Offsetting the carbon footprint created by the Rimi Riga Marathon

1 January 2024

Continuing the sustainability program ‘Run for Future by Neste,’ this year we will again be the most significant sporting event in the Baltic region that has conducted a sustainability audit. Within this framework, we have calculated and offset the carbon footprint generated during the marathon.

As the number of participants and geographical reach has increased, the carbon footprint in 2023 has grown to 206 CO₂ᵉ tonnes. We have voluntarily committed to offsetting this impact on the city of Riga threefold: through a collaboration with SIA ‘Rīgas meži,’ planting pine trees near Lake Bābelītis, and with the support of Neste and Vizulo Solutions, donating 49 energy-efficient streetlights for 23 improved pedestrian crossings in Riga.

Though the overall footprint of the event is deemed minor, by offsetting the marathon’s impact, we hope to inspire the running community toward a sustainable lifestyle and further focus on responsible environmental attitudes.

We understand that the carbon footprint of the Rimi Riga Marathon, in a global context, is minimal. However, by setting an example and calculating and offsetting our own as well as participants' carbon footprints, we aim to encourage other events, projects, happenings, and businesses in Riga and Latvia to be mindful, reduce, and compensate for their footprints. The calculations for 2023 highlighted a clear trend: as the number of marathon participants and geographical reach grows, the event's carbon footprint also increases.

Nevertheless, we are committed to involving each of our runners in footprint compensation and educating them about environmental sustainability, striving to diminish each individual's impact. Calculated per participant, this year's carbon footprint has decreased, and we are proud that with the support of our partners, we can offset the Rimi Riga Marathon's footprint threefold!

Aigars Nords

Rimi Rīgas maratona direktors

Reaching sustainability goals is possible only through collaboration—that's our belief. We see our responsibility jointly with the Rimi Riga Marathon, promoting sustainability awareness among runners, enthusiasts, organizations involved, and other supporters, aiming to encourage sustainable decisions and actions.

Following this year's marathon, we see that people not only notice our calls but actively engage and increasingly consciously handle the resources they use. Similarly, we also participate in compensating for the marathon's carbon footprint, this year by installing energy-efficient streetlights at 23 improved pedestrian crossings in Riga.

Armands Beiziķis

Chairman of the Board of Neste Latvia

How is the carbon footprint calculated?

For the second year within the ‘Run for Future by Neste’ sustainability audit of the Rimi Riga Marathon, collaboration with researchers from the University of Latvia and environmental expert Jānis Brizga was conducted, utilizing available data and surveying collaboration partners and Rimi Riga Marathon participants.

The calculations for the carbon footprint included and evaluated all three classic scopes analyzed by organizations to calculate their carbon footprint. Specifically, the third scope (all other indirect emissions, produced banners, structures, and medals, energy points along the route, participants arriving in Riga, transportation to the start, hotels, etc.) directly generates the most significant emissions.

The largest portion of the third scope comprises the environmental impact of passenger transport, including, for example, participants’ arrival in Riga for the marathon and reaching the EXPO for bib pickup and the starting point of the marathon. It’s significant to note that, per participant, the volume of passenger transport used in 2023 decreased by 7%.

According to the Rimi Riga Marathon’s survey data, participants this year have used more eco-friendly modes of transportation (bicycles, electric scooters, walking, or public transport) to reach the start and EXPO.

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