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Indianapolis Motor Speedway achieves sustainability certification

February 16 2023 - News Release News Editorial

Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), which hosts the Indianapolis 500 motor race, has become the first sport facility to achieve organisation certification through the Council for Responsible Sport.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway achieves sustainability certification

Organisation certification first became available in August 2021 and the standard is based on the recognition of the power of sport, resolution of climate change, enablement of social justice and the business of sport. IMS was the first to commit to the new framework, and implemented a year-round tracking of environmental and social impacts for more than 300 events hosted at the racetrack every year. 

The Indy 500 was also certified as a responsible event in 2021. 

The Council offers a structured approach for event hosts and organisers to measure, implement, validate and improve the social and environmental sustainability of their events and venues. 

Venues and organisers can earn certification by taking action in five categories including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. 

IMS accomplished 210 credits across these categories to earn silver level distinction as a Certified Organisation. 

Rico Tesio, Council for Responsible Sport board chair, said: “IMS’ commitment to embrace social and environmental realities and to implement a systematic approach to setting goals, adapting operations and measuring progress is outstanding. 

“Achieving Responsible Sport certification at an organisational level is not only a real milestone in the venue’s own storied history but also demonstrates leadership in motorsport and beyond and should be celebrated as vigorously as any checkered flag waved on the famous Yard of Bricks.”

"We remain committed to becoming the most sustainable motorsport venue in the world." IMS president J. Douglas Boles

Key partnerships and new tracking technology helped IMS to achieve this goal. The Council implemented ReScore, a system designed to help venues track their progress, and WM Sustainability Services supported IMS by documenting a variety of resource management credits relating to emissions calculations, waste diversion and energy consumption.

IMS president J. Douglas Boles added: “This is a monumental and impactful achievement for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, earned through a comprehensive commitment to innovation and hard work that safeguards our community and leads the way in our sport.

“We learned a lot in 2021 when we received our event certification for the Indy 500. That process helped us get to this moment, where we are now tracking the impact of our events throughout the year and implementing systemic programs that yield results.

“We remain committed to becoming the most sustainable motorsport venue in the world, and we are grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by our fans as we continue to identify new opportunities to encourage their participation in this journey.”

As part of the new certification, IMS utilised new standards and procedures including the development of a diversity, equity and inclusion plan, and promoting sustainable efforts from the public.

IMS also expanded its waste diversion efforts beyond the Indy 500 to include events hosted at the venue year-round. The racetrack adopted new procurement policies and protocols, eliminated single-use plastic and Styrofoam in office spaces and prioritised purchases from women- and minority-owned businesses, as well as businesses with sustainability related certifications.

Image: redlegsfan21/ CC BY-SA 2.0/ Edited for size

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