From the beginning of a city’s desire to stage an Olympic Games, through to the long-term effects of those Games, environmental protection and, more importantly, sustainability, are prime elements of Games planning and operations. The Olympic Movement, since the early 1990s, has progressively taken the environment and sustainability into account throughout the lifecycle of an Olympic Games project, and recognised their importance: the “Green Games” concept is increasingly a reality, and the current group of host cities is no exception.
Keeping the Winter Green
The colour most associated with the Olympic Winter Games is white because of the snow and ice, but in Vancouver and Sochi, the Vancouver 2010 Organising Committee and the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, are both working hard to ensure that their Games are also 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 to ensure green Games in 2014.
Sustainability in the Summer
For summer Games, 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 2012 and its stakeholders share a commitment to maximise sustainability through the different phases of the Games – building the venues and infrastructure, staging the Games themselves and then long into the future. They will focus on five main areas: combating climate change; reducing waste; enhancing biodiversity; promoting inclusion; and encouraging healthy living. This programme forms London’s vision for a one planet London 2012.
Sport & Environment Conference
The 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment is taking place this week in Vancouver, the host city of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Organised jointly by the IOC and VANOC, in close partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the conference will bring together representatives of the world of sport, industry, sponsors, the United Nations system and NGOs. With its main theme, "Innovation and Inspiration - Harnessing the Power of Sport for Change”, the 2009 World Conference recognises 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.
Interview with Ann Duffy, Corporate Sustainability Officer, VANOC
Interview with Gilbert Felli, IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games