Nav Search

Delivering a sustainable future

By Lei Lei Source: China Daily Updated: 2022-02-11

Delivering a sustainable future.png

The cauldron of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is lit with a zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered torch on Friday night at the National Stadium in the capital. [Li Yibo/Xinhua]

Reuse of 2008 venues highlighted as key to fulfilling pledge of staging low-carbon event

The concepts of green Games and sustainability have been embedded in the entire process of preparing for and delivering the Beijing Winter Olympics, an official from the organizing committee stressed on Wednesday.

"We can summarize this practice and outcome with the key words 'low-carbon management' and 'ecological conservation'," Li Sen, director-general of the general planning department of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, said at a daily briefing.

China plans to peak its carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. At Beijing 2022, the country is translating those pledges into concrete actions.

Beijing made staging carbon-neutral Games a key component of its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Li said, adding that it has fulfilled this promise in terms of venues, energy, transportation and even administrative work.

Six venues used for the 2008 Summer Olympics have been transformed for use at the 2022 Winter Games, including the National Aquatics Centre-dubbed the "Ice Cube" for the duration of Beijing 2022-the Capital Indoor Stadium and Wukesong Arena.

"Reusing the old venues has reduced carbon emissions compared to the alternative of building new ones," Li added.

As for ecological conservation, he said organizers have prioritized resource saving and environmental friendliness.

"We have implemented integrated plans for ecological conservation to protect the mountains and rivers," Li said.

Citing the Yanqing competition zone, Li said that organizers carried out environmental impact assessment work before the Games and integrated sustainability into the planning and construction of the venues, including the protections of plants.

"We relocated those plants in the construction area to nearby spots or other conservation areas that were specifically built for them. Although they were relocated, they are carefully tended to and are growing well," Li said.

Beijing 2022's sustainability plans have garnered praise from the International Olympic Committee.

"In the time of Beijing 2008 and Beijing 2022, the commitment to sustainability has evolved tremendously, both in sport and in China and in Beijing in particular," said Marie Sallois, IOC director of corporate and sustainable development.

"And as the world is racing to avoid the dramatic effects of climate change, we have put sustainability and climate action at the very center of this strategy for the future of the Olympic Movement.

"On one hand, we would like the Games to be at the forefront of sustainability, and on the other hand, we would like the Games to act as a catalyst for sustainable development in the host territory. This means the approach has evolved, and the Games have to adapt to the local context and adapt to the needs of the host and not the other way around."