Orca Running is going carbon neutral in 2022. We’ll be adding more information here about how we define our carbon footprint and what we are doing to reduce and offset it.

There is no running on a dead planet.

Orca Running is committed to being a responsible and ethical company. To that end, we are committing ourselves to being carbon neutral in 2022.

Our Carbon Footprint

Our estimated 2019 carbon footprint was 162.48 tons. That’s an average of .016 tons per runner.

Here is what that includes:

  • Participant, volunteer and staff transportation to and from races (132.8 tons)
  • Race swag freight (23.4 tons)
  • Merchandise and bib shipping (9.6 tons)
  • Raceday operational emissions (0.3 tons)

Here are things that we have not included yet, as we are unable to obtain detailed information from the manufacturers:

  • Medal production emissions
  • Bib production emissions
  • Shirt production emissions
  • Post-race & aid station food production emissions

Carbon Footprint Reduction

Here is the list of what we are doing to reduce our emissions:

  • Race day direct emissions: the single source of direct emissions was generator usage for powering our archway blower and PA system. We have switched over to a wooden archway, eliminating the need for the blower, and use rechargeable power packs for our PA systems. The power packs are charged at home using Seattle City Light’s carbon-free electricity.
  • Staff work from home utilities: where possible, we pay extra for the electricity used in our home offices to be 100% wind energy. When not possible, we take into account the carbon emissions generated from home office utilities in our offsets.
  • Merchandise shipping: we use Cloverly to offset all carbon emissions from all merchandise shipping.
  • Bib production and shipping: we have switched to a smaller bib size to consume less non-recyclable Tyvek, and offset the carbon emissions from bib mailing.
  • Race day transportation: we offset all race day travel to and from a race by participants, staff and volunteers.
  • Shirt production: In 2022, we are switching to recycled tri-blend t-shirts for our runners. The shirts are made of a blend of cotton, polyester and rayon. The polyester, which makes up 50% of the shirt, will be recycled.
  • Medal, award and finisher swag production: all of our race awards are made locally in Anacortes, using electricity from wind, via the Puget Sound Energy Community Solar program. Where feasible, our finisher medals are made similarly.
  • Trees Not Tees: we are offering participants the option to have a tree planted in their name in lieu of a race shirt during registration. Doing so not only uses less resources and diverts waste from landfills, each tree can absorb up to one ton of carbon by the time it is 40 years old.

Where We Buy Offsets

For our 2022 races, we will be purchasing offsets via South Pole, a carbon offset company recommended to us by The Nature Conservancy. Specifically, we will be purchasing offsets from the Afognak Forest Carbon Project. You can view a factsheet on the project here. We’ve calculated that on average, the race day transport for each participant in an Orca Running race emits 62 lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere. A portion of your registration fee goes towards offsetting your carbon emissions for a race. Orca Running does not profit in any way from this offset.