Reducing the Games' carbon footprint
To halve the carbon footprint of the Olympic Games in comparison with the 2012 and 2016 editions, and to offset more than will be emitted, is the strong commitment of Paris 2024, in line with the zero-carbon objective set by the International Olympic Committee for 2030, the first international sporting event to achieve this ambition.
According to the organisers, around 1.58 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent will be emitted, compared with 3.4 million in 2012 and 3.6 million in 2016. In addition to the numerous sustainable initiatives relating to travel, construction, accommodation and catering, a voluntary contribution plan will be put in place to cover the emissions that could not be avoided. The scheme is based on a carbon impact measurement tool. The contribution projects selected, some of which have already been implemented, will be spread over the 5 continents and will meet the highest certification standards. An additional contribution plan will support projects in France.
Building less and better with sustainable materials
By relying on 95% of existing or temporary venues (the ephemeral Grand Palais on the Champ-de-Mars for judo and wheelchair rugby), the Paris 2024 Games have opted for sobriety. By building less infrastructure, we can reduce our carbon footprint while making the most of the architectural wealth and existing heritage. In this respect, Paris is well served! The capital's most beautiful monuments will form an exceptional backdrop.
Les Invalides, the Arena Bercy, Roland-Garros, the Hôtel de Ville, the Stade de France (soon to be equipped with a solar roof), the Parc des Princes and the Paris La Défense Arena will all be part of the show, and the sites have also been chosen for their public transport links.
The new buildings (the Saint-Denis aquatic centre and the Seine Saint-Denis Olympic and Paralympic Village, a future eco-district) have been designed to take climate change into account. Both the Olympic aquatic centre and the Arena La Chapelle will have high environmental performance or "low carbon" standards throughout their life cycle.
The most recent Olympic venues have received or are in the process of receiving environmental certification: High Environmental Quality certification for the Paris La Défense Arena, the Vélodrome National and the Stade de Nice; the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) label for the Golf National de Guyancourt; BREEAM and ISO 20121 certification for Roland-Garros; ISO 20121 certification for Le Bourget, etc.
Sourcing renewable electricity
Paris 2024 aims to power all the competition venues for the Olympic and Paralympic Games with renewable electricity. The organisers have stated their intention to favour wind and solar power over fossil fuels. But what if the weather, wind and sun don't cooperate? Supplies will be made elsewhere, but using the system of "guarantees of origin", valid throughout the European Union. This standard offsets each megawatt-hour consumed with purchases of renewable electricity fed into the grid elsewhere.
Promoting clean transport and soft mobility
We don't know whether flying taxis will be flying over Paris in 2024 (the possibility has been raised!), but soft mobility, via bicycles, and public transport, with the metro and RER, is Paris' priority for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 100% of the venues will be accessible by public transport. To make it easier to get around, in early 2024 the capital will introduce a "Limited Traffic Zone" in the city centre to reduce car traffic. A fleet of clean vehicles will be used to transport officials. Similarly, public transport should be free and unlimited on competition days for ticket holders, given that 80% of the Paris venues are located within a 10-kilometre radius and less than half an hour from the Olympic Village. New cycle paths connecting the Stade de France and the swimming pool to the Olympic Village should be laid, and 10,000 additional cycle parking spaces created.
Inspiring future generations
What if the Paris 2024 Games were to become a model for the organisation of future Olympiads and other major eco-responsible events? At least, that's what the Paris 2024 Committee and the City of Paris want to do, to help accelerate the ecological transition in sport, local authorities and society during these Olympic Games.
The innovative solutions put in place, which can be replicated elsewhere in the world, include better water management with the organisation of open-water swimming and triathlon events in the Seine, thanks to a €1.4 billion investment to make the river swimmable, as well as sustainable initiatives in terms of the circular economy and the preservation of biodiversity. Paris continues to inspire the world!
Limiting food waste and single-use plastics
The Paris 2024 Games have made a commitment to sustainable catering throughout the Games, whereby 13 million meals will be served using responsible, local sourcing and seasonal produce from local partners and producers. The aim is to minimise food wastage and waste during the event. Low-carbon menus will be offered to spectators, with twice as many vegetables and dishes containing less meat.
The city of Paris is working with the organisers of the 2024 Olympic Games to show the world what a sustainable city can be. Paris 2024 has set itself the target of halving the amount of single-use plastic used during the Games. To achieve this, an innovative drinks distribution system will be set up, based on the installation of drinks fountains, the deposit and reuse of cups, and the recycling of plastic bottles that cannot be avoided.