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Plans for sustainable Olympics in Hamburg

Environment Minister presents key points for a sustainability concept. The focus is on climate protection and on diverse social use of the site after the games.

Initial key requirements and sustainability ideas for Hamburg’s Olympic bid were presented in a press conference at the HafenCity University on Wednesday. Hamburg’s planners aim to build a bridge from the European Green Capital title, held by the city in 2011, to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, making them environmentally, socially, and commercially sustainable. Key pillars in the concept are climate protection, socially diverse use of the OlympicCity after the games, efficient use of resources during the games, and consideration of global supply chains and sustainable procurement.

Olympic Games for the whole world

“Hamburg is joining the race to host the 2024 Olympics with the promise of more compact, greener, and more sustainable games. If you want to prevail against leading world cities, you have to win with ideas and uniqueness,” says Hamburg’s Environment Minister, Jens Kerstan. “We want to demonstrate that sustainability – in environmental, social, and commercial terms – can be the decisive factor tipping the scales in Hamburg’s favour. We don’t just want to host the Olympic Games for Hamburg, but for the whole world.”

Considering the complete supply chain.

“If you take sustainability seriously, you have to consider and exert influence on the entire value creation chain. It starts with purchasing and continues well into the supply chain, all the way to the social and ecological standards of business partners and producers. If Hamburg and the German Olympic Sports Confederation work together here, this can greatly increase the chance of having fair, green, and modest games,” explains Johannes Merck from the Hamburg Dialog Team for Sustainability and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Otto Group.

Some of the key points in the sustainability concept:

• The OlympicCity will be a display window for sustainability, setting standards for energy-efficient construction and innovative energy concepts, with green roofs, modern waste management, and the idea of a welcoming city. After the games, the quarter on the island of Klein Grasbrook should become a vibrant home to people of diverse backgrounds, for migrants, students, and young companies.

• The Olympic Games should be climate-neutral. The first thing here is to avoid additional CO2 emissions; where these are unavoidable, there must be compensatory measures. One possible mechanism here could be a climate tax to cushion additional environmental impact.

• A car-free inner city during the games and maximal 25 percent car usage on Klein Grasbrook in long-term usage after the games.

• From floodlights to façades, from seats to VIP shuttles and the printing of admission tickets: the Olympic Games would require millions of euros of investment in the widest range of areas. By integrating criteria for sustainable procurement from the very beginning, it is possible to save valuable resources and raw materials and to avoid CO2 generation and social exploitation.

• Global partnership through sustainable procurement with good working conditions and fair pay, not just in Hamburg but also worldwide with sponsors and suppliers. Background: the Department of Environment and Energy (BUE) is currently coordinating the development of a sustainability concept for Hamburg’s Olympic bid, with project groups consisting of consultants, experts, and dialog partners.

Work on several reports relating to various sustainability aspects of the Olympic bid began in May, including, for example, reports from the Institute for Applied Ecology and the German Sport University in Cologne.

Source and further information:
Cabinet Press Office

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