A commitment to make the 2010 Games carbon-neutral is “unprecedent-ed” in the history of the Olympics, Monaco’s prince said yesterday in Vancouver.

Olympic organizers announced that they are in negotiations with potential sponsors to offset their carbon footprint — an estimated 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

“It will not only make its mark on the way that we conceptualize and organize sports events, but the way Olympic Games are organized,” said Prince Albert II of Monaco, at the World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Vancouver. “It’s going to have a huge impact.”

Linda Coady, VANOC’s vice-president of sustainability, said past Games in Salt Lake City (2002) and Torino (2006) set offset targets for carbon emissions during the 17-day Games period.

But VANOC’s plan goes further. It includes the 200,000 tonnes of emissions that will be created by spectators and other participants when they fly to Vancouver for the Games.

It also tracks Olympic-related carbon emissions from 2003, when Vancouver was awarded the Games, through to the end of the Paralympics.

Coady said the offsets could take the form of building retrofits and turning pine-beetle wood waste into a source of energy.

Coke goes green
Coca-Cola, the longest running Olympic sponsor, is planning to be carbon neutral for its 2010 activities. It will bring in new coolers to reduce energy by 35 per cent and will purchase gold standard offsets for its emissions.

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