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Offsetting the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were the first carbon neutral Games in history, and we’re proud of the important role we played as Official Carbon Offset Supplier.
The footprint of the 2010 Winter Games was an estimated 118,000 tonnes of direct carbon emissions, that is, emissions directly attributable to the Games including venue construction, facility heating, and athlete travel. Additionally, this event produced an estimated 150,000 tonnes of ‘indirect’ emissions – emissions that were largely attributable to flights and accommodation for spectators, media, corporate sponsors and their partners.
With their pioneering commitment to a carbon neutral event, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) assessed the unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions from all their operations leading up to and hosting the event. Then they came to Offsetters for a portfolio of new, clean energy technology projects to offset these emissions.
During the 2010 Winter Games, we engaged sponsors and spectators with the message that everyone has a role to play in making the Games carbon neutral. In fact, you may have seen our Nielsenheimer Brothers around Vancouver spreading the word that without winter, there could be no winter games.
Learn how the 2010 Winter Games were more than Green Games and how we worked with VANOC to set the bar for future large sporting events by downloading the report here.
To offset the direct emissions from the 2010 Winter Games, we created a unique portfolio of projects through local expertise in new, clean energy technologies. These projects were created to prevent a verified minimum of 118,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere. VANOC and Offsetters worked closely with partners, sponsors and participants to further offset the estimated 150,000 tonnes of indirect emissions resulting from the 2010 Winter Games.
All projects in our 2010 Legacy Portfolio are high-quality offsets consistent with the standards applied by BC provincial greenhouse gas regulations, and have been designed to meet or exceed the highest international standard for carbon accounting and offsetting.
Did you know?
- VANOC used approximately 500 fewer diesel generators than previous Games. This reduced diesel power GHG emissions by 90% 1
- VANOC estimated that green initiatives reduced the carbon footprint of the 2010 Winter Games by 57,000 tonnes of carbon over business-as-usual 2
- By volume, 4,835 tonnes of CO2 would fill BC Place 3
- The average spectator was personally responsible for 0.3 tonnes of carbon emissions as part of their experience at the 2010 Winter Games
- Offsetters was the first Official Supplier of Carbon Offsets in the history of the Olympic movement
VANOC was the first Olympic Organizing Committee to track and report its carbon emissions from the day of winning the bid until the closing of the Games. This means reporting, reducing and offsetting carbon over a duration of seven years from planning to holding the world event – not just the 27-day time period of the games themselves.
In total, we worked with VANOC to reduce 268,000 tonnes of direct and indirect carbon emissions generated as a result of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. To put that into context, reducing 268,000 tonnes would be the equivalent of taking 49,084 passenger vehicles off the road or eliminating the electricity needed to power 37,171 homes for a year.
One tonne of carbon emission is the equivalent weight of:4
- 5 four-man bobsleds
- 25 skeleton sleds
- 52 curling rocks
- 6,135 hockey pucks
One tonne of GHG emissions (tCO2e) equals:
- 15 km of the torch relay—including emissions from torch fuel, support vehicles, community celebrations and each torchbearer’s heavy breathing
- 83,333 trips of 5 km in length on Vancouver’s transit system, one of the cleanest in the world
- 10 days of running one snow-maker powered by a diesel generator1
- Approximately 11 tanks of gasoline for your car, or 9 tanks of diesel fuel (40L)
1 VANOC 2007-08 Sustainability Report, pg 45
3 Volume of BC Place from their website
4 Official Olympics sports equipment weights taken from IOC website at www.olympic.org/en/content/sports