The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced this year’s Indianapolis 500 has earned the silver-level Responsible Sport Certification from the Oregon-based Council for Responsible Sport. The designation recognizes events for implementing social and environmental sustainability standards.
IMS says the council confirmed the May 30 race successfully implemented all mandatory standards, as well as nearly 40 of the recommended social and environmental impact considerations. The council says certification can be earned by taking a variety of actions across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy.
The council says credit toward the certification for the 500 was achieved in all five categories.
“This is an important milestone for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as we work toward our goal of becoming carbon negative,” IMS President Doug Boles said in a news release. “As the world’s largest single-day sporting event, we know we have an opportunity to be a leader in encouraging other major events to strive toward sustainability and positive social impact. We are grateful that the Council for Responsible Sport has helped provide us with a road map to accomplish this important task and mission, which aligns with the goals and values of IMS and Penske Entertainment.”
Among the actions taken by IMS for this year’s 500 were the venue upgrades at were completed this spring to increase energy and on-site water usage efficiency. Other actions include growing the “Bike to the 500” event, improving physical accessibility for spectators, serving as a COVID-19 vaccination site, and donating more than 2,500 unserved meals to Indianapolis nonprofit Second Helpings.
IMS also completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory in collaboration with Texas-based Waste Management Sustainability Services, which the Speedway will use as a baseline to develop strategies to reduce emissions.
IMS adds it will also become one of the early adopters of the newly-released Responsible Sport Standard for Organizations, which applies to the year-round activities of organizations.
“IMS and Penske Entertainment Corp. impressed the Council with their effective management toward the important milestone of certification of the famed Indy 500, and the commitment to being an early adopter of the new Responsible Sport Standard for Organizations over the coming year will only increase the opportunities to create real change,” Shelley Villalobos, managing director of the council, said. “We are delighted to engage with such a proactive team that is demonstrating leadership at an organization-wide scale toward ever greater social and environmental responsibility.”