42 regions of Russia took part in the "Green Marathon" held by the General Partner of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games Sberbank. The “Green Marathon” took place for the second time in the frames of the Sochi 2014 Environmental Program - the event was part of the "Billion Tree" global environmental campaign, held under the auspices of the United Nations Environmental Program, which plants trees across the world. Herman Gref, President of Sberbank, and Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, delivered welcome speeches to the participants.
The length of the "Green Marathon" was only symbolic 4,200 meters against the classic 42 kilometers. Organizers made the route convenient and accessible so that everybody could take part – to take a step towards a healthier lifestyle and be involved in the first ever Russian winter Games.
Once the marathon was completed, participants were invited to take part in planting Sberbank green Alleys in parks and squares across Russia. As part of the Games’ legacy, the Sochi 2014 Environmental Program aims to reduce the ecological impact of the Games and is helping to promote the principles of sustainable development and provide a powerful impetus to the environmental movement in Russia.
The President and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank, Herman Gref, said:
"This is the second time we are hosting this event. Last year, 30,000 people took part in the "Green Marathon", and 20,000 people turned up to support those taking part. This time, 50,000 participants took the start. We are proud of the fact that the mass sport movement and a healthy lifestyle are actively growing. "Movement to achievements" is our Olympic slogan. One can’t stop at what has been achieved; we look forward to moving on, perfection and development. Taking part in the "Green Marathon", all of us are making another step towards new achievements."
The President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, noted:
"The "Green Marathon" is chance for everybody to support and contribute to the environmental legacy of the Games. The event is held as part of the Sochi 2014 Environmental Program and by working closely with our Partner Sberbank we can give everyone an opportunity to commit to a healthy lifestyle and do their bit to help take care of our environment."
Notes to the Editor
"Green Marathon" from Sberbank, a General Partner of the 2014 Games, took place across 42 cities of Russia. The "Green Marathon" project is part of the "Billion Tree" campaign, a global initiative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) since 2007.
In 2009, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and UNEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The memorandum outlines the participation of UNEP as an independent observer in the process of implementing a Sochi 2014 environmental strategy. The main objective is to combine efforts on environmental protection activities during the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The Sochi 2014 Environmental Program is based on four key areas: "Games in harmony with nature", "Climate neutral Games", "Zero waste Games", "Enlightenment Games". The main objective of the Environmental Program is to preserve the unique natural surroundings of Sochi, including protected natural complexes of the Sochi National Park and the Caucasus Nature Biosphere Reserve.