The Olympics is huge! It is the largest sports event in the world. It impacts more than just the people involved; the athletes, coaches, viewers at home, staff, and everyone from around the world who come to witness the athletic greatness in person. It also impacts the society (economically) and the planet (environmentally), with effects being felt before, during, and after the competition.
The host country of the upcoming 2020 Olympic games is Japan. The country has made huge strides in its history to overcome pollution crisis. But the future they envision is cleaner and they want to spread their green efforts on a global stage. “We are now facing global sustainability challenges such as climate change, depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, human rights issue such as discrimination, and aging,” the 2020 Tokyo Olympics website says. They intend to broadcast the importance of being green by making the Olympics 100% sustainable.
How they plan to do this:
- Climate Change: Towards Zero Carbon
In accordance with the launch of the Paris Agreement, this goal represents Japan’s intention to manage the Games focusing on maximum energy savings and use of renewable energy, thus building the foundation of decarbonisation with the effort of everyone.
They will accomplish this by utilizing 100% green energy solutions (by purchasing renewable energy from power companies and by installing solar panels) and through energy-saving technologies, both at the games as well as the athlete villages, main press center, and the international broadcasting center. Furthermore by promoting public transportation and fuel cell vehicles.
- Resource Management: Zero Wasting
This goal aims to suppress deforestation and land devastation caused by resource exploitation; as well as to bring the environmental load of waste to none by controlling the supply chain to utilize zero waste resources.
They will accomplish this by reusing (use of rentals and leases) and recycling 99% of procured items and goods. By building the athlete villages out of a local renewable timber supply. Furthermore by getting citizens involved as well through an ongoing initiative to create medals for the games out of metals that are collected from recycled smartphones and mobile devices.
- Natural Environment and Biodiversity: City within Nature/Nature within the City
This goal aims to create a new legacy for the nation by restoring and forming a rich ecological network (landscape and greenery) throughout the Games. This will contribute to the creation of a new urban system that will improve the peoples’ comfort and resilience from this moment onwards, into the future, beyond the events.
They will accomplish this by effectively taking advantage of resources like the utilization of rainwater and recycled water. Furthermore by having consideration for existing trees and greening of competition venues by native species.
This is going to be an unprecedented undertaking for an event of this size, but the committee is confident that it will be able to achieve this aim. They want to inspire not only the people from Japan but from all over the world to do their best to reduce waste.
Tokyo 2020 and related parties aim to contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S): “We are also committed to make sure the meaning of the Tokyo 2020 Games’ concepts and legacies will be passed on to future Olympic/Paralympic Games and various activities and initiatives throughout Japan and the world.”
This Olympics will be a celebration of athletic achievement AND sustainable greatness!
“It’s crucial to pass it on as a legacy,” an official said.