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Dow Enables Sochi 2014 to Be the First Games in Olympic History with Carbon Neutral Travel Footprint for Athletes, Media and Spectators

November 4, 2013 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

For the first time in Olympic and Paralympic Games history, Sochi 2014 will have a carbon neutral footprint associated with the travel of athletes, spectators and media from all over the world travelling to Russia for the Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games, between February and March, 2014.

In addition to its commitment to mitigate the direct carbon footprint of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Worldwide Olympic Partner The Dow Chemical Company will take a step further and enable the offsetting of the estimated travel-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Dow’s initiative, announced today at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) World Conference on Sport & Environment, in Sochi, represents a 250x250TICBannersignificant step forward in terms of sustainability for one of the world’s main sporting event. Through the groundbreaking “Sustainable Future” program, the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games is implementing energy efficient and low-carbon technologies in the areas of infrastructure, industry and agriculture throughout the Russian Federation to mitigate Sochi 2014’s direct carbon footprint – which already includes the estimated footprint related to air travel and accommodations of the athletes, volunteers and the staff of the Organizing Committee.

Sochi 2014 will be the very first Olympic Games to offset 100 percent of the estimated travel footprint associated with spectators and media, amounting to 160,000 metric tons (MT) of CO2 equivalent emissions. The travel footprint is one of the most significant contributors to the emissions of a world-class international event – such as the Olympic Games.

“One of our main inspirations is to take a significant step forward to help increase environmental awareness and inspire others to do the same in Russia,” said Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. “Thanks to Dow’s strong leadership and partnership, expertise and unmatched capabilities, we are delivering on our commitment to host Games with minimal impact on climate and achieving an invaluable positive impact for our country and for the Olympic Movement.”

High-quality offsets in future Olympic Host Cities

The spectator and media travel footprint will be compensated through a portfolio of high-quality offset projects developed to international standards, and recognized under the International Carbon Offset and Reduction Alliance (ICROA) Code of Practice – the global benchmark for best practices in the offset markets.

The portfolio focuses on renewable energy, energy efficiency, as well as the protection and restoration of vulnerable ecosystems. It includes offsets from the host country of the Olympic Winter Games, specifically from the Bikin Tiger project – a forest conservation project in Vladivostok, Russia, that is home to the Amur tiger and the snow leopard, two unique specimen of the country’s fauna.

In addition, the portfolio aims to embrace the international spirit of the Games and includes offset projects in Brazil and South Korea – countries that will host the next two Olympic Games.

Confirming its leadership in energy efficiency and carbon footprint management, Dow will deploy a portion of its own verified offsets, generated through a methane recycling project implemented in Georgia, United States, where a Dow plant utilized gas from the Dalton Whitfield County landfill to partially power its operations. By tapping into landfill gas as an energy source, this project significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the landfill, and it offsets carbon dioxide emissions by avoiding the use of fossil fuels.

“The legacy of sustainability and the engagement of all stakeholders involved in future Games are as important as the mitigation of the Sochi 2014 direct carbon footprint itself. That’s why Dow, the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games and the Official Carbon Partner of Sochi 2014, is engaging other members of the Olympic Family to join the initiative and offset their own travel footprint,” said George Hamilton, vice president, Dow Olympic Operations. “We also wanted to make sure spectators and media would have their travel footprints covered, as they play a key role to make the Olympic Games one of the most important events in the world.”

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