2021 Review

Noteworthy Events

  • Racing to Zero took part in Green Sports Day in Canada, reaching 2300 students across North America & the world

  • Racing to Zero’s presence at Calgary events in 2021 reached 3000+ attendees

  • Racing to Zero Featured in: BBC, World Athletics, International Olympic Committee, Canadian Olympic Committee, Athletics Alberta, Athletics Canada, CBC articles and press releases.

  • Baseline emissions & sustainability scores were determined for CALTAF, Calgary Challenge, Gord’s Series and the Cheetahs track meets in Calgary

  • A mobile drinking fountain was purchased for use by the Calgary Track Council & Athletics Alberta

  • Monthly sustainability tips were shared with Athletics Alberta throughout the competitive season

Lessons Learned


Event directors were all very keen to engage in sustainability initiatives but were unaware of the influence they had over their suppliers.

Next year we recommend the directors begin to collaborate with their food, awards, clothing, equipment, and hotel suppliers to identify who among them have sustainability practices or goals. Changing suppliers, or at a minimum influencing existing suppliers to think sustainably is possible one those conversations begin.

In 2021 Racing to Zero identified potential race bibs/pins and medals/award suppliers that meet minimum sustainability thresholds. We also identified avenues the event’s food supplier could take to improve their sustainability scores in future years.


How people moved to and from the events was the largest contributor to carbon emissions. COVID exacerbated this with minimal car pooling, public transportation or hired coaches used this year.

Next year we recommend that event directors play active roles in communicating other options to driving. Especially since the large bulk of trips occurred within a 15km radius of the venue. Incentives can play a role in the promotion - preferred car pool parking, preferential team tent locations, preferential athlete seeding etc.


There is a lot of room for improvement around proper waste diversion as landfill waste consistently ranked the highest across all events. Within the waste that was placed in recycling or compost bins, wish cycling was very prevalent. On a scale of 1-5 with (1) being perfect waste diversion and (5) being no attempt at waste diversion; recycling had an average score 2.5 and composting 3.4.

In 2021 Racing to Zero organized the use of additional recycling/compost bins and waste diversion signs as well as implemented an education campaign to minimize wish cycling.

Next year we recommend additional recycling & compost bins to minimize the walking distance. Currently landfill bins outnumber recycling/compost. Secondly, additional signage is needed on every bin to point attendees towards the City of Calgary’s “What goes where” website to eliminate wish cycling when people dispose of their waste.