Winter Olympic Games carry green credentials UN environmental agency says

More than a decade of collaboration between the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Olympic Committee has helped create a 2006 Winter Olympics that will deliver environmentally friendly hotel rooms, products and even snow-making techniques to athletes, spectators and the region.More recently, UNEP officials have been working with officials from the Torino Organizing Committee for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games to produce the “greenest Games ever,” according to Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director.“UNEP has always strongly asserted the important role civil society organizations have to play in promoting and monitoring environmental sustainability,” said Mr. Toepfer, adding he was pleased that World Wildlife Fund officials have confirmed UNEP’s positive environmental assessment of this year’s event.Among the programmes that will make this month’s Games more environmentally friendly is a project called Heritage Climate TORino (HECTOR) that focuses on making the Winter Games carbon neutral. By supporting forestry, energy efficiency and renewable energy schemes both at home and abroad, the Torino Olympics will help offset the estimated 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide generated during the 16 days of events.Other measures to protect the environment include an extensive monitoring plan for the entire Olympic area that envelopes 16 environmental indicators, including water cycle, air quality, soil use, energy consumption, waste production, ecosystems, landscape and urban environment.Other measures include a waste materials plan to handle the expected surge in rubbish; the development of eco-friendly buildings at, for example, the new Olympic Village, that use pollution-free materials for construction; and an extensive sustainable transport plan. read more

Read More →