Atheletes call for a Carbon Neutral 2010 Olympics

Follow Up: Can the Vancouver Winter Olympics be Carbon Neutral?

In one short year from today the 2010 Winter Olympics will begin in Vancouver, British Columbia. VANOC, the Vancouver Organizing Committee made a commitment in its vision and values to environmental sustainability that some Canadian Olympic atheletes fear is falling by the wayside. These 74 athletes are asking VANOC to offset the entire carbon footprint of the 2010 Winter Olympics. How's that for throwing down the gauntlet?

The Vancouver Winter Olympics are making progress towards sustainability with efforts in site selection, venue design, materials procurement, by minimizing consumption of energy, water and materials and minimizing waste and emissions. VANOC has cataloged their Environmental Stewardship and Impact Reductions efforts here. VANOC also asked the David Suzuki Foundation to report on the total Carbon Footprint of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Meeting the Challenge Report found that the total carbon emissions from the 2010 Winter Games are estimated to be 328,485 tons of CO2 and the largest emission source by far (69% of total) is from air travel for athletes, officials, sponsors, the media, and spectators!

It is staggering to realize that about 226,500 tons of CO2 will be emitted entirely due to traveling to and from the Vancouver Winter Olympics. What is even more amazing is that the TOTAL CO2 emissions for the 2010 Olympics could be offset for approximately 5 million Canadian dollars! Buying carbon credits or offsets does not excuse all CO2 creating activities. But, using verified carbon offsets in conjunction with aggressive CO2 emission reduction tactics can be a realistic compromise.

The CO2 emissions ball is now in VANOC's court. Will VANOC volley or drop the ball? Perhaps a forward and green-thinking company will sponsor carbon offsets for the most sustainable Olympic games to date.

More Info: - Canadian athletes urge Olympic committee to fulfill eco-promises - Athletes urge Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to go greener

Canadian Athletes letter to Vancouver Olympic Committee - Meeting the Challenge, A Carbon Neutral 2010 Winter Games

Vancouver 2010 Olympics - Sustainability and Aboriginal Participation

The Skier's and Snowboarder's Climate Responsibility Code