Munich 2018 Chair, Katarina Witt, the CEO, Bernhard Schwank, and General Director of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), Michael Vesper, are heading a Bid Committee delegation promoting the Bavarian capital's groundbreaking environmental concept at the 9th World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Doha. The conference represents an ideal opportunity for Munich 2018 to share its vision for staging the first ever carbon-neutral Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which will include the unprecedented step of offsetting all international travel of guests.
"We are delighted to be attending this prestigious event. Sustainability has been the cornerstone of our bid concept since the very earliest planning phase. We have dedicated an enormous amount of time and resources to it and we are proud of the ecological roadmap we have created. In many ways, Germany is already a world-leader in environmental management across a range of fields. A Winter Games in Munich would connect the IOC with proven expertise and commitment: Munich 2018 can be a platform for setting new global standards in green mega-event staging across the Olympic Movement", said Katarina Witt.
The delegation's primary focus will be on raising awareness of Munich 2018's 'Flagship 18' initiative - a series of 18 pioneering projects addressing the protection of natural resources; climate protection; sustainable sport and regional development; and education and sustaina ble development. 'Flagship 18' is outlined in Munich 2018's exhaustive 186-page Environmental Concept dossier.
Bernhard Schwank, highlighted some more of the bid's outstanding green attributes: "Our concept is based on the sustainable use of existing world-class venues and infrastructure. 99% of the area for sports venues is already used for sport or will be temporarily converted, meaning minimal construction impact. The renaturisation of the land used temporarily has been legally guaranteed by the Free State of Bavaria; and all existing venues will be renovated to make them at least 30% more energy efficient. Just 1% of the total sports facility space will be converted into new permanent sports venues - that equates to less than the size of a football pitch".
Michael Vesper, who is also Chairman of the Munich 2018 Supervisory Board, commented: "It is very important to the bid that every one of Munich 2018's stakehold ers shares our commitment to protecting and enhancing the natural environment. For example, the DOSB received the IOC Award for Sport and the Environment at the 2009 edition of this event in Vancouver. And BMW Group was this year named the class-leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the 6th consecutive year. Together, we are determined to build a greener future for Bavaria, Germany and the entire Olympic Movement".
Crucially, Munich's environmental concept is also allied perfectly with the local, regional and Federal governments'. The city of Munich is committed to producing 100% of its household electricity through renewable sources by 2015 - far outstripping EU targets. The three levels of government have also pledged $145 million towards the non-OCOG budget specifically for launching, implementing and sustaining Munich 2018's ambitious ecological projects. This includes a $36.7 million fund from the Free State of Bavaria tha t will go towards converting the Mountain Media Centre in Garmisch-Partenkirchen into a state-of-the-art Centre for Sustainability.
The trip to Qatar is the first engagement in a critical month for Munich 2018. Preparations are also well underway for the all-important technical presentation to the IOC in Lausanne on 18th May. Munich is bidding with Annecy and PyeongChang, for the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The election of the host city will take place on 6th July during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.