Canada – sustainability report for the 2010 Olympics

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GLOBE-Net reports that the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) has released its first Sustainability Report, outlining the games‘‘ environmental, social and economic impacts as well as related sustainability strategies. The report provides great detail on VANOC‘‘s efforts, and will add significantly to the debate on how the games are being managed.

VANOC based its analysis on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the ‘‘gold standard‘‘ for corporate sustainability reports. This was supported by the environmental management system model (ISO 14001) of the International Organization for Standardization, with additions for economic and social interests.

The Vancouver games have expanded on an Olympic movement towards environmental and social responsibility by making sustainability a key performance indicatory for the entire planning process. VANOC reports that six sustainability performance objectives have been incorporated into the strategic business planning process: Accountability; Environmental Stewardship and Impact Reduction; Social Inclusion and Responsibility; Aboriginal Participation and Collaboration; Economic Benefits; and Sport for Sustainable Living.

The most publicized environmental aspect of the games thus far has been the re-routing of the Sea-to-Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler through the Eagleridge Bluffs. Though VANOC acknowledges that such projects are related to the Olympics, it does not have any direct involvement in their management. The report therefore focuses on activities such as venue construction, event planning, and games operation, areas in which significant steps have been taken to ensure environmental sustainability.

Managing for a ‘‘green games‘‘

VANOC‘‘s environmental actions can be generally divided into the following:

designing for less through smart site selection, venue design and procurement

operating “eco-efficiently” by minimizing consumption of energy, water and materials and minimizing waste and emissions

rehabilitating or offsetting negative impacts that cannot be avoided

All venues are being designed with guidance from the LEED ‘‘Silver‘‘ green building rating system, and partners such as the City of Vancouver also intend to pursue formal certification for venue construction. VANOC‘‘s new head office in east Vancouver has been renovated to incorporate LEED Commercial Interior design features, such as natural and energy-efficient lighting and an improved heating/ventilation/air conditioning system.

Sporting venues have been designed to minimize impact on the environment, particularly those in mountain habitats. The cross-country area at Whistler was redesigned several times to lessen its impacts and increase the amount of protected area; an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) was developed for protecting tailed frogs and their in-stream habitat; and the popular Baden Powell trail in Cypress bowl was relocated from a gravel road to a forested area with help from a local group to make room for the alpine freestyle venue.

Seeking ‘‘carbon neutrality

VANOC intends the games to be ‘‘carbon-neutral‘‘, following in the footsteps of the Torino 2006 organizers. This means sourcing venue energy from renewable sources, procuring a low emissions vehicle fleet from GM, and taking other steps to reduce GHG emissions at the source, while committing to offset unavoidable emissions through carbon credits or offset projects.

The offset investment program is still in development. Emissions must first be measured, and VANOC believes the GHG impact of the Games should arguably include the Paralympic Games period and cover international travel by athletes, officials, spectators and

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Ano da Publicação:
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WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #25-2007-June 22, 2007
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Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
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