What you can’t reduce, you should consider offsetting, with the objective of striving to make the event “carbon neutral.” You may not set out to achieve carbon neutrality this year, but it should be a goal within the next few years. For information about carbon offsets and carbon neutrality click here.

There are two primary ways you can offset the emissions from your event:

  1. Contributions from athletes. These could be either voluntary or mandatory. You won’t get to carbon neutrality through voluntary contributions but you will make a dent and begin to raise awareness among athletes about the climate impact of events in general.

    The advantage of a mandatory contribution is its simplicity. The offset cost is included in the registration fee and the cost is borne equally by all athletes. The disadvantage is that some athletes might complain about an additional fee.

    The advantage of the voluntary contribution is you provide athletes with a choice and help to educate them in the process. For those that contribute you might offer incentives such as VIP parking or a green stamp on their bib.

    FitPlanet can help you develop an offset plan and guide implementation. One voluntary option you might want to consider is the FitPlanet Green Tag program. This option will satisfy R6 of the Pledge of Sustainability and is free to the event organizer.

    Here’s how it works. FitPlanet, in cooperation with offset provider NativeEnergy, would provide an option on your registration page for athletes to purchase one or more Green Tags. Each Green Tag costs the athlete $3.00, which offsets 300 pounds of CO2 or about 300 miles of driving. Click here to view the module you can add to your registration page.

  2. “Green Sponsor” covers the climate footprint cost. The other option for offsetting emissions is to offer one or more sponsors the option of underwriting the cost of making the event carbon neutral. This could include the climate footprint of both athlete travel and operations, or perhaps just operations. For their contribution, the sponsor would be identified as the event’s “Green Sponsor.”

    Depending on the size of the event, the offset cost typically ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. FitPlanet can provide you with support to identify companies interested in being Green Sponsors.