The ISO 20121 designation is intended to ensure that events leave a positive economic, environmental and social legacy, with minimum waste, energy consumption, or strain on local communities.

Rio joins London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth game as major athletic events to achieve the standard. Wembley Stadium is also developing an events management plan to achieve the standard.

“Sustainability is embedded in our processes and this certification proves it,” said Rio 2016 sustainability manager Julie Duffus.

The Rio Olympics will incorporate a wide range of initiatives designed to save water and cut waste and emissions from transportation, stadiums and the events themselves, including:

Sustainable headquarters: Rio 2016 has its headquarters in a temporary building, 80% of which will be reused in future structures after itis taken down. The building consumes 70% less energy than ordinary buildings, while timers on bathroom wash basins, intelligent flushes and a rainwater collection system cut water consumption.

Biodiesel from recycled cooking oil: Fleets of buses and trucks servicing the Olympics will be fuelled by diesel containing 20% recycled cooking oil, emitting less carbon and sulphur than mineral diesel.

Logistics efficiency programme: Rio 2016 is designing an intelligent route model to cut transportation time for the more than 30 million items to be bought in for the Games. 

Technology-based carbon mitigation plan: This plan aims to mitigate 100% of the emissions generated by the Rio 2016 Games, which will amount to 500,000 tonnes of co2eq direct emissions from operations and 1.5 million tonnes of co2eq from spectators. Mitigation projects involve the agriculture, manufacturing and civil engineering sectors.

Waste management plan: Including recycling schemes, behaviour change programmes and composting efforts.

The 2014 football World Cup, also held in Brazil, was hailed as one of the most sustainable tournaments ever.

Brad Allen



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