with a “Most Environmentally Sustainable Runner” contest.
    • To the aid station captains with inclusion in their guiding documents and speaking to them at the morning meeting.
    • To the expo participants with inclusion in the document requiring their signatures as well face to face all weekend.
    • To the Sustainability committee with complete inclusion in the process including meetings with the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission Towards Zero Waste staff.    
    • To the Sustainability Committee student captains where they designed the suggested usage of the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corp scholarship.
    • The use of flash drives courtesy of Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corp for the Sustainability Summit in place of printed info in a binder.
    • SustainDriven prepared for the Town of Banff a draft special event sustainability matrix for the permitting process based upon the Banff Marathon.
    • The media attended the summit to showcase the successes.
    • All signage for the event was prepared with future use in mind.

The environmental sustainability efforts were a success. It was likely the most environmental sustainable event ever in the Banff National Park.
We will conduct a full review of other world-class marathons at year end to confirm that we may use the title “Worlds Greenest Marathon for 2015”