The basic principle of the LA 2028 Sustainability Program is “radical reuse,” which starts with not building any permanent venues. Instead, LA 2028 will leverage LA’s existing world-class venues, including using UCLA as the Olympic and Paralympic Village. Avoiding the environmental and carbon impact of large construction projects, which is traditionally a significant part of planning for the Games, will allow LA 2028 to stage historically low carbon Games. Further, LA 2028 aims to deliver the first ever ‘energy positive’ Games by incentivizing the generation of more energy from renewable sources and energy efficiency efforts than needed to power the Games.
LA 2028’s existing venue operators also bring a strong commitment to sustainability. Many have implemented, or plan to implement, progressive sustainability practices, including energy efficient LED lighting throughout the venues and associated parking, deploying multistream waste programs and staff/community sustainable education initiatives. A primary example is the LA Memorial Coliseum, which, under the management of USC and its Office of Sustainability, achieved its Zero Waste Initiative goal in 2016, becoming the largest NFL stadium and second largest collegiate stadium to achieve such a goal. As a result of this achievement, the Coliseum was awarded First Place for the 2016 Zero Waste Bowl Challenge conducted by the PAC-12 and Green Sports Alliance. In the effort, USC’s team diverted from landfills 400,000 pounds of waste from over 1.2 million stadium guests. LA 2028 aims to build on practices like these, and host Games that lay down a blueprint of sustainability goals for all future Olympic and Paralympic host cities.
The Volvo Ocean Race sustainability plan is formed around three tenets:
Minimize Our Footprint
This effort has focused on looking internally at the race’s footprint with a particular focus on reducing, and when possible eliminating, single-use plastic in the Race Villages. This was known to be a challenging task but thus far has been successfully achieved, even when challenges have arisen such as the drought in Cape Town.
Maximize Our Impact
The race has a global platform with millions of followers and an even larger media reach. Just this month, the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team captured incredible footage of feeding whales and sent a conservation message back to shore for all to see. As such, the race is dedicated to using their global communications platform to spread awareness and action on ocean health and plastic pollution. Additionally, an educational program has been created centered around sustainability, and Ocean Summits at seven stopovers bringing together science, government, sport, and business to discuss solutions.
Leave a Positive Legacy
Looking to the future, and recognizing the unique opportunity, the race has a science program dedicated to collecting data in remote locations. The boats sail to many places that scientists rarely get to go, so the race organizers turned the boats into data gathering machines. This information is given to leading science programs such as NOAA and GEOMAR - and the race has already gathered incredible data!
Photo Credit: Amory Ross/Volvo Ocean Race