The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver have embraced the opportunity - and the responsibility - to take action on climate change by aspiring to be a carbon neutral Games. The Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) has assessed the unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions from all their operations leading up to, and for holding the international event.
"Sustainability at VANOC means managing the environmental, social and economic impacts and opportunities of our Games to produce lasting benefits, locally and globally."
The 2010 Winter Games' footprint will be an estimated 118,000 tonnes of direct carbon emissions - all emissions that are directly attributable to the 2010 Winter Games like venue construction, facility heating, and athlete travel. Additionally, this event will produce 150,000 tonnes of 'indirect' emissions - emissions that are largely attributable to flights and accommodation for spectators, media, corporate sponsors and their partners.
Air travel is the single biggest contributor to our Games time carbon emissions and the biggest part of your carbon footprint. Through aggressive emissions reduction efforts and offsetting what cannot be reduced or eliminated, VANOC will achieve a carbon neutral direct footprint. In addition, VANOC invites partners, sponsors and spectators to help reduce the indirect footprint of the Games by offsetting a portion of their own Games-time travel.
VANOC is the first Olympic Organizing Committee to track and report its carbon emissions from the day of winning the bid until the closing of the Games. This means that VANOC is committed to reporting, reducing and offsetting carbon over a duration of seven-years instead of only the 27-day Games-time period.
One of the best legacies of these responsible and green choices would be increased awareness and action on the small changes everyone can make to reduce their impact on the environment. See "Vancouver 2010 Carbon Management Program Video".
To learn more about how you can help reduce the carbon footprint of the 2010 Winter Games, visit www.offsetters.com
Text: Emily H?ckert