Keeping the Olympics green

Sport Business News

The Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Organising Committees are working hard to ensure that their Games are remembered for being green.

In Vancouver, a number of sustainability initiatives have been put in place, ranging from venues that are built to high environmental standards to waste management strategies. In Sochi, the organisers have joined initiatives such as UNEP's Climate Neutral Network, and are putting in place environmental policies for a greener Games in 2014. Meanwhile, London 2012 put sustainability at the heart of its bid, framed by the concept of towards 'a one Planet 2012', which was derived from the WWF/BioRegional concept of 'One Planet Living'. London's vision for 'a one Planet 2012' will focus on five main areas throughout the different phases of the Games: • combating climate change• reducing waste• enhancing biodiversity• promoting inclusion• encouraging healthy livingOne of London 2012's commitments to the local community was to manage the effects of construction on the environment and people who live and work around the Olympic Park. Before work started on the Olympic Park site, London 2012 produced a report called the Environment Statement which was part of the approved planning application for the Olympic Park. The Environment Statement looked at the likely significant effects of the Olympic Park project on the environment and the measures necessary to manage them. The report considered issues such as air quality, noise, ecology, water quality, flooding and transport. As part of the report, LOCOG also undertook several surveys to understand fully the existing environmental conditions on the site. These included surveys of plants and animals, noise, water and air quality. Before and during construction, measures were put in place to reduce the effects on the environment and the local community in the following areas: •Minimising noise and dust •Protecting waterways•Protecting wildlife•Code of Construction PracticeWorld Conference on Sport and the Environment Olympic Games initiatives were presented at the 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment, which took place in Vancouver in March 2009. The conference theme, 'Innovation and Inspiration – Harnessing the Power of Sport for Change', recognised the power of the sports movement to trigger innovative solutions to the challenges it faces, and to inspire people to pursue a more sustainable world. The conference conclusions and recommendations formed a declaration which called on the various stakeholders to act in the interests of increasing awareness of environmental issues and greater participation of young people in sport. Key conclusions included:• National Olympic Committees need to continue to develop their understanding of the programmes, practices and legacies of Olympic Organising Committees as well as the proposals and objectives of Candidate Cities. • International Federations are encouraged to adopt sustainability policies and programmes and promote them to national sports federations. • The Olympic Games present a unique opportunity to raise environmental awareness, and implement a set of highly visible green initiatives. • Sponsors of the Olympic Movement need to share their sustainability practices and technologies with the Olympic family, and channel available resources for educational purposes to increase environmental awareness among, and to engage and empower, young people. • Athletes are important role models, as their commitment to promoting the sustainability agenda has the potential to influence and inspire others, particularly young people, to take action. 100% reduction in CO2During the 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment, IOC TOP sponsor Coca–Cola announced details of its 'Olympic Games Sustainability Programme' to support the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The programme was created through consultation with WWF–Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation, and includes targets of 100% collection of all PET containers in the Olympic Village and the venues during the Games, and 100% reduction in Olympic carbon emissions. For more information on Coca–Cola's environmental programme in Canada, visit: http://www. cocacola. ca/corporate_responsibility_environment. htm. Implementing sustainable sport initiativesThe first–ever winners of the International Olympic Committee Award for Sport and the Environment were announced on the first day of the World Conference on Sport and the Environment in 2009. Trophies were presented to five organisations, representing the five continents, which had made tremendous contributions to the implementation of outstanding practices in the field of sustainable sport and the environment. The winners were:• Africa: Green Africa Foundation• America: Oregon Track Club • Asia: Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Organising Committee (BOCOG)• Europe: German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), • Oceania: "Rainbow Project" by Rowing New ZealandGreen Africa FoundationThis foundation is a Kenyan organisation founded in 2000 to support ecological and environmental conservation with particular focus on arid and semi–arid lands in Kenya, where poverty is most prevalent. The Foundation has launched a 'Green Africa Sports' department, which sets up guidelines for sports organisers about environmental awareness, proper waste management, and creating and maintaining a green environment. The Oregon Track ClubThe organising committee made the 2008 US Olympic Team Trials the first sporting event in North America to successfully implement and uphold sustainable initiatives such as those outlined in the Olympic Movement's Agenda 21. Its sustainable efforts have included providing shuttles and promoting cycling, renewable energy, reducing waste and encouraging recycling and composting. The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection BureauAssociated with BOCOG, this programme has significantly raised awareness of environmental issues, leading to major advances in the areas of energy consumption, sustainable water consumption, transport, waste management and air quality. The 2008 Beijing Games significantly raised the bar of incorporating sustainability into large–scale events by establishing more than 160 projects which aimed to enhance the environmental legacy of the city and provide its population and visitors with a more environmentally friendly life. The German Olympic Sports ConfederationThis organisation was chosen for its 'Green champions in sport and environment' guide. This publication provides guidance and examples of good practices undertaken in Germany by analysing the ecological impact – as regards climate, transport, energy, waste, use of materials, noise, nature and landscape, catering, merchandising and communications – that the different parties involved in sport have on the environment. 'The Rainbow Project' by New ZealandThis project aims to host an environmentally sustainable 2010 FISA World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro without compromising New Zealand's unique environment. The Rainbow Project's environmental actions include a carbon emission reduction scheme, a zero–waste plan, educational programmes for the next edition, a comprehensive bio–security strategy for inbound equipment, environmental protection for all permanent and temporary infrastructures, and the inclusion of an environmental officer on the organising committee.

Additional information