On World Environment Day, a Look at Olympic Movement Pushing to be Climate Positive

Olympic Games are one of the biggest sporting events in the world and the kind of anticipation it brings also means more carbon prints usually. However, since a clause on the importance of the environment and sustainable development was included in the Olympic Charter in 1996, they have been working on keeping the Olympics environment-friendly.

"As challenging and difficult as the circumstances may appear right now, if we draw the right lessons from the current situation, we can shape our future to even strengthen the relevance of our Olympic Movement in the world," said the IOC President in his recent letter addressed to the Olympic Movement.

"Therefore we should drive further the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, in particular with regard to sustainability, in order to address this crisis."

In a report by olympic.org, IOC says it believes Olympic Games offer a huge opportunity to raise global awareness around environmental issues and profile innovative solutions. Among the guidance it provides to the organisers to take care of the environment, sustainable sourcing and carbon management are the two major ones.

Olympic Agenda 2020 fundamentally changed how the Games are organised, making them less complex and more sustainable. One of its requirements, for example, calls for a maximum use of existing and temporary venues, and building new venues only where a clear legacy plan is in place.


The IOC believes in doing what it preaches and hence, the Olympic House is the major example of sustanability. According to the olympic.org report, Olympic House is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world, having received three of the most prestigious sustainable building certifications.

Olympic House's rooftop has solar panels that produce electricity and heating and cooling are generated from the nearby Lake Geneva's water.

Olympic House is also home to eight hydrogen-powered vehicles and a hydrogen fuelling station - one of the first of its kind in Switzerland. Provided by Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota, the fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) emit only water vapour and air.

On top of all this, IOC is also working on an Olympic Forest, which will be part of Africa's Great Green Wall initiative. More than planting carbon-capturing trees, the Olympic Forest is aimed at providing wide-ranging social benefits to local wildlife and communities.