So,chi? Or So, no? 2014 games could be in the dumps

Sochi has set up a list of criteria to meet in order to not only be ready for the 2014 games but also produce a sustainable economy, environment, and social sphere after commencement of the games.

The project is not a standalone action/event but it has a mid-term/long-term planning horizon, the project contributes to create tools and assets that will work and have a long-term positive impact in the area of project implementation.

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

In terms of the projects they have set up to help with the sustainability plan, this includes objectives such as youth engagement, healthy living, and harmony with nature. Of these I feel the healthy living objective will prove to be the most sustainable. In this project Sochi has come up with a “Green Marathon” where people of all ages and fitness levels can compete, which promotes physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Along with running the marathons the event consists of trees being planted all along the trail to renew resources and keep the environment prospering.

The project enabled all participants, regardless of their age or fitness levels, to feel part of the Olympic Games and make their own personal contribution to the preservation of the natural heritage of Russia.

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

The part of Sochi’s sustainability plan that has shown to have controversy involves their Zero-Waste pledge for the building of and during the Games.  In October of 2013 some IOC members found that there was illegal dumping of concrete slabs and other waste in Akhshtyr, a landfill just north of Sochi. The illegal dumping in this region could cause water contamination to the host city, hence why it has caused so much concern. The local organizations recognized in this event were supposedly fined, says the Sochi committee and Russian organizers. With this I don’t believe that Sochi is being honest in their complete effort towards their sustainability plan.

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/ioc-members-urge-action-sochi-dump-report-20743588

One of Sochi’s sustainability projects that I find most interesting is their Beer Watch project. In this, they’re monitoring compliance with the rules of selling beer; it has been running throughout Russia since 2008.

The initiative seeks to limit the access of minors to alcohol, and involves retail outlets across the country displaying a special sticker sign, «Are you 18? Prove it!»

http://sochi2014.blob.core.windows.net/storage/games/strategy/development/award/Sustainability%20Award%20Brochure%202012.pdf

Part of the goal is to identify sellers who are not obeying the laws and get them out of the business. Those who do follow the rules are encouraged to sell <Beer Watch> souvenirs to encourage others to follow the rules as well. This project has involved over 160 tests of around 1800 retail outlets and dozens of violations were discovered. I think this project is not only healthy because of discouraging under age drinking but can be very sustainable past the 2014 Games. It has a simple goal with many ways to achieve that goal either by getting rid of those who don’t obey the law or simply having cameras to make sure all retailers card the buyers. With it’s simplicity, I believe sustainability will be achieved.

Sochi has done an excellent job to map out all of their goals of sustainability and discuss the ways they are trying to achieve those goals. Although some projects may need a second look or follow up to make sure Russian committees and Sochi are complying, I feel most of their projects are going according to plan and will be sustainable past the games in 2014.

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