2010 Winter Olympics – Sustainability

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When Vancouver was awarded the Host City status, the committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games (VANOC) established several objectives in terms of sustainability:  

1. Accountability Accountability takes cognizance of the fact that this event is not exclusive to those participating in it, or the investors who have made it possible. Rather, it is designed to benefit the entire community, as well as visitors to the Host City long after the event. For this reason, Canada as a whole and Vancouver in particular commit to open communication, ethical behavior and honest consultations with those affected by the developments (including local residents, community groups and NGO’s)  

2. Environmental Stewardship and Impact Reduction With the extensive construction and development that such an event requires, it is easy to forget the value of the environment. For this reason, it has become a major priority to preserve and protect the natural beauty and ecosystems in Vancouver as far as possible. Any negative impacts caused by our developments need to be addressed and compensated for.   VANOC has committed to:

– Ensuring that design and location of venues is as eco-friendly as possible
– Rehabilitating areas that have been negatively impacted
– Using members of the community to build and assist, so that they are economically benefited, as well as protecting their human rights
– Saving water, energy and materials as far as possible to minimize waste
– Disposing of waste in a responsible way  

3. Social Inclusion and Responsibility VANOC has committed to caring for the needs of the people helping to build and develop the venues, as well as those of the athletes and spectators. External stakeholders, such as the communities and NGO’s involved, are also given consideration before decisions are made. Another focus area for the organising committee of the 2010 Winter Olympics is the economic benefit to disadvantaged communities. VANOC seeks to include these communities wherever possible, so that they not only benefit in terms of monetary reward, but also in their involvement in such a significant event.  

4. Aboriginal Participation and Collaboration Aboriginal participation is very important to VANOC, Vancouver and Canada alike. Not only does this benefit the Aboriginal community, but it has reciprocal benefits for the entire Olympic Movement. VANOC is working with partners to ensure that Aborigine people from all over the country are brought to the site of the event as volunteers, athletes, performers, spectators, etc…  

5. Economic Benefits Considering the extent of the investment involved in hosting an event like the 2010 Winter Olympics, it is a foremost priority to ensure that money is spent as wisely as possible and to take advantage of the business opportunities presented. Investments need to be for the long-term benefit of the host country and its local inhabitants, as well as to the tourists who visit it in the future. The 2010 Winter Olympics has and will continue to create job opportunities, and has accomplished massive infrastructural improvements already. In terms of the financial implications, VANOC is determined to maintain open and honest lines of communication.  

6. Sport for Sustainable Living VANOC seeks to promote sport as the solution to a healthy lifestyle, and to inspire people from all over the world to live in a sustainable and beneficial way. The aim is also to promote sport as a way to unite a community and to engage youth in an upbuilding activity as a way to prevent crime and other negative activities as a result of boredom.