RCS Sport has decided to map the environmental and social impacts of its two flagship events, Enel Milano Marathon and Giro d’Italia to guide the sustainable planning of its future editions. The project involves the entire ecosystem in a quantitative and qualitative measurement and analysis. The results found will be narrated in a dedicated report.
The social and environmental context of our century calls for a collective effort to actively build a world that puts the well-being of people and the planet at the center.
Like any human activity, entertainment and sports events also generate an impact, yet at NATIVA we believe that such circumstances form an incredible opportunity to increase awareness as well as contribute to the solution. Large scale events have the power to touch, inspire and engage millions of people and fans. This is therefore an industry which has a role to play in accelerating the transition towards regeneration.
RCS Sport has understood the importance of what is at stake. In 2023 they have chosen to undertake with us an evolution journey which starts with the mapping of its environmental and social impacts of two of its most prestigious events: the Enel Milano Marathon and Giro d’Italia.
The analysis of the marathon involves those who create and experience the event every year: the organizers themself, suppliers, partners, local communities, athletes, as well as the large group of runners and spectators. More than 150 parameters are collected across 5 key sustainability areas: 1. Circularity, 2. Natural Capital, 3. Climate Resilience, 4. Education and Engagement, and 5. Wellbeing and Happiness and Health. The process therefore considers the tangible impacts as well as less tangible ones (the well-being of people and the side-effects on the territory) and ensures a long term perspective is kept in focus.
Once the analysis is complete, a report will be published to explain the results and highlight virtuous practices and opportunities for improvement of the event. This will allow RCS Sport and the Enel Milano Marathon to have a solid foundation to define its sustainable evolution and ensure it does it with an ecosystem approach.
All of this will take place following the direction defined by the Marathon’s new Regenerative Ambition:
Let’s run together
with those who seek
a positive change
This Regenerative Ambition will guide the strategic and organizational choices in the coming years, more precisely it will allow the Enel Milano Marathon to be: a laboratory of innovation on priority issues such as circularity, emissions, mobility, and technology; to enhance the cultural identity of the city of Milan through running – promoting good behaviors and innovative projects with a positive impact; and to create an inclusive event, promoting a culture of sports and wellbeing.
To illustrate the sense of what we are contributing towards, NATIVA has done a small exercise of pretending that Co2 is visible and of purple colour. We then imagined what it would look like if we zeroed out Milan’s emissions during the duration of the marathon: the amount of CO2 avoided would be 1,055 tons, visually it would look like a purple pyramid almost as high as the Duomo.
Milan has the ambition to reach climate neutrality by 2030, and we all have a role to play to contribute to this ambition.
In order to do our part in increasing the awareness of the people present during the Enel Milano Marathon, NATIVA ran the whole 42km, in a relay race. Each runner carried and passed on to the next, a large purple balloon the size of the quantity of CO2 emissions avoided if one walks or cycles 4km instead of driving.
To represent the pyramid of purple bubbles, we used the most recent official data available (2022), calculated by INEMAR – ARPA Lombardia on the total emissions of the city of Milan.
In 2019, the annual emission is about 4,269,287 tons of CO2e, which divided by 8,766 hours per year makes about 487 tons per hour.
Considering the marathon winners usually run for 2h10min, the emissions emitted during that same amount of time in Milan are about 1,055 tons (which at the atmospheric pressure and a temperature of 25°C, corresponds to about 586,520 cubic meters). This volume of CO2 can be contained in just over 5,180 6-meter diameter balloons, each containing approximately 203 kg of CO2e. Considering a random ball packing density of 0.64, these balls would occupy a real volume of about 916,440 cubic meters. Approximating a cluster of these spheres to shape something like a dome or a pyramid, with a base radius equivalent to the height, this shape would be between 75 and 95 meters high with a base diameter between 150 and 190 meters.
If we were to divide the emissions produced in 2h10min by the number of inhabitants in Milan in 2019 (1,406,242 people-ISTAT data) the result would be 750 grams of CO2e/person. This quantity of CO2 can be contained in the 92.5-centimeter-diameter balloon, precisely the size of those balloons we ran with and brought to the finish line. These emissions are equivalent to the emissions of a medium-sized internal combustion car used for a distance of 4 km (DEFRA figure).