Hangzhou’s carbon-neutral push to deliver benefits well beyond the Games
As the first carbon-neutral Asiad in history, Hangzhou Asian Games are set to deliver a sustainable legacy with long-term benefits for the host cities and beyond, according to the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC).
Indeed, the Hangzhou Asiad has been guided by environmentally sound principles from its very inception, said Meng Xiangsheng, deputy director of the Environmental Sustainability Department of HAGOC, at a press conference on Tuesday.
Sustainability has been integrated into all aspects of the planning and operations of the Games — from construction to transportation and energy sources, right through to ensuring minimal waste, according to Meng.
Green energy is used to power all venues. Methanol fuels the main flame of the Games, electric vehicles transport athletes and media between venues, a recyclable water cleaning system is in use in the swimming pools, and a rain retention system operates at all venues.
“From the beginning of our preparations, we learned about green efforts from all over the world, including some Chinese cities,” Meng said.
“During the process, we came to realize that a green Games should be more than a concept, but also a commitment and an action that is sustainable, and set a trend for environmentally friendly production and living.
“Public engagement is essential to ensure the social benefits of a green Games,” Meng continued.
To achieve these goals, HAGOC launched an extensive carbon-offset program that encourages the public to help the Games achieve a negative carbon footprint.
Since the preparations for the Asiad began, more than 200 million people from all sectors of society have responded to the call for a “Green Asian Games” and participated in green initiatives for the event, Meng said.
Among them, the “One Kilogram Per Person” initiative has attracted more than 100 million participants, earning it a Guinness World Records certificate. Through this activity, participants contribute to the Games’ green goals through low-carbon living.
Similar initiatives have also been launched in the Asian Games Village, where residents can earn low-carbon points through nearly 20 green behaviors, such as minimizing food wastage, green travel and garbage classification. These points can be exchanged for low-carbon souvenirs.
“It can be said that Hangzhou Asian Games have the most extensive public participation in green activities in the history of the continental sports gala,” Meng said.
“We hope that hosting the 19th Asian Games will provide a further incentive for Hangzhou and its co-host cities to seek reinvigoration through sustainable urban development.
“We are also devising green and low-carbon guidelines for hosting large-scale events. So, we hope to provide some reference for future events.”
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