Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), home to the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, is the first sport facility to achieve organizational certification through the Council for Responsible Sport (Council).
Organizational certification became available for the first time in August 2021. The new standard is based on the recognition of the following core principles: power of sport, resolution of climate change, enablement of social justice and business of sport. IMS was the first to commit to the new framework, implementing year-round tracking of environmental and social impacts for the more than 300 events hosted at IMS annually.
Previously, in 2021, the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge was certified a responsible event.
The Council provides a structured approach for event hosts and organizers to measure, implement, validate and improve the social and environmental sustainability of their events and venues. Certification is earned by taking action spanning five categories: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. IMS ultimately accomplished 210 credits across these categories, earning silver level distinction as a Certified Organization.
“IMS’ commitment to embrace social and environmental realities and to implement a systematic approach to setting goals, adapting operations and measuring progress is outstanding,” said Rico Tesio, Council for Responsible Sport board chair. “Achieving Responsible Sport certification at an organizational level is not only a real milestone in the venue’s own storied history but also demonstrates leadership in motorsport and beyond and should be celebrated as vigorously as any checkered flag waved on the famous Yard of Bricks.”
Key partnerships and the implementation of new tracking technology helped IMS achieve this landmark goal. With the addition of the new organizational certification, the Council implemented ReScore, a system designed to help venues track their progress. WM Sustainability Services was critical in IMS’ sustainability journey, providing support by documenting a variety of resource management credits relating to emissions calculations, waste diversion and energy consumption.
“This is a monumental and impactful achievement for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, earned through a comprehensive commitment to innovation and hard work that safeguards our community and leads the way in our sport,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We learned a lot in 2021 when we received our event certification for the Indy 500. That process helped us get to this moment, where we are now tracking the impact of our events throughout the year and implementing systemic programs that yield results.
“We remain committed to becoming the most sustainable motorsport venue in the world, and we are grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by our fans as we continue to identify new opportunities to encourage their participation in this journey.”
As part of the new certification, IMS implemented new standards and procedures. This includes the development of a diversity, equity and inclusion plan, along with a public commitment to the measurement and mitigation of environmental impacts. IMS expanded waste diversion efforts beyond the Indianapolis 500 to include events hosted at IMS year-round. Additionally, IMS adopted new procurement policies and protocols, eliminating single-use plastic and Styrofoam in office spaces, in addition to prioritizing purchases from women- and minority-owned businesses and businesses with sustainability related certifications.
IMS will host three NTT INDYCAR SERIES events in 2023: GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 13, 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 28 and the Gallagher Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 12.