Orca Running went 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. View our most recent carbon offset certificate from Native Energy.
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.
Learn more about what we’re doing on this great episode of the Head Start Podcast, where Porter talks about carbon neutral race production.
NEW: Race or event organizers can now download a free carbon footprint excel calculator for use with their own offsetting.
We are a member of 1% For the Planet, donating 1% of our pre-tax gross revenue to impact the sustainability of our earth and community for generations to come. 1% of every dollar spent at Orca Running benefits the earth.
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 participant transportation: This is by far the largest single source of emissions. We estimate the 2022 total for participant, staff and volunteer travel to/from races to be approximately 550 tonnes of CO2e. To offset that, we purchased 550 tonnes of offset credits on January 12th. We purchased another 600 tonnes on August 8th to make us carbon negative for 2022. View more information and our certificates below.
- Zero Waste Station: all races in 2023 will have our zero waste station to improve our landfill diversion towards recycling and compost
- Shoe Recycling: we will be holding shoe recycling collection programs at several of our races.
- 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.
- Shirt production: In 2022 and 2023, 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, is recycled.
- Medal, award and finisher swag production: all of our race awards are made locally in Anacortes, using solar power from panels installed on our production facility (the garage). In 2023, 20% of Orca Running finisher medals will be made in Anacortes.
- 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.
- Medal Recycling: We cut the ribbons off all of our leftover medals. The medals are then taken to Skagit Steel to be melted down and recycled.
Want to reduce your footprint?
Start with calculating your own footprint–we like the one from The Nature Conservancy.
Then, download and read this! We got this from our friends at the Nature Conservancy.
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 Crow Lake Wind project. 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.