Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
Greening the Pig
Council for Responsible Sport Council for Responsible SportThe Flying Pig Marathon is committed to research and implementation of policies and procedures to be a more sustainable event. As a certified green event, we adhere to principles in nine sustainability categories set forth by the Council for Responsible Sport: Waste, Climate & Energy, Procurement & Sourcing, Community Impact, Healthy Lifestyle, Community Involvement, Inclusion, Indoor Expos and Innovation.

For our efforts, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon has been invited to become a founding member of Sports Events Community of Practice to help lessen the carbon footprint of other sporting events.


Sustainability, as the word suggests is the ability to sustain. In order to create a more sustainable living environment and protect the future of humankind, we must treat the earth as our garden and make sure we are giving back as much as we are taking.

Flying Pig Marathon’s Sustainability Efforts

Many people may think that the participants of a marathon leave a small carbon footprint. Most of the time, this is not true. One of the biggest contributors to the carbon footprint left behind after a race is transportation, which is also one of the hardest to resolve. The potentially second biggest contributor that increases a marathons carbon footprint is waste. This can be more easily managed because we can choose materials that are easily reused or recycled. The Flying Pig Marathon has been taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable event.

Since 2009 the Flying Pig Marathon has been taking steps to be a more sustainable event by practicing the three R’s of waste management: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

We have reduced the amount of paper used by no longer printing 85,000 promotional brochures, results books and finisher certificates, which are all now done electronically. Also, with the introduction of the Virtual Goodie Bag in 2011, over 888,000 pieces of paper were eliminated from the waste stream.

The marathon collects discarded clothing at the start, and donates them to charities in the area. Any leftover food from the recovery area is donated to local food pantries. Banners and signage from the event are stored and reused the next year.

In 2012 the marathon increased its recycling efforts on the course and at the finish line/recovery area. With the help of our Green Team volunteers, we were able to increase our recycling by 246% over the previous year. The marathon also used compostable cups on part of the course and increased our compost by over 25%. We reduced our trash by 24% from 2010 and diverted over 7.48 tons or 50% of our waste from the landfill.

The Flying Pig Certified as a Green Event

All of our efforts in being a green, sustainable event paid off in 2011 when we were certified as a green event by the Council for Responsible Sport. In order to be certified as green, the marathon had to meet 24 standards in areas of waste, climate, equipment, community, outreach and health promotion.

Future Plans for Greening Flying Pig Marathon

There are many different areas where the Flying Pig Marathon could reduce their carbon footprint. Some of the areas have more easily attainable solutions than the others. For instance, cutting down on the carbon footprint from someone flying in from Alaska is going to be quite difficult. How else are they going to get here? Purchasing carbon credits is one way to cancel out these carbon emissions. The marathon is investigating ways that participants can offset their travel by purchasing carbon credits. Look for “What is Your Carbon Footprint?” on this website and at our Green Zone of the P&G Health and Fitness Expo race weekend.

Returning in 2013 is free, VIP parking for those that carpool to the Sunday events. The marathon will be promoting the use of public transportation to the P&G Health and Fitness Expo and Saturday events, all in downtown Cincinnati. Sign up for the free carpool parking and information on the use of public transportation will take place at the Green Zone of the P&G Health and Fitness Expo race weekend.

There are many things that can cut down a huge portion of the carbon footprint left behind by races. The easiest one is following the 3 R’s of waste management (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle). The Flying Pig Marathon has done an outstanding job in cutting back on the amount of waste that goes to the landfill, although there is still some work to do. The marathon will be expanding their recycling/composting efforts into Yeatman’s Cove, the Post Party area of the event.

The Flying Pig Marathon Board Members and Green Committee are working hard to find more solutions to become a fully sustainable event. Look for more sustainable projects on this website, on Facebook, Twitter, and our email newsletter, The Squeal.

Council for Responsible Sport

The Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) is about inspired innovation and unprecedented collaboration. As a Council, we were developed to provide a valuable roadmap and the resources necessary for event organizers to incorporate tenets of social and environmental responsibility into their organizations. The mission of CRS is to partner with and empower sport as catalysts for sustainable change. We provide the opportunity for sports events to pursue and receive certification, leaders to participate in peer-to-peer learning communities, access to online tools, case studies and strategic partners to assist the myriad stakeholders within the sports industry in their efforts to go green.

Founded in 2007 by the directors of The Freshwater Trust Portland Triathlon, the Council for Responsible Sport was created as a response to a growing need for planning models that take into consideration the social and environmental impacts of sports events.
What You Can Do Carbon Footprint

Use public transportation

  • Take the bus to the P&G Health & Fitness Expo. There are 6 routes that stop at the Duke Energy Convention Center, 11 one block away and 28 bus routes the come to Government Square, just three blocks from the Expo. See map of buses and location. You can plan your route using Google Transit. Just put in your home address and the address of the Duke Energy Convention Center and get a list of buses and times to use. Bus stops near Duke Energy Convention Center
  • Use public transportation to explore Cincinnati. Stop by the Metro booth at the Green Zone of the P&G Health & Fitness Expo to pick up a brochure to show you how to take the bus to visit dining, shopping, cultural attractions and nightlife served by Metro. Download Metro Visitor Guide.
  • The Flying Pig Marathon is partnering with Metro to provide a Flying Pig Day Pass for Sunday, May 5, 2013. The pass will allow you to ride the Metro all day Sunday for one fee of $4.50. Use the pass to ride the bus to various locations on the course to cheer on your participant. Or after the race, ride the bus to nearby neighborhoods for a celebratory dinner. Passes will be available at the Green Zone of the P&G Health and Fitness Expo. Download Metro Spectator Guide

Carpool to the race on Sunday

  • Free parking available to those that carpool on Sunday morning in the back parking lot of the Holiday Office Park, with the parking entrance located on Gest Street between West 6th Street and West 7th Street. The lot will be open beginning at 5:00 a.m. with shuttle service provided to the start line. Shuttle service after the race also provided from near the Finish Line at the paddlewheel near Broadway and Mehring Way. The buses will run from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Parking in this lot is permit only. You can pick up your permit at the P&G Health & Fitness Expo. Look for the Green Zone and the Greening of the Pig in aisle 500.

Recycle and Compost on Race Day

  • This year all paper cups used at the fluid stations will be composted.
  • In the finish line recovery area and Post Race Party in Yeatman’s Cove, look for the Recycling Stations staffed by Green Team volunteers. This year the Flying Pig will be have 5 different collection containers in each Recycling Station to collect your waste for disposal; plastic water bottles, compost (food waste along with paper cups and compostable spoons), chip bags, mylar blankets and trash. The Green Team volunteers will assist you with the proper container for your waste.
Green Pig Achievements

Green Pig Achievements

  • Certified as a Green Event by the Council for Responsible Sport in 2011
  • Received the Excellence in Public Recycling awarded by the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District
  • 2013 Finalist in Green Business Awards - Green Practices

Greening of the Pig 2009

  • Hybrid pace cars provided by Toyota
  • Race awards make with recycled materials

Greening of the Pig 2010

  • Reducing carbon footprint – conducted survey on Flying Pig website to collect responses from participants on their travel to the race
  • Reduced amount of materials to the landfill by separating compost, recycling and trash. Composted 2,300 pounds of food waste and cups. Recycled 1,240 pounds. Total diverted from landfill – 1.8 tons
  • Collected over 1,100 pairs of gently worn shoes for Guatemala
  • Recycled plastic bottles and plastic fruit cups at the finish
  • Environmentally friendly portable toilets
  • Recycling old, excess medals

Greening of the Pig 2011

  • Paper by not printing and mailing 78,000 promotional pieces
  • No paper registrations – online registration – saving over 2,800 entry forms being downloaded, mailed to our office
  • Virtual goodie bag will save over 880,000 piece of paper being printed
  • Continue to promote carpooling through PickUpPal
  • Composting 2.91 tons of paper cups and food at finish line and out on course
  • Collection of shoes at Expo
  • Ribbons from outdated medals collected and made into other useful and decorative items
  • Mylar blankets collected and reused in animal rescue boxes
  • Recycled 673 pounds of outdated vinyl banners
  • Recycling outdate participant medals
  • Recycled 9.86 tons of plastic and cardboard at finish line and out on course
  • The Flying Pig’s recycling and composting efforts diverted 4.01 tons from the landfill.

Greening of the Pig 2012

  • Diverted 7.48 tons or 50% of our waste from the landfill
  • Recycled 3.84 tons, an increase of 246% over 2011
  • Composted 3.64 tons, an increase of 25% over 2011
  • Reduced trash by 24%
  • Had 400 cars in the VIP Carpool lot
  • Added recycling to the Expo
  • Added Green Vendor distinction to Expo, recognizing those vendors that follow and support green initiatives
Green Pig Partners

Green Pig Partners

  • Compost Cincy
  • Hamilton County Recycling & Solid Waste Management
  • Metro
  • Rumpke
  • SCS Engineers
Green Vendor Pledge

Green Vendor Pledge

In our efforts to make the Pig a more waste-wise event, we asked our vendors to make a pledge. A vendor pledge to reduce non-renewable waste will help the Pig to reduce its overall carbon footprint, its waste flow to landfills, and its impacts on the environment. Vendors who completed the pledge received a Flying Pig Green Pledge badge added to their booth.

The Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon has strived to be a world-class running event and city celebration, since its inception in 1999. We recognize that, in order to grow a world-class experience, care must be given to how we produce and handle waste. Greening the Pig is an initiative that is designed to guide the annual running celebration on a path to zero waste and unity in our communities.
In just two years, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon has achieved ReSport certification status through the Council for Responsible Sport’s sustainability standards for sports events. ReSport has recognized Cincinnati’s marquee race for its achievements in reduced printing materials, food and race waste composting, high levels of recycling and waste diversion, and engaging the community through education and volunteerism.
VENDORS: Help us to grow the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in a sustainable way! Help us to reduce our collective carbon footprint by reducing waste and energy consumption. We will offer recycling at the event, in the aisles next to regular trash receptacles. Please agree to offer food, beverages, and other products using recyclable or compostable materials, including the following:

  • Plastic bottles and jugs
    (NOTE: To be considered a bottle or a jug the top of the container must be smaller than the bottom.)
  • Glass jars and bottles of any color
  • Aluminum and steel cans
  • Paperboard
  • Cardboard
  • Paper napkins or wrapping
  • Biodegradable food service products and packaging

Please consider alternatives to the following containers and materials, which are NOT recyclable or compostable:

  • Plastic cutlery and cups
  • Plastic shrink wrap and individual, single-serving food packaging
  • Paper with heavy dyes, inks, or waxes

JOIN US and PLEDGE to reduce waste at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, and receive a placard at your booth, showing your commitment to The Greening of the Pig!

Vendor name _________________________________________________________________     Date _______________

To learn more about ReSport certification, please visit for details.