What Makes The 2016 Summer Olympics Sustainable?

by Leah Feor August 10, 2016

Rio 2016 Sustainability
The 2016 Summer Olympics are in full force, and this year, athletic ability is not the only hot topic.  Sustainability and Climate Change are themes that are interwoven into the entire event.

“Sustainability is present throughout the organisation of the Rio 2016 Games. Our objective is to deliver the Games in a transparent way that is environmentally and socially responsible.” Rio2016.com

What a great message to send out to the world!  An event that has a huge global following is taking the stage and spreading awareness on a topic that affects the entire planet.

The Rio 2016 Commission’s goal is to hold the most sustainable Olympics in history.

The event’s Organizing Committee is dedicated to embrace the challenge of turning a huge event into an even bigger opportunity for change.  The environmental footprint of the summer games will be reduced significantly with a number of solutions that are highlighted on their site’s dedicated Sustainability Portal

Sustainability and built to last go hand in hand.  When something is made from ethically sourced raw materials, and built to last for years to come, it is inherently sustainable.  This can be seen clearly at the Rio 2016 games, specifically with one of the boldest venues built to host handball and goalball.

A combination of technology, innovative engineering, and collaborative efforts will help turn one arena into four schools.  The Future Arena – boasted as “nomadic architecture” – was not only designed to be built with zero rework requirements, it will later be broken down and re-built as four schools to serve the local community.

By using Building Information Modeling (BIM) with Tekla tools, extreme accuracy allowed for a high quality arena that resulted in minimal construction waste during the installation period.  Given that the building itself will be re-purposed to create school houses; I’d say this structure deserves a gold medal.

When it comes to raw materials used to build the Future Arena, the Olympics’ Organizing Committee made sustainable sourcing a pillar in the procurement process.  From the inclusion of sustainability indicators for purchasing requirements, to the use of 100% of items made of certified timber, they’ve got ethical sourcing covered.

Sporting events can leave a strong impression on communities for years to come; it’s great to see that these games have the potential to not only lighten the environmental impact on Brazil in 2016, but also build a greener future.

Interested in learning more about the environmental impact of Rio 2016?  Check out this cool infographic by GreenMatch for details. 

Environmental Impact of Rio2016



Leah Feor
Leah Feor

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