Over the weekend, a sea of orange swept through the Marina Barrage on Sunday morning as close to 3,000 runners took part in this year’s Income Eco Run (IER). This year’s IER, the fourth edition after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, took on an unprecedented run format where participants get to choose their preferred run distance between 3km and 21.1km.
Guest of Honour Minister Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment led the second flag-off at 7.30am and ran 5km to support the cause. Collectively, a total distance of 27,122 kilometres was clocked by all participants at the IER.
Minister Grace Fu completing her 5km run towards Zero Waste at the Marina Barrage
This translates to S$30,000 raised for the Zero Waste cause as Income Insurance Limited (Income Insurance) has topped up the final amount, in addition to donating one dollar to the Singapore Environment Council with every kilometre clocked at the event.
This year’s IER customised an inclusive run route that offered seven exit points, between 3km and 21.1km, to allow participants the flexibility to clock their distance-of-choice. This means that participants could choose to run and u-turn at either the 1.5km, 2.5km or 5km distance markers and complete their run of 3km, 5km and 10km respectively to return to the IER village. For those who chose to clock a longer distance, they had the option to exit at designated points located at either the 9km, 12km, 15km or 18km mark along the run route. Close to 1,000 runners completed the full 21.1km run back to the event village.
With the flag off at the Marina Barrage, participants ran past iconic landmarks such as Gardens by The Bay, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, ArtScience Museum and the National Stadium, among others.
“It’s wonderful to see Singaporeans returning to champion the Zero Waste cause at the Income Eco Run this morning. To ramp up our efforts in waste management at the event, we took actions that were unprecedented at a mass run in Singapore. We are proud to lead by example to inspire more Singaporeans and future events to take on a Zero Waste mindset and to practise reducing, reusing and recycling as we support Singapore’s transition to a Zero Waste Nation and bring about a more sustainable future for all of us.” Shared Andrew Yeo, CEO, Income Insurance.
Before the 7.30am Flag-off at the Marina Barrage. From L to R – Mr. Andrew Yeo, CEO, Income Insurance, Minister Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Mr. Seah Kian Peng, Deputy Chairman, Income Insurance
Pioneering the benchmark for waste management at mass events
With the Income Eco Run, Income Insurance demonstrated how waste management can be better managed at public events. Runners onsite received a light and handy reusable hydration cup that they used to refill water at hydration stations along the run route. For those who dropped or lost their cups, they could get their refreshments served in naturally compostable cups without plastic lining by Foopak, marking it a first for the IER or any mass runs in Singapore. The implementation of the reusable hydration cups for all participants is estimated to have saved more than 9,600 paper cups and in turn, a further reduction of 48 kg in waste produced.
To further bolster the Zero Waste messaging, this year’s IER encouraged runners to run in their own orange t-shirts or past Income Eco Run race tees to promote reusing and recycling of existing clothes, while reducing the production of the IER 2023 event t-shirts, which is manufactured using recycled materials and made available only as an opt-in purchase. With 47% of participants opting to wear their own orange t-shirt or past IER t-shirts, it saved 135 kg of materials that would have been used to produce the t-shirts.
Running bibs were reduced by at least 30% in size to minimise material wastage. Additionally, IER also did away with giving out commemorative medals and instead, runners will receive e-certificates in recognition of their participation. This resulted in 169 kg of materials saved to produce commemorative medals. Runners can check if they have achieved their personal-best timings on the event website if they have successfully clocked out at the run’s designated exit points.
“By actively engaging communities, we can make significant progress together in our pursuit of a Zero Waste future. It is crucial for us to consistently set new standards for sustainable events especially in the area of waste management, demonstrating an unwavering commitment towards Net Zero. Thank you, Income Insurance for taking on a partnership approach to galvanise community actions via the Income Eco Run as an eco-friendly activity. We are humbled to partner Income Insurance as we share the same objective of fostering collaborations and generating innovative ideas to drive positive transformation for our environment. In this world of action, it is essential that we measure the impact we make and hold ourselves accountable for the results we achieve.” Shared Isabella Loh, Chairman, Singapore Environment Council.
Empowering Educators and Inspiring the Next Generation to Lead a Zero Waste Lifestyle
A family running for Zero Waste
Zero Waste SG has also joined the IER as a green partner and will be working with Income Insurance and Singapore Environmental Council to further drive the Zero Waste agenda. The funds raised from the run will be used to support Zero Waste initiatives by the Singapore Environmental Council who will be working with Zero Waste SG to empower educators with the knowledge to raise environmental awareness in educational institutions and inspire the next generation of Eco warriors. This will be the first time SEC and Zero Waste SG are working together on such an initiative.