295.4 km to clean up NATURE!

EMAS organisations sponsor a run to collect waste in Catalonia

EMAS companies in the region of Catalonia came together for the first Ultra Clean Marathon, a run based on the concept of plogging, that is jogging and picking up waste at the same time. The run took place from 13 to 19 May.

This initiative was launched by the Xarxa de Custòdia del Territori, an organisation that joins together several Catalan environmental NGOs and promotes land stewardship agreements – that is, agreements between associations and land owners to promote nature conservation – in Catalonia. The NGOs partnered with the Xarxa de Voluntariat Ambiental (Environmental Volunteering Network of Catalonia) and the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government) through the Catalan Waste Agency and the Department of Territory and Sustainability, both of which are EMAS-registered.

The event was created to link the European initiative “Let's Clean Up Europe" with "Nature week", a regional event that promotes environmental and natural heritage protection.

This is the region’s first waste-collecting race. Two well-known elite runners – adventurer and entrepreneur Albert Bosch and entrepreneur and trail runner Nicole Ribera - performed the 7 marathons organised in 7 days. They ran more than 295 km. The race also involved many organisations, with 15 municipality councils, 30 businesses, 10 schools, and 10 environmental NGOs supporting the event. Thanks to their work, almost two tonnes of waste were collected (848 kg of packaging, 247 kg of glass and 878 kg of other types of waste).

Among the participating EMAS-registered companies are Urbaser, a waste management company (also one of the main sponsors of the event), Comexi, a manufacturer of packaging machines, and Denso Barcelona, a manufacturer of electrical components for the automotive industry, which provided icepacks for the runners. These icepacks found a second life when the race participants used them to cool down after the run. In their first life, the icepacks had been used to regulate the temperature of the electronic compounds produced by Denso Barcelona. The companies whose runners participated also included two other EMAS-registered organisations: Cisvasa and Siemens (Cornellà site).

The Ultra Clean Marathon implemented environmental criteria to minimise its impacts and ensure its consistency with the principles that inspired the initiative. Donations from the participants will be dedicated to the projects of the environmental NGOs involved in the race.

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