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Olympics Committee Unveils Sustainability Plan for 2016 Games in Rio

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The organizing committee of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games has released its Sustainability Management Plan, with the following mission statement:

“To deliver excellent Games, with memorable celebrations, that will enhance the global image of Brazil and promote sustainable social and urban transformations through sport, contributing to the growth of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.”

Carlos Nuzman, president of Rio 2016, explained, “Our goal is to integrate sustainability into all dimensions of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics Games and thus create a legacy for all society.”

The plan examines ways to reduce the environmental footprint of the Games through transportation and logistics, sustainable construction and urban improvements, environmental conservation and clean-up, and waste management. It also seeks to raise awareness and involvement, offer universal accessibility, and promote diversity and inclusion. Lastly, the committee pledges to be transparent in their management of the Games from the planning stages through clean-up.

The committee has a technical cooperation agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP’s Brazilian representative, Denise Hamú, said, “An event the size of the Olympic Games is an excellent opportunity to implement and disseminate sustainable practices. This is the first time that the Olympics will be organized in South America, a crucial region for biodiversity conservation that has a vocation for developing low-carbon economies.”

The 2012 London Olympics were dubbed the “most sustainable ever” in pre-Games marketing, despite widespread criticism of their sponsors’ negative social and environmental records. Some of the sponsors included BP, Rio Tinto, Dow Chemical and McDonald’s.

Time will tell if the Olympic machine will break ties with such lucrative sponsorship deals in the name of sustainability.

Photo Credit: Sammis Reachers/Flickr

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