Creating a Sustainable 2014 Olympic Winter Games

We’ve certainly had our share of winter weather here in Charleston so it has us in the mood to watch skating, snowboarding and skiing at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Olympic events are literally years in the making with thousands of spectators and volunteers not to mention the athletes, media and sponsors.

All those people, events and preparation can make it tough for organizers to commit to a sustainable event. But back in 2009, organizers of the Winter Games in Sochi designed an environmental strategy to create minimal impact on the climate as well as zero waste.

We also believe in bettering the environment so appreciate the extra effort the Winter Games team has spent on making the Winter Games a green event. You can read all about the sustainable efforts on the Sochi Winter Games website but here are some highlights.

The venues were built with sustainability in mind, using efficient and green construction practices. The Olympic venues were certified according to the Russian Green standards system. Organizers were also committed to preserving the natural environment of Sochi, including Sochi National Park and the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve.

Thousands of trees and plants have been planted to compensate for plants that were removed during the building process. According to the Winter Games website:

450 animals were relocated from the Olympic Park construction area to protected areas of the Imeretinskaya Vally.
More than 2,000 endangered plants were replanted on Psekhako Ridge.
10,000 trees were replanted
More than 5,000 trees and 9,000 bushes have been planted in Olympic Park
So as you watch the Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 7-23 take note of the plantings, trees and overall effort that went into making this a sustainable event.

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