Beijing 2022 and sustainability: a positive environmental impact

by Chiara Aruffo

With just a few days to go before the start of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, let’s have a look at the sustainability plan: in this second in-depth article we talk about environmental impact.

The cover of the document containing the sustainability plans for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games (Olympics.org).

The first sustainability objective of the Beijing Games is to have a positive environmental impact. To achieve this, priority will be given to ecological and resource conservation. Use of existing structures has been prioritized where possible, while new buildings have been constructed to the highest standards. The impact of preparing for the Games will also be minimized by implementing measures to combat desertification and pollution (of both air and water), reduce carbon emissions and develop a circular economy. Cooperation with local governments in the Beijing-Zhangjiakou region was also crucial in the preparation of the Games.

More specifically, the organizing committee identified four areas of action to achieve a positive environmental impact:

Venues: maximizing the use of existing or temporary facilities; new indoor and outdoor facilities must meet Green Building evaluation standards; carrying out environmental impact assessments to identify protective measures specified to mitigate and compensate for any environmental impacts; protecting animals and plants in competition areas.

Ecology: implement stringent control measures on water use and improve water quality; ensure that air quality during the Games meets WHO standards.

Carbon emissions: build the world’s first flexible DC power grid; power the facilities with 100% renewable energy; use CO2-based refrigerants in ice venues; implement an emissions compensation program.

Sustainable procurement: integrate sustainability in the procurement processes.

The Zhangbei flexible DC power grid in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province. The grid began operations on June 29 2020. (Photo Zou Ming for China Daily)

Cover picture: National Speed Skating Oval (credits CNN China)

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