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Game, Set and Match!!

Professional tennis tours are not always played on green courts. Thousands of people fly around the world to play or watch the game which does not on the surface give the game a sustainable credential.   However, the four pinnacles of tennis, namely the Grand Slams in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York are attempting to impart a culture of recycling, sustainability and efficiency on the game.

1)  The Championships at Wimbledon see a huge amount of waste: from empty champagne bottles to tea bags and left over smoked salmon. This waste is sent to a Material Recovery Facility for recycling, or non-recyclables are processed at an ‘Energy from Waste’ facility. This means that 96% of Wimbledon waste is diverted from landfill.

wimbledon 2

2)  With the introduction of a simple two-streamed waste bin system at the All-England Club The Championships has seen waste recycling rise to 53% of all waste.

3)  The All-England Club makes use of a water recycling plant and 95% of all water used is recycled.

wimbledon 1

4)  Wimbledon is the largest annual single event sports catering operation in Europe with 350,000 cups of tea and 230,000 glasses of Pimm’s served to the tennis fans. Plastic waste is a primary concern, however, as 250,000 bottles of water are sold during the tournament.

5)  The air management system in “Centre Court” processes 143,000 litres of air per second to optimise playing conditions and eight litres of fresh air per person per second is pumped into the court, even when the roof is open!

6) Wimbledon’s famous strawberries and cream are locally sourced from inside a 100 mile radius, nearly all of the strawberries coming from Kent having been picked at 5.30am on the day they are served. In total, 28,000kg of strawberries are consumed during the fortnight (which is equivalent to 112,000 punnets) with more than 7,000 litres of cream!

strawberries

In Paris the Roland-Garros event became been the first French sporting event to have ISO 20121 certification in May 2014 and only the second event ever after the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Other than tennis, the focus at last year’s tournament was sustainable transport with a car pooling website operating for visitors and the installation of a solar-powered electric bike charging point.  Hybrid and electric cars making up more than 60% of the tournament’s fleet of vehicles meant it was certified as low-emission and the decision to stop washing the fleet with water saved a total of 226,00 litres.   The French Tennis Federation launched an initiative to redistribute leftover meals to charities.  15,000 meals were handed out in 2014 alongside food already distributed by French supermarkets.

The highest-attended annual sporting event in the world is The US Open Tennis Championships.  In 2014 the tournament started a carbon balancing initiative where it offset more than 2.2m miles of travel emissions from players attending the event, as well as all the fuel used on-site at Flushing Meadows.  The tournament continued a composting program which saw 425 tonnes of food collected and re-used in agriculture and landscaping initiatives.  More than 12,000 gallons of food grease from the US Open’s kitchens and food stalls, will be converted into biodiesel fuel.

The Australian Open held at Melbourne Park is in the middle of a £350m redevelopment plan.  Its’ goal is to become one of the most sustainable sports and entertainment venues in the world.  A key focus is to minimise the effects of the brutal Australian sun and building roofs have been coated in shiny coatings that reflect over 70% of the sun’s heat.  This keeps buildings cooler during hot days and onsite solar installations provides around 42MWh/year.  This is enough to power seven Australian houses all year round.   Tennis Australia has attempted to reduce travel impact by partnering with the city of Melbourne to allow Australian Open ticket holders free access to public transport on that sporting day.

GAME SET AND MATCH!!

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Rio 2016 – Embrace (Sustainability Management)

The ‘Embrace’ proposal is aimed at delivering sustainability before, during and after the Games. With our partners and sponsors, we will develop projects and programmes that will serve as seeds to be cultivated by society as a whole.

Our way of working sustainably is based on integrating three pillars – PLANETPEOPLE and PROSPERITY – and our aims are to:

  • establish a standard of sustainability for holding events
  • insert sustainability into the DNA of event organisation
  • serve as an example of good sustainable practices
  • be transparent through dialogue with society

PLANET

Delivering low-impact Games, minimising pressure on materials and energy resources, without impairing the quality of the event.

Rio 2016 is following sustainability guidelines and embracing low-impact operations in its processes. This means that even before beginning an activity, we consider how it can be delivered efficiently, from an environmental point of view.

Efficiency

The Games will inevitably generate environmental impacts. We are talking about high consumption of water, energy, raw materials, food and so on. Rio 2016 undertakes to use all resources conscientiously and rationally, prioritising certified, reusable and recyclable materials.

• Buying 100% certified wood → Rio 2016 undertakes to buy all the timber items required for the Games from sources with chain of custody certification. This means that, in addition to sustainably managed logging, traceability is guaranteed from the time the timber leaves the forest through to the end user.

• Sustainable headquarters → Rio 2016 has its headquarters in a temporary building. After it is taken down, 80% of the material will be reused in future structures. The building consumes 70% less energy than ordinary buildings. Timers on bathroom wash basins, intelligent flushes and a rainwater collection system enables us to cut water consumption. Furthermore, the building is fully accessible to people with physical and visual impairments.

• Material life-cycle analysis → Up to 2016, the visual identity of the Games will be displayed throughout the city of Rio de Janeiro in various forms and printed on various kinds of material. To ensure more conscientious and sustainable choices, the organising committee has analysed the life-cycles of 106 materials that will be used by the Games visual identity team to minimise the environmental impact.

Carbon Emissions

To deliver low-impact Games, we are working on a number of initiatives to cut our emissions. We have completed a study of our carbon footprint and defined an emissions management strategy, based on impact measurement, cutting emissions, mitigation where possible and offsetting what cannot be mitigated.

• Biodiesel from recycled cooking oil → Fleets of buses and trucks will be fuelled by diesel containing 20% recycled cooking oil. Biodiesel emits less carbon and sulphur than mineral diesel. It is estimated that 20,000 oil collectors will be involved, boosting the development of this production chain.

• Logistics efficiency programme → Logistics are a major factor in boosting the Games’ CO2 emissions. Rio 2016 is designing an intelligent route model to cut transportation time for the more than 30 million items to be bought in for the Games. This will also cut fuel consumption, as well as carbon emissions.

• Technology-based carbon mitigation plan → This plan aims to mitigate 100% of the emissions generated by the Rio 2016 Games, which will amount to 500,000 tonnes of co2eq direct emissions from our operations and 1.5 million tonnes of co2eq from spectators. Mitigation projects involve the agriculture, manufacturing and civil engineering sectors, and they will reap short, medium and long-term benefits.

Managing carbon footprint Rio 2016
Managing carbon footprint Rio 2016

 Waste

For Rio 2016, one of the key points related to sustainability is waste management, since large volumes of waste will be generated daily during the Games. Our great challenge is to minimise waste and raise awareness among spectators, athletes, volunteers and others involved in the event in regard to the correct way to dispose of and recycle waste.

• Rio 2016 headquarters waste management → Before the Games, our office is the only waste producer. Our workers have been instructed on how to dispose of it correctly. Some of our actions include not buying plastic cups, reducing the number of printers available and not providing individual waste bins.

• Guide to sustainability for packaging → One of the critical points in the generation of waste is packaging. With this in mind, in April 2013, Rio 2016 published a guide to sustainable packaging, in which the committee laid down sustainability options and mandatory requirements for this category of items, including labelling, ecodesign, accessibility of information and packaging materials.

• Games waste management strategies → Our strategy does not only cover the Games-time period: it begins during the preparatory phase and ends when the venues are dismantled. Recycling cooperatives will be involved and the strategy is based on the following sequence: waste generation avoidance → minimising volume → managing inevitable waste → promoting behavioural change. The strategy also includes treatment of organic waste through composting, in order to reduce the amount that is sent to landfills.

PEOPLE

Promoting Games for everyone, offering the best Olympic and Paralympic experience.

By embracing and welcoming everyone, Rio 2016 proposes to engage them and raise awareness on important topics, such as diversity, inclusion and accessibility. We are working so that Olympic and Paralympic values and attitudes transcend the Games and provide inspiration for people’s daily behaviour in the workplace and in society in general.

PROSPERITY

Deliver prosperous Games, inspiring the establishment of a chain of qualified suppliers and developing a management model prioritising transparency and dialogue with stakeholders.

Rio 2016 has embraced the challenging responsibility of making conscientious choices for everything purchased, also covering the dismantling cycle. The aim is to improve the quality standards of our suppliers and their production chains. Based on transparency, we will make our documents and reports accessible to the public, giving full details of our management models and assuming accountability for all our activities. Furthermore, we will create an environment that facilitates dialogue and exchange with all civil society participants.

For more information read the official sustainability documents here.

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