Posts Tagged ‘Sustainability’

Sustainable Sochi? At Least It’s Not In Beijing

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The last three Olympics have been hosted by two countries that are some of the largest perpetrators of carbon emissions and production, Canada and China, and now Russia is going to  try and host the games with a sustainable vision. It is hard to believe that these countries can keep an agreement of long term sustainability when they all have halted climate change agreements and increased drilling in places like the arctic circle. If Russia is not sustainable on a national level, can they be sustainable in Sochi?

With a population of 343,334 in 2010 it is 3,000 people smaller than Vancouver was in 2010, but Vancouver is a port city and Sochi is a resort town on the shores of the black sea. If Sochi is going to be sustainable in the short or long term they must plan accordingly for the increased tourism both during and after the games. An increase in tourism is often associated with the “backlash” of the Olympics but this does not necessarily mean the City’s population will grow at an exceeded rate. Many cities (i.e. Johannesburg) hosting International events like the World Cup and Olympics have spent economic and environmental resources building facilities that cannot be supported or used in the years afterward.  In other words they overestimate the development that their city is capable of.

If Sochi commits to limiting excess infrastructure, a sustainable games can be achievable because it is resort city that is used to and can adapt to a short term increase in population. Their short term success is also boosted by the implementation of the Sustainable Management System which outlines thoughtful impact assessment and a responsible plan-do-check-act process. Information on the SMS can be found below




Russi-ing to the next Olympics…

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

With the next Winter Olympics approaching in less than 100 days and the Paralympics under 120 days, Sochi is excited and ready for their first ever held Winter Olympics…..

Time to get a little excited:

And a view of the beautiful country and the Olympic project progress:


With the responsibility of hosting such a huge event, comes goals and visions that are desirable to obtain in terms of reflecting their country.

The mission of the Sochi 2014 Olympic project is to organize and stage innovative Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which will express the character of the new Russia and bring sustainable positive changes for the entire country.

According to the Sochi’s Olympic/Paralympics Organizing Committee the “sustainable positive changes” from that quote can be defined as “as the implementation of programs, activities and other efforts aimed at creating long-lasting positive social, economic and environmental benefits with efficient use of resources and state-of-the-art development management technologies.”

The Games Mission consists of nine elements-known as The Russian Diamond. Those include:

  1. Excellence
  2. Efficiency
  3. Integration
  4. Hospitality
  5. Unity
  6. Uniqueness
  7. Respect
  8. Legacy
  9. Harmony

Sochi 2014

But the question stands: Are the strategies that the Sochi organizing committee outlined for a sustainable hallmark event achievable? 

According to Joanna M. Foster from Climate Process, wrote an article expressing her worry about Sochi’s “Zero Waste” program meaning “out of sight.” Villagers have complained about illegal dumping and reports have shown this isn’t the first time Russia has been accused of not living up to its Olympic Sustainability promises.

I believe that it is great to address and discuss all their visions, projects and plans to achieve the goals. But if they are going to be effective with their visions, they must follow The Russian Diamond as well and be honest with themselves as well as the world. Some points need a reasonable, measurable way on determining if things are going to plan. But I support and believe that we are going in the right direction with this upcoming Olympics/Paralympics by establishing an effective use of resources and technologies to successfully conduct a positive social, economic and environmental benefit and still expressing the beautiful culture of the country.

Below is the Sochi 2014 Sustainability Report:

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

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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!»

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.

A Sustainable Sochi….?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Can Sochi reach sustainability by the 2014 Winter Olympic Games?

Yes, I believe Sochi can and will reach a level of sustainability by February 2014. In particularly, the “Games with minimal impact on climate” seems to be a very achievable goal, considering the fact that most of the current issues or environmental challenges in Sochi are a direct result of the current system being extremely outdated.

One way in which Sochi can reduce their impact on the environment is by updating their current transportation system. A number of their current environmental issues such as air pollution and poor traffic flow, will be reduced in severity by constructing a newer transportation system.

In addition to updating their transportation system, their plans to update their waste management systems will also play a huge role in being more environmentally friendly. The reduction of water consumption, implementing water collection techniques, recycling, and the construction of waste water drainage systems will only further reduce the effects the games have on the environment.

The next prong to the three prong sustainability approach is economic sustainability. Through the construction of new sports facilities, roads and railways, hotels, athlete village builds, as well as many other construction projects, Sochi should see a good result in their economic growth.

Taking into consideration that one of the proposed plans was to ensure:

“the predominant us of local and regional labor resources, materials, components, and equipment”.

One would expect at minimum, a decent amount of economic growth for the city of Sochi.

In addition, according to the Sochi 2014 website:

“the Olympic Project has already created and supported 239 thousand new jobs”


With that type of job growth, it would almost seem impossible not to see the economy around Sochi, strengthen.

The last factor of the sustainability model is the social aspect. The promotion of leading a healthy lifestyle is occurring and their goals for this aspect are also quite achievable. With the construction of new sport facilities it will allow Sochi to host large scale events after the completion of the Olympics and Paralympics. By hosting large sports event, a good portion of the cities population will gain motivation to participate in sports and physical activities. Both of these are steps to living a healthier life. The new facilities will also allow for a broaden sports participation options.

It appears as though Sochi can, and if all goes as planned, will reach some stage of sustainability. The level of sustainability reached will all depend on how well the planners execute the proposed plans.

Sochi: Is it worth it to host the Olympic Games?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

I think the plans for sustainability are achievable because they are using the most of the opportunities that they are given and principles to follow a design to be able to have sustainable development. This development creates positive change within a country, because countries gain many positive aspects when they host the Olympic Games in their city.

Sustainability means creating long-term positive change in the social, economic and environmental spheres, based on effective use of the resource potential for all Russians both today and tomorrow.

Hosting Olympic Games allow cities to gain potential and change in their economic standings, along with the environment and social aspects. The economic aspect is affected because there are many people and tourists that come to watch and participate in the Olympics. The hotels, businesses, and restaurants are all positively impacted by the Olympic people.

Sustainable development is a process based on the combination of economic growth, social development and environmental protection. Sustainable development meets the needs of the present, while not jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable development is a smart plan and definitely something needed to help the countries that host the Olympic Games. It focuses greatly on the three aspects: economic, environment, and social.

Is it worth hosting the Olympics?

Approximately 80% of cities in which the Games were held after 1972 are now among the 200 most popular cities in the world. The Games in 1992 helped Barcelona to become one of the world’s major tourist centres.

I definitely think that it is worth it hosting the Olympic games because it helps with the economic status of a country, especially when statistics show that 80% of cities after the Olympic games have become the most popular in the world. Knowing this as well as all of the sustainable developments that the organizing committee puts together goes to show that all of the plans for sustainability are achievable.

Olympics Sustainability Implementations

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

In recent years, the Olympic Games have developed into one of the most recognized mega-international sporting events. The increasing number of cities that bid to host the Olympics and the increasing funds invested in Olympic bids show that local leaders perceive the securing of such an event as an opportunity to improve economic and social aspects of a city or region. Through the rising investments triggered by staging the
Games through raging  entertaining sporting events and shows. Shows by example in Beijing, the Lighting and Exiting ceremony were a success. The host cities in this aspect perceive to provide opportunities for urban development and rises in opportunities. Which could in turn give positive encouragement and implementation on sustainability.

“The Sochi 2014 Games will not only rejuvenate the city of Sochi, but will also contribute to the economic, cultural and environmental development of the entire Krasnodar Region. They will make it possible to create new standards in ecology, strategy and corporate governance. In other words, Sochi will become an example to other cities of Russia and the world. The Games in Sochi will leave behind an invaluable legacy, whose benefits will be utilized by Russian citizens long after the Games themselves become history”

Aspects such as these could make better improvements on developments  and incentives to provide for venues to encourage more sustainability features. Features like the Green Building Recognition Program could be a good start to having these programs provide more ways to encourage sustainability options.

“In June, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee announced the start of the third stage of the Green Building Recognition Program — a contest for the Olympic venues’ investors and operating companies and the launch of the second Sustainability Award «Gateway to the Future!»”

Sochi 2014…push in the right direction or pushing too hard?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The Sochi Organizing Committee stages and prepares for the 2014 Olympic Games.  The purpose of the committee is to make a large amount of opportunities from the Games in Sochi for keeping alive long-term development in the area.  While preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the Organizing Committee sees sustainability to mean creating positive changes in the area socially, economically and environmentally.  They believe that this can be done by the resources available.  For the committee to achieve the sustainability they strive for, six main areas of topics will prepare for the stagings of the event.  These six topics include: healthy lifestyle, harmony with nature, barrier-free environment, economic prosperity, modern technologies and culture and national values.  To be able to reach these six topics, a program of action in the field of sustainability within the Olympic project for 2011-2014 has been created.


The six topics to achieve sustainability are good topics to start to find achievement.  Unfortunately, it seems as though some of the topics may be more attainable than others as well as realistic.  Economic Prosperity absolutely has the possibility to achieve its goals.  The Olympic Games is a celebration of sports and events that brings the entire world together in competition.  To be able to see first hand the best of the best compete against one another is an incredible opportunity and site to see.  Since people love watching the Games, it will bring greater numbers in population to the place in which it is held, Sochi.  The Organizing Committee sees this as a huge opportunity to “ensure long term sustainable development and prosperity of the city of Sochi, the Krasnodar region and all of Russia.”  They hope to see this as providing a more stable economic development for the area which can develop the job market.  In preparation for the Games, new roads, railways, and other types of transportation opportunities are arising.  This infrastructure and new venues will allow for Sochi to develop as a city, but for the development of Russia as well.


The area of modern technologies is an area that can be achieved by the committee.  With the progress that as been made through technology in the past years, broadcasting through media and the technological devices that run it have allowed for better footage and coverage of the event.  The Organizing Committee says:

“The technological solutions of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee will provide high quality services to all of their clients: The Olympic and Paralympic Families, athletes, media, Games personnel, the spectators at the stadiums and the international audience of the Games.”


Topics such as healthy living will be very difficult to achieve.  This will be very difficult to accomplish because of personal lifestyle and decisions that people make individually.  The Organizing Committee says that they want to make healthy eating, stop making smoking and drinking popular, and help increase the physical activity level of a person.  The Games is a time of celebration of sport and competition across the world.  In times of celebration, people tend to enjoy smoking and drinking, which will make it very difficult to become an activity in minority.  Trying to make people change their current ways of living by asking them to increase their physical activity and decrease the amount of alcohol and smoking is nearly impossible.  If people want to change, they will.  Promoting a healthy lifestyle at the Games would be beneficial because it would be informative, but it would not be pushing people in directions that they do not want to go.


In conclusion, it appears as though the Organizing Committee has some great ideas for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.  Unfortunately, some topics would appear to be incredibly difficult, for it pushes people in directions that they are not ready for.  Some types of change are greater and more significant than others, and because of this people have to want to see that change.