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Inspiring and delivering innovation in mass participation event sustainability

As organiser of Ford RideLondon, London Marathon Events is proud to lead the way in showing the power of mass participation sport as a force for good, and of the hugely positive effects our events have had on millions of people since the first London Marathon in 1981.

Our events have a proven track record of inspiring activity, improving physical and mental health and bringing communities together – raising billions of pounds for charities and supporting local businesses in the process.

We want cycling to be a part of normal, everyday life. It creates less noise, less air pollution and results in fewer emissions that are warming the atmosphere, all of which aligns with our wider sustainability ambitions. We want to ensure our events and activities drive positive change in sustainability.

Our objective

‘To drive positive change in environmental sustainability through our own actions and inspire our stakeholders and partners to do the same.’

Environmental sustainability is one of our group objectives – and since 2019 we have focused on measuring and continuously reviewing our impacts to inform our decisions. To find out more, read our environmental policy.

Some of the things we did at RideLondon 2022


  • Water refill points: we included these at Welfare Stops so riders could fill up their own bottles.
  • Wrapper recycling points: our sponsors HIGH5 are working with TerraCycle® to recycle energy gel and bar wrappers, which aren’t typically recyclable and work with national waste management companies to turn them into a material that can be used to make new products. That means nothing is sent to landfill or burned for energy. We encouraged participants to look out for the recycling points at the Welfare Stops and Finish Area.


  • Electrification of vehicles: we trialled the use of electric vans for set-up and logistics, to support the gradual electrification of our events.
  • Power: we used biofuel (in the form of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil), which is associated with lower emissions, to power the event and used grid connection where possible.
  • Travel to the event: travel to and from our events is one of our biggest environmental impacts. We encouraged participants to take public transport or walk or cycle where possible.
  • Carbon balancing: for international ballot entrants, a portion of the entry fee contributed to offsetting emissions from participant travel by contributing verified projects around the world.
Environmental report front cover

Wider sustainability at London Marathon Events

In 2020 we launched our first-ever environmental impact report, Leaving the Right Impression, which set out the waste, emissions and products produced and used across all our events, and at our head office and warehouse, in 2019.

We have now committed to producing an environmental impact report each year – you can read them via the buttons below.

Partnerships and programmes

  • Collaboration: we recognise the importance of collective action and have joined the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, working with other sports organisers across the globe to take climate action, and are members of the British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS). In addition, we work with our fellow Abbott World Marathon Majors partners and other UK Mass Participation Sports Organisers to share knowledge and learnings.
  • Clothing collection: at The Big Half and 2021 London Marathon, in partnership with the British Heart Foundation, we collected discarded clothing at the Start Line so it could be donated for resale or recycled where reuse was not possible. As a result, we:
    • collected 18.5 tonnes of discarded clothing
    • raised more than £13,000 for the charity through donations
  • Waste recovery and circularity: in 2021, more than 10 tonnes of event waste were diverted from possible incineration to make future event infrastructure.
  • Better Bankside Business Climate Challenge: we are members of the Mayor of London’s initiative aimed at becoming more energy efficient and are cutting energy usage at our Head Office, which is already powered by renewable energy.