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 January 22, 2009
VANOC Releases Sustainability Report for 2010 Games

 Long after the Olympians have returned home, the legacy of the 2010 Winter Games will endure, in the form of newly trained inner-city carpenters, improved working standards at factories and eco-friendly sports centres built for the enjoyment of both the local community and world-class athletes.

These are just a few of the examples of sustainable legacies from the Games contained in the third annual corporate Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report released today by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

The report covers VANOC’s performance against its sustainability commitments between August 1, 2007 and July 31, 2008.

"As an organization, we have made sustainability central to everything we do," VANOC Chief Executive Officer John Furlong expressed in the opening remarks of the report "In every decision we make in our day-to-day work - small or large - sustainability is a value that is top-of-mind for our team, never an exception. This report addresses each of our sustainability performance objectives, our short- and long-term goals and what we’re doing to meet them."

During this reporting period, VANOC started hosting international Sport Events at Vancouver 2010 venues in Whistler and Vancouver, opened the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop in Vancouver’s inner city and launched the Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Licensing and Merchandising Program with the Four Host First Nations. 

Sustainability will be a major theme at the World Conference on Sport and the Environment - organized by the GLOBE Foundation on behalf of VANOC and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - taking place in Vancouver on March 29 -31, 2009.

On the environmental side, VANOC continues to develop environmental management plans for operational venues, pursue energy and water conservation initiatives and track the carbon dioxide emissions from Games-based activities.  

Fifty per cent of spending by VANOC went to local suppliers in Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor, while a further 43 per cent went to companies in British Columbia (BC) and the rest of Canada.  Over $8.8 million in contracts went to Aboriginal businesses. VANOC continued to monitor and audit its licensees and their supply chains to ensure they complied with relevant legal requirements, respected the rights of workers and protected the environment.

The Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report 2007-08 examines VANOC’s performance in six key areas under the organizing committee’s direct control: accountability, environmental stewardship and impact reduction, social inclusion and responsibility, Aboriginal participation and collaboration, economic benefits and sport for sustainable living. It also discusses the organizing committee’s challenges and future plans on sustainability issues.

 "The report continues to be the communication tool to engage with stakeholders internally and externally on our performance, plans and opportunities for improvement. We have listened and, where we can, have taken action," said Ann Duffy, VANOC’s corporate sustainability officer.

"Our team conducted 144 engagements ranging from public consultations, information sharing, advice seeking and shared decision-making sessions. These conversations reinforced how important it is for us to demonstrate leadership on sustainability issues, especially in these tough economic times, as a way to showcase how sustainability can generate environmental, social and economic outcomes that support positive long-term legacies."

The Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report 2007-08 reflects input from the general public; from non-governmental organizations specializing in the inner city, the environment, sustainability, disability issues, and labour and human rights issues; and VANOC’s own staff. While developing the report, VANOC also consulted with its government partners, corporate sponsors and its multi-stakeholder advisory committee. 

Areas indicating progress by VANOC in the 2007-08 report include:

  • Construction of venues that feature energy-efficiency, low environmental impact and social inclusion attributes (for more detail, refer to the Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report available at www.vancouver2010.com)

  • Full compliance with environmental regulations

  • Full compliance with VANOC’s ethics policy

  • Continued focus on energy conservation and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

  • Growth of pre-Games volunteer numbers from 183 to 435

  • $1.16 million spent on services and products from 23 inner-city businesses

  • Launch of the Aboriginal Sport Gallery at BC Sports Hall of Fame

  • 187 audits conducted on licensee factories; 148 corrective actions initiated

  • 31 "triple bottom line" related innovations identified

Sustainability performance areas the organizing committee says it is aiming to build on and/or focus on during the next 12 months include:

  • Submitting applications for LEED certification for Whistler Olympic Park/Whistler Paralympic Park’s day lodge, The Whistler Sliding Centre refrigeration building and Whistler Village high-performance centre

  • Finalizing transportation and power plans

  • Finalizing and implementing  waste management efforts

  • With the City of Vancouver, BC and Canada, further develop a plan for managing Games-time impacts on inner-city neighbourhoods

  • Implementing a third cohort of trainees to the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop carpentry program

  • Seeking additional carbon emission reductions and finalizing VANOC’s carbon offset program

  • Following up on factory audits and monitoring the corrective action plans of licensees

  • Continuing to raise awareness through the Paralympic school day program

  • Diverting further waste from landfill

  • Conducting training and recruitment and identifying business opportunities for inner-city residents and businesses, Aboriginal communities, persons with a disability, and social and environmental enterprises

  • Convening the World Conference on Sport and the Environment in March

  • Showcasing Vancouver 2010 Games-related sustainability innovations generated by VANOC, partners and sponsors

To measure its performance, the organizing committee uses the sustainability reporting guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The GRI is an internationally established standard for corporate reporting on the "triple bottom line" of an organization’s economic, social and environmental performance. It is aligned with several worldwide sustainability initiatives and is used by leading corporations in the private sector and is recognized by the United Nations.

VANOC intends to issue two more sustainability reports - one next year before the start of the Games and another following the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Two versions of the report are available: a shorter "snapshot" version for readers interested in a summary and a longer, more technical version for those who want more detail. Both versions are available at www.vancouver2010.com. 

Download the Full 2007-08 Sustainability Report (PDF, 50MB)

Download the 2007-08 Sustainability Snapshot (PDF, 9.3MB)

About VANOC
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com

For More Information: VANOC