The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a world-famous event and a great opportunity to shine a light on global environmental issues. Let’s dive into the sustainable projects for Tokyo 2020 and how climate change will play a pivotal role throughout the Games next month.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games aims to become the most sustainable Games to date. As The President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, said during an interview: “Environmental sustainability is a key factor in both our planning and actual Olympic Games operations. These will be included in all aspects from construction, transportation, and energy sources right through to ensuring minimal waste.”
The new National Stadium itself and all competition venues or facilities being constructed or renovated for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are required to meet strict energy-efficiency building certification standards. The Japanese Olympic Committee follows a 5R model – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover Energy, and Restoring Urban Nature. The model will be strictly implemented throughout the Olympic Games and beyond. Recycled construction materials, for instance, are being used wherever possible.
From Mobile Phones to Olympic Medals
The 5,000 Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games medals are made from recycled precious metals collected from mobile phones and other electronic devices donated by the public. More than 78,985 tons of used mobile phones and other devices were assembled to create this year’s medals, with a total of 6.21 million used mobile phones handed in by the public.
From Shampoo Bottles to the Olympic Podium
With Tokyo 2020’s worldwide Olympic partner P&G, the podiums for the Olympic Games medal ceremonies will be made out of plastic collected from used shampoo bottles donated by the public and recovered from the oceans. After the Games, the podiums will be used for educational purposes and recycled back into packaging for P&G products.
From _____ ______ to Olympic Uniforms (Guess what!)
We didn’t include the materials being used for the Olympic uniforms in the heading. With only the uniform picture below, take a quick guess “From WHAT to Olympic uniforms.”
If you said plastic bottles… then you are absolutely right!!
The uniforms of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torchbearers are produced in part from recycled plastic bottles collected by the Games worldwide partner Coca-Cola. Also, a unique dyeing process that requires a minimum amount of water will be used to produce the uniform shoes.
From House Materials to the Olympic Torch
This year’s Olympic torch has been produced using aluminum waste from temporary housing initially used in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The materials that were once used to help rebuild lives will now be used to spread a message of hope and recovery.
From the Olympic Village to a Park Bench
The Village Plaza will be the central hub of the Village for athletes. It includes a general store, cafe, and media center, which will support athletes during their stay this summer. The Plaza was built with sustainably sourced timber donated by 63 local authorities across Japan. After the Games, the Village Plaza will be dismantled, and the timber will be returned to the local communities and re-use in local facilities such as public benches or public buildings.
Climate Change – A “Danger-zone” for Athletes?
Recent studies have shown that climate change and global warming have impacted the current summer heatwaves happening across East Asia (and throughout the globe). Intense heat and high humidity could bring severe risks to athletes at the Olympic Games next month. The Olympic Games are scheduled to run from July 23rd to August 8th, when Japan usually experiences its highest annual temperatures. A study has shown events such as triathlon, marathons, tennis, and rowing could be primarily impacted by the hot conditions.
“I think we’re certainly approaching a danger zone,” Great Britain rower Melissa Wilson said during an interview. “It’s a horrible moment when you see athletes cross the line, their bodies fling back in total exhaustion, and then not rise up.”
The International Olympic Committee said they are taking concerns about the heat very seriously to help ensure the safety of athletes’ health and well-being. Some sports events have already been moved away from Tokyo due to the heat concerns, such as the marathon, which will take place nearly 500 miles north of Tokyo in the city of Sapporo, where temperatures are expected to be much cooler and safer for athletes. Other endurance events have seen a change in start times to ensure they occur during cooler times of the day.
With the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan is taking the lead in showing the world that sporting events can raise awareness about the world’s growing climate change issues as well as promote sustainable practices in the industry. Japan is leading the way by role modeling eco-friendly practices that can also be used in soccer, football, tennis, hockey, and other sporting events worldwide. Sports, too, as the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, can inspire change around the world!