Timeline of the common ground between the global goal of sustainable development and the Olympic Movement.
The International Olympic Committee receives the UNEP Champion of the Earth Award in recognition of its influence in promoting sustainable development and environmental leadership.
In preparation for the Olympics, Chinese authorities work to improve Beijing’s chronic pollution and create a cleaner and greener city, significantly improving living conditions by improving infrastructure, introducing wind and solar power, traffic regulations and a smoking ban. A massive tree-planting campaign is also undertaken. For the first time, UNEP carries out an independent assessment of the Olympic Games’ environmental performance.
The IOC is granted official observer status by the UN General Assembly.
The Vancouver Winter Olympics set new standards for truly sustainable Games, pioneering ways for organizations mounting major sporting events to integrate, monitor, manage and report on sustainability in everything they do.
The inaugural Youth Olympic Summer Games are celebrated in Singapore, focusing on culture and values, and complementing an international multi-sport event.
The inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games are celebrated in Innsbruck, Austria, bringing together more than 1,000 young athletes from more than 60 nations, all of whom also participate in the Culture and Education Programme designed to raise awareness of Olympic values, well-being and healthy living, social responsibility and environmental issues.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is convened to ‘secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges’.
London is the first summer Olympic host city to embed sustainability in its planning from the start. For the 2012 Games, sustainability means far more than being green. It infuses all attitudes, thinking, planning, building and purchasing. London 2012 is basing its approach on the WWF/BioRegional concept of ‘One Planet Living’ – living within the limits of the world’s resources rather than using resources equivalent to three planets, as currently represented by European lifestyles.
The Olympic Movement is heavily involved in developing ISO 20121, an international standard to help organizers map the economic, environmental and social impacts of events.
‘The IOC is committed to promoting sustainable development and respect for the environment in and through sport. Our efforts are driven by two considerations: the impact that a degraded environment can have on sport, and the effects that sport – and, in particular, the Olympic Games – can have on the environment.’ JACQUES ROGGE, President of the International Olympic Committee