2018’s Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have been making achievements of their own

Winter olympics sustainability


The 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games are here (although you may have missed it due to the high profile talks between North and South Korea!) and I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that sustainability is on the Games’ agenda!

Part of the sustainability vision for this year’s Games is to go beyond what has been done in past Olympic and international events. To help them meet this ambitious aim, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee has established a sustainability plan for before, during and after the Games.

The event’s sustainability performance is linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and monitored under the following 5 categories: Low Carbon Green Olympics, Stewardship of the Nature, Good Life, Proud People with Tradition and Culture, and Globalizing PyeongChang: Opening to the world.

Whilst the Games have been giving out medals, they have received an award of their own as the first Winter Olympic Games to achieve ISO20121 certification. The certification is an internationally recognised standard to improve the sustainability of events.

The sustainability achievements of the team behind this year’s Games haven’t stopped there. So far, they have:

  • Reduced 400 thousand tonnes and offset 930 tonnes of Greenhouse Gas emissions
  • Secured enough wind power to fuel the entire length of the Games and more
  • Ensured all newly built venues meet green-building certifications. The venues consume less energy and reduce pollution rather than emit pollution than conventional builds.
  • Reduced impact on local forests and habitation by combining the Ladies and Men’s ski slopes together
  • Built new and improved existing local restaurants
  • Created 9 trekking routes to mark the Olympic’s legacy
  • Restored a landfill site to create the Gangneung Olympic Park
  • Installed a rainwater harvesting system, solar and geothermal energy generating technologies and ecological ponds
  • Had 1919 young people from countries without snow participate in the Dream Programme to experience Korean culture and winter sports
  • Provided 229 transportation vehicles with wheelchair access
  • Educated 5001 business owners and government employees on impairment and accessibility awareness
  • Had 26601 students participate in the School Visit programme on Olympic values and winter sports

Their future plans include:

  • Restoring 200% of the total forestation that has been lost to construction
  • Preserving and promoting biodiversity including the repopulation and restoration of 4 species
  • Creation of tourist centres promoting sports, culture and arts

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