The Green Olympic Games

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics is going green and raising the figurative bar with high flying sustainability initiatives. The upcoming Olympics set to begin on 12 February 2010 will be the greenest games in history. The Olympic committee, along with many national organizations and corporate sponsors, has been planning on launching an eco-friendly games for years. The focus being that sustainability is important to all.

In the case of these Winter Olympic games set in Whistler, Vancouver sustainability means managing the environment, the social and economical impacts, and the opportunities of the games so as to produce lasting benefits both locally and globally. The Olympic committee recognizes that local and global sustainability challenges and opportunities can be met, and that to do this we must look back at the past and forward into the future. Here are some unique ways the dedicated committees are making a positive difference.

The move towards a green Olympics started by thinking sustainability. The committee expanded their education and programs in this area. Sustainability videos were launched on their website to raise awareness and state their plans. An entertaining animated video to educate and raise environmental awareness for all was created for the Olympics and will be played at the event. It is currently available on the official Olympic website. (www.vancouver2010.com)

The committees are working with indigenous peoples of British Columbia to create partnerships that will promote their legacies and honor their territories and culture. Sustainability has been integrated into the committee’s operation by putting goals in motion and actively tracking the measures of their performance.
Goals set forth are:

Advanced social inclusion by reaching out to inner city residents and businesses, as well as the aboriginal people and others who don’t usually participate.

Going Greener by incorporating LEED standards in the venue’s design and construction. These sustainable venues consist of smart site selection and smaller footprints which lead to conserving and saving of all local vegetation and wildlife. Wood waste reuse was implemented. Solar panels are installed and Salvaged Beetle wood was used to create all roofs. Rainwater capture and waste heat reuse powers the oval. The floors in the Village buildings are heated from below, which minimizes dust particles in the air. The village buildings have an in-slab hydraulic system that will be used in heating and cooling all of the buildings.

Convening carbon neutral games by taking the initiative to forecasting, reducing, offsetting and reporting on the its carbon imprint. Visitors are encouraged to calculate their carbon emissions and offset their consumption by paying an offset fee that goes to clean technology programs. The committee has addressed the transportation issue by offering 20 hydrogen powered buses. A walk, hike or bike campaign is being launched. All are an important part in reducing carbons.

The Winter Games is committed to KNOW, REDUCE, OFFSET, and INSPIRE.

Doing more with less is the best. We all must do our parts. One company doing their part is Coca Cola. They have launched an ambitious Eco-Friendly campaign to produce zero waste during the Vancouver Games. The effort is years in the making, beginning with their recycle program in the 2000 Olympic games. Since then, the company has been a leader in being environmentally friendly.

Here is how Coca Cola is promoting sustainability at the Vancouver games:

  1. All coolers will use ekofresh technology which eliminates greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. They will use diesel hybrid vehicles and electric carts for delivery.
  3. Tables and chairs in the athletes village will be made of salvaged wood from the pine beetle epidemic.
  4. All staff uniforms will be made of recyclable bottles. This includes t-shirts, bags, and sweat suits.
  5. All employees carbon offset fees will be paid.
  6. All materials used will be made recyclable materials.
  7. Recycle bins will be provided everywhere.
  8. Green Teams have been created to clean up and promote sustainability.