Progressing towards goals 8 and 9 of the Outdoor Friendly Pledge
Undoubtedly Ourea Events is a leading organiser of mountain running events in the UK with a reputation that is now international thanks to our high profile events. We have a clear and moral responsibility to set the highest possible standards in every way that we operate the business and share this good practice with other event organisers. Some of this good practice is ethical (this Sustainability Strategy), some is legal (advocating for full refunds for consumers whose events have been cancelled due to COVID-19), and some is technical (leading the International Trail Running Association - ITRA - project to create global good COVID-19 standard operating guidelines for event organisers). The business is already deeply involved in supporting mountain and trail running events and recreation behind the scenes.
Mountain and trail running events may be beyond the reach of some members of society. We want to ensure that there are opportunities to get involved as a participant or volunteer that enables social mobility and a broadening of the demographics of off-road running. For example, when someone offers to volunteer at our events we pay their travel expenses (within limits) and feed them throughout their time with the event. We are aware that our two expedition races are expensive and therefore we offer a pathway to participate by providing generous event credit to anyone that volunteers, so that whoever you are and whatever your background there is a route to standing on the start line of one of our iconic races.
The event team setting up registration at the 2019 Dragon's Back Race® - We offer generous event credit to all volunteers so that whoever you are and whatever your background, you can participate in one of our iconic events ©No Limits Photography
We also want to inspire a new generation to love the mountain environment and take pleasure from sustainable recreation. As such we have a programme of engagement with local schools and community groups where our events go back to the same venues year after year. This support includes providing financial assistance to outdoor education programs and sending Ourea Events staff into schools to give assemblies and talk to the pupils.
Part of our social responsibility is to share the reasons for this comprehensive Sustainability Strategy with our participants, encouraging them to change their behaviours to support our waste and carbon reduction goals. This might mean in the future that an event car park is charged on a per-person-in-the-vehicle basis to encourage car sharing for example. We will need our participants to support these kinds of changes.
Finally, through our annual 1% For The Planet donation we support multiple organisations in their work to protect and conserve the natural environment.
What we already do:
- Active engagement with community groups, schools and organisations at Skyline Scotland®, Dragon’s Back Race® and Cape Wrath Ultra®.
- Support a local homeless charity with donations of surplus food throughout the year.
- Support multiple charitable organisations through our 1% For The Planet donations each year.
- Provide a pathway for anyone to participant in our events through a generous credit scheme for event volunteers.
- Develop and share good practice guidance across the event industry.
- Supporting employees who volunteer for Mountain Rescue with flexible working.
What we are pledging to do:
- Widen our engagement with local schools by using local businesses to provide guided mountain walking and running experiences, and provide opportunities for pupils to join our event ecologist for local educational experiences.
- Broaden opportunities for local residents to participant in events like Skyline Scotland®.
- Work with our 1% For The Planet partners to develop volunteering opportunities linked to guaranteed entry into our sell-out events.