Hudreds of runners on London's Tower Bridge
Credit: London Marathon

The Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) announced today (Wednesday 6 September) that the 2023 TCS London Marathon has been awarded Gold certification following a comprehensive assessment of its approach to social and environmental impacts.

The 2023 TCS London Marathon is the first major event in the UK to be awarded Gold certification by the world’s leading sustainability certification programme dedicated to sports events and organisations. The event, which was being assessed by CRS for the first time, achieved 50 out of a maximum potential of 61 credits, comfortably achieving Gold certification (45-54 credits).

In 2023, LME used the ReScore app, a cloud-based application developed by TCS for CRS. ReScore enabled LME to measure the environmental and social impact of the marathon, as well as report, verify, and certify against sustainability standards set by the Council.

The CRS assessment is based on five key areas of social and environmental impact. These are: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. CRS’s ReScore platform is used to consistently capture, measure and assess performance across these critical areas.

CRS highlighted the following standout achievements at the 2023 TCS London Marathon:

  • Planning and communications: the event app, developed with TCS, which was downloaded by 547,510 people, extensively featured the social and environmental programmes around the event and the Sustainability stand at the TCS London Marathon Running Show
  • Procurement: the partnership with Trees not Tees, which offered participants the option of planting a tree instead of receiving the official New Balance finisher T-shirt
  • Resource management: use of electric vehicles (57 per cent of vehicles, including Nissan vehicles, used for the event were electric), the use of bio-diesel for required power generation and the volunteer-run waste stations to improve segregation of waste
  • Access and equity: the extensive support programme for female participants, the bespoke training plan for participants during Ramadan, the mass TCS Mini London Marathon and the funding awarded by TCS to schools for each finisher
  • Community legacy: Rainbow Row, a special section of the route created with the support of Nissan to celebrate London’s LGBTQAI+ community, featuring music, performers and activations for participants and spectators

Kevin Phelan, Board Member of the Council for Responsible Sport, said: “It is outstanding for such a large and complex event to achieve Gold certification in the first year of assessment. This achievement reflects the dedicated work that has been done by London Marathon Events, the organisers of the 2023 TCS London Marathon, who are clearly setting the pace in delivering responsible events that genuinely make a positive difference. The achievements across all categories reflect a genuine focus on the role of the event in terms of environment, communities and inclusivity.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director for London Marathon Events, said: “London Marathon Events is committed to drive positive social and environmental change through our own actions and to inspire our stakeholders and partners to do the same. We are delighted that our work has been recognised by the Council for Responsible Sport with the Gold certification for the 2023 TCS London Marathon. We know there is much more we can do and we’ll work to achieve Evergreen certification next year. The ReScore app, developed for the Council by our headline and technology partner TCS, offers all event organisers the opportunity to effectively measure social and environmental impacts and we hope other events in the UK will also use ReScore to deliver responsible events.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the sporting capital of the world and I am delighted that the 2023 TCS London Marathon - one of the biggest events across the capital every year – has achieved a Gold certification for its commitment to driving positive environmental and social change. This achievement highlights London Marathon’s dedication to sustainability, inclusivity and community participation, and I’m excited to continue working together to build a better London for everyone.”

Seb Coe, President of World Athletics, said: “Sustainability has to sit at the heart of everything that we do as organisations – sport or otherwise. We congratulate the TCS London Marathon for their achievements and for being leaders in this area. We encourage mass participation running events all over the world to deliver responsible events, either through World Athletics for a Better World Certification, or other leading certification standard programmes which focus on driving positive environmental and social change.”

Amit Kapur, Head UK & Ireland at Tata Consultancy Services, commented: “TCS is delighted that the 2023 TCS London Marathon achieved the high standard of Gold certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. When TCS developed ReScore, we envisioned our partners like LME using it to measure and improve their events’ environmental and social impact. In London, this dream has become a reality through the power of innovation. TCS continues working with LME to provide best-in-class technology solutions that not only enhance participant experiences but builds a cleaner and more sustainable future for everyone.”