The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle will continue to improve event sustainability efforts in 2024 by refining existing practices and integrating new initiatives. Incorporation of environmentally and socially responsible practices has become an important aspect of the planning, preparation, and execution of the Shamrock Shuffle. We would like to thank participants, spectators, sponsors and volunteers for helping us go green!
- Dynamic bib assignments – By assigning bib numbers at Packet Pick-up, we’ll be able to reduce the number of bibs we use by 10%. We’ve also eliminated the need for a separate envelope, saving over 500 pounds of paper from being used, which is equivalent to approximately four trees.
- Participant shirts – Event participant shirts are made from 100% recycled polyester. In addition to reducing waste, recycled polyester reduces carbon emissions by up to 30% compared to virgin polyester, and helps Nike divert an average of 1 billion plastic bottles annually from landfills and waterways.
- Paperless Packet Pick-up – The Packet Pick-up email can be presented on the screen of a mobile device or tablet instead of printing, saving thousands of sheets of paper from being used.
- Participant bag – The participant bags are made from #4 LDPE, which is 100% recyclable through retailers offering plastic film and bag recycling – just remove the cotton drawstring beforehand. Made in California and printed with water based ink, the bags contain 25% post industrial scrap and are designed to ensure durability for gear check and can be used multiple times before recycling.
- Storage bins – Old coroplast signs were used to make reusable bins for participant services, giving new life to a difficult-to-recycle material.
- Offset race weekend travel – The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle has partnered with Native to provide participants with a way to offset emissions from travel to the event. Native met exhaustive environmental standards to be recognized as a certified B corporation. All proceeds support Native’s portfolio of offset projects ranging from biodiversity protection to regenerative agriculture. Participants can purchase offsets from Native within their participant account.
Grant Park and Course
- Kia EV lead vehicles – Kia will lead the way on race day! Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Kia retailers are proud to support the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. The all-electric Kia EV6, winner of the 2023 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year Award, will act as the lead vehicles for the 2023 event. Kia’s vision to become a ‘Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider’ reflects the company’s approach to sustainability, which is to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and global society. To get more information visit kia.com/sustainability.
- Zero Waste Stations – Waste disposed of in Grant Park will be deposited at one of the many Zero Waste Stations located throughout the Gear Check and Post-Race Party areas. Green Team volunteers will sort the refuse to help increase the amount of waste diverted from the landfill.
- Collecting compostable material – Gatorade cups and food scraps will be collected in Grant Park for composting, as well as hydration cups from the start and course. The Urban Canopy, an urban farm on the South Side of Chicago, will be taking the organic materials to a processing facility. The organic waste from the event will break down into finished compost, a nutrient rich soil amendment.
- Recyclable beer cans – All beer served at the Post-Race Party will be served in cans, an infinitely recyclable material.
- No styrofoam – Styrofoam products are not allowed at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.
- Clothing donation – Remaining clothes discarded at the start line will be donated to Illinois AmVets.
- Food donation – Pallets of assorted food and water will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository post-race.
- Race day recycling – Cardboard, plastic jugs, empty beer cans and water bottles will be collected by the event and recycled by Republic Services. We are targeting a minimum 60% diversion rate.
- TerraCycle Candy and Snack Wrapper Collection – Through TerraCycle, we are able to give hard to recycle items a new life. Assorted wrappers from food items handed out at Runner Refresh should be brought to one of many Zero Waste Stations to be properly sorted. All brands of flexible plastic-based candy and snack packaging and wrappers are accepted.
- Eco-friendly portable toilet facilities – Paper products at over 400 portable restrooms rented for the event are made of 100% recycled content.
- Closed loop course – The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle is a closed loop course, starting and finishing in Grant Park, eliminating unnecessary travel often required by point-to-point courses.
- Public transportation – Participants, spectators, and volunteers are highly encouraged to use public transportation race weekend, such as CTA and Metra. Grant Park, the location of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle start and finish lines and Post-Race Party, is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, a central hub public transportation.
Beyond race weekend
- Community effort – Event production, from distributing race bibs , to marshaling the course, requires thousands of volunteers. The event could not happen without community support and volunteers.
- Composting organic waste – The finished compost from the event will be used in part to nourish the dense vegetable production on The Urban Canopy’s two-acre farm in the Englewood neighborhood.
- 100% Paperless online registration – All Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle participants and over 3,000 volunteers will register online, eliminating the use of paper registration forms.
- Event information – All information for Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle participants, volunteers and media is available digitally. These pieces include the participant guide, confirmation e-mails, results, e-newsletters, media guide, event updates and more.
The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle is proud to have earned Gold level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport in 2016, for the event’s incorporation of environmentally and socially responsible practices. In 2018, the event was named a Gold Inspire event by the Council for Responsible Sport. Through this program, the Shamrock Shuffle will work with events throughout the country to share best practices, as well as integrate new sustainability initiatives.