Friday, March 21, 2008

VANOC’s work to reduce the environmental footprint of the 2010 Winter Games

The Board of Directors for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) met on March 19 in Vancouver for its second meeting of 2008. At the meeting, the Board was briefed on the details pertaining to VANOC’s 2010 Carbon Management Strategy. The goal of this initiative is to know how much carbon VANOC is emitting to stage the Games, publicly track and report on it; to reduce as many emissions as possible at source; to be responsible in offsetting emissions that cannot be reduced or eliminated; and to align with and activate others by using the 2010 experience to increase awareness of and participation in climate change solutions. The desired outcome is to create a legacy that will generate long-term benefits and reflect positively on British Columbia, and on Canada as a whole. The Board commended VANOC’s management team on its approach, and directed it to continue pursuing development of this strategy. VANOC expects to release details on its 2010 Carbon Management Strategy in late spring. At the Board meeting, it was also announced that the Organizing Committee will release its Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report 2006-07, the second of five such reports that will be published, on March 31.
The day before of the Board meeting an important agreement between BC Hydro and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was reached. In its role as an Official Supporter of the 2010 Winter Games, BC Hydro will provide the resources to supply clean power for the Games. In addition, through its Power Smart programs, BC Hydro will work with VANOC to ensure the Games are energy-efficient and promote energy conservation across BC.As part of its Official Supporter partnership, BC Hydro will provide secondments of personnel, as well as the temporary use of some BC Hydro properties and electrical connection equipment during the Games. By using clean, hydroelectric power, the 2010 Winter Games will see their carbon dioxide emissions from power generation reduced to the lowest level yet for an Olympic Winter Games — less than 10 per cent of the emissions of previous Olympic Winter Games, which relied on diesel-based generation. VANOC will pay for the electricity it consumes on the same basis as other large commercial customers; however, since the use of clean, hydro-electric power is a lower cost alternative to diesel-based generation, VANOC will realize significant cost savings over previous Olympic Winter Games.