Green Joins Gold, Silver, and Bronze
Thursday, 18 February 2010
With all the primetime excitement of the 2010 Olympics it is easy to forget that this year’s Winter Games are trying also to be more focused on eco-friendliness and sustainability. The Vancouver Games began in some sense in the shadow of their 2008 summer counterpart which left high praise for Beijing’s city-wide clean up and integration of long-term sustainable transportation. It is apparent that Vancouver’s Olympic Organizing Committee has followed through on the majority of its sustainability plans thus far. By using pre-existing facilities and channeling clean-energy production Vancouver is well on its way to reducing over 110,000 metric tons of direct carbon emissions. Concerns arose with last minute snow relocation to barren slopes, but VANOC insists that it will boost the carbon footprint by less than one percent. Even the medals themselves are more environmentally friendly. In an Olympic first, the medals will contain gold, silver and copper recovered from end-of-life electronics otherwise destined for the landfill. The Games’ green performance will also be reviewed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in an Environmental Assessment Report which will be published later in 2010.