Vancouver works to make Olympic Games eco-friendly
Since 1994, environmental protection, along with sport and culture, has been one of the three pillars of the Olympic Movement. For Canada, integrating environmental considerations into 2010 Winter Games decision-making processes was a natural demonstration of its commitment towards ensuring the Games deliver sustainable legacies for all Canadians.
Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee was excited about the consideration put to envrionmental impact at the Vancouver games.“The Green Games concept is increasingly a reality. Today, from the beginning of a city’s desire to stage an Olympic Games through to the long-term impact of those Games, environmental protection and, more importantly, sustainability are prime elements of Games planning and operations.”he said shortly before the Olympiad bdgain.
Through innovative planning and design, Canada’s 2010 Winter Games facilities and supporting infrastructure contributed to a foundation of sustainable development.
In hosting the 2010 Winter Games, Canada demonstrated to the world its leadership in sustainable living while showcasing Canadian environmental technologies and best-practices. More than just empty talk, the earth friendly games includeed the implementation of green facilities, supply management and operations, and innovative, alternative energy technology and transportation networks.
Environment Canada and its partners worked diligently to maximize sustainable legacies—environmental, economic and social—from the Games. Areas of focus included:
- promoting best practices for environmental sustainability and reducing environmental impacts;
- contributing to public education and awareness initiatives that will inspire action on sustainable living; and
- showcasing Canadian solutions and innovations that can be adopted worldwide.
The 2010 Winter Games incorporated Canadian engineered solutions, and demonstrated what sustainability means for athletes, sponsors, and spectators. Canada’s commitment to ensuring environmental benefits in the planning, delivery, and legacy of the 2010 Winter Games included:
- Deployment of Environment Canada professionals in the provision of scientific and technical expertise for environmental assessments during the planning and design of facilities and venues.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles being applied to new facilities to ensure that they use the least possible amount of energy for light, heat, refrigeration, and air conditioning. New venues conserved water and materials, minimized waste, maximized air quality, protected surrounding areas, and provided environmental and community benefits during the Games and will continue to do so for many yeas. LEED is the benchmark for high performance green building design, construction and operation.
- Careful selection of venue sites to avoid environmentally sensitive areas. Existing venues were upgraded to highlight energy conservation and efficiency and to demonstrate alternative heating and cooling technologies. Where possible, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, micro-hydro, and geothermal energy were used to power and heat facilities.
- Sponsors, suppliers, contractors, and other partners were encouraged to follow sustainable procurement practices that comply with ethical sourcing guidelines.
- The Games’ public transit-based transportation systems used strategies to reduce congestion, minimize local air pollution, and limit greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation highlighted the latest in low- and no-emission technologies, including maximizing the use of alternative fuels, and hybrid, electric, and propane vehicles in the 2010 vehicle fleet.
Canadian Heritage worked with technical specialists at other federal departments including Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to ensure that 2010 Winter Games venues would not have unneessary adverse effects to the environment.
In addition to ongoing collaboration on the sustainability awareness and action campaign, Environment Canada partnered with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Industry Canada on a business case study to examine opportunities for improving the LEED certification level of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Curling Facility from LEED Silver to LEED Gold.
Source - Canada's Games