News article

Paris 2024 will be “spectacular and sustainable” says organising committee chief

July 27 2023

Paris 2024 boss Tony Estanguet has said that he wants next year’s Games to be “spectacular and sustainable”, as well as a “new model” for staging the Olympics in the future.

Paris 2024 will be “spectacular and sustainable” says organising committee chief

The President of Paris 2024 told BBC Sport: “We want to demonstrate that Paris and France can deliver a Games in a different way than in the past. We have to be engaged in a new model of delivering the Games.”

Organisers’ sustainability goals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games include 50% lower emissions in comparison with the 2012 and 2016 Games. 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were held in 2021 due to COVID-19, reportedly had a total carbon footprint of between 1.96 million and 2.42 million tonnes of CO2. Owing to pandemic-related restrictions, no spectators were allowed at the event, significantly – and arguably artificially – lowering the carbon footprint for the multi-sport spectacle.

Paris 2024 will make the most of existing and temporary facilities within the French capital with only two building projects required – for the Athletes Village and Aquatics Centre. The Village will utilise low carbon initiatives such as sustainably sourced wood for the building’s structural frame. 

However, claims earlier this year that Paris 2024 could be the first “climate-positive” Olympics have been criticised as unrealistic by some sustainability experts.

Estanguet continued: “We have to change our habits. We have to change the way we decide to organise the games or World Championships or World Cups. Otherwise people will not accept different rules for major events and normal lives, so that is why we set the level of ambition very high in terms of sustainability and to deliver a message.

“We have plans for a fantastic celebration while also demonstrating that it is feasible to reduce the carbon footprint by half because otherwise the future of the Games will be in danger and we have to demonstrate it is possible to still deliver it.”

Other initiatives where Paris 2024 organisers are trying to cut the event’s carbon footprint include in the culinary space. 

Organisers have to feed spectators, athletes, staff, volunteers and the media at all venues. The organising committee is aiming to halve the average carbon footprint of the 13 million meals that will be served during the Games; cut single-use plastic by half; have 80% of the products sourced locally or in France; reduce food waste and recover 100% of unconsumed resources; reuse all catering equipment and reserve 10% of jobs overall for people with disability or from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Image: Luca Dugaro on Unsplash

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