Harry Stevens is a freelance reporter covering climate change, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and sustainable finance. Harry has contributed to several media outlets, including Justmeans, GreenBiz, SocialEarth, and Sustainablog. You can follow Harry on Twitter: @Harry_Stevens...
Greening the Games: Sochi Olympics to Partner with World's Second-Largest Chemical Company to Improve Sustainability
In the latest step on its journey to sustainability, the Olympic Organizing Committee has announced that the Dow Chemical Company will serve as the Official Carbon Partner of the twenty-second Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Dow will help the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee mitigate the direct carbon footprint associated with the Olympics by implementing energy-efficient technologies that will decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the key areas of infrastructure, industry and agriculture.
"With its vast experience, world-class leadership in the industry and a wide range of innovative solutions, Dow is the trustworthy partner to help us on our journey to deliver more sustainable and innovative Games," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee.
The Dow announcement comes just days after the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee crowned the winners of the first-ever "Gateway to the future!" sustainability award. The award honors organizations involved in the preparations for the 2014 Games that have carried out the best ecology, social and economic development projects.
Among the winners was the Coca-Cola Company. The Atlanta-based beverage conglomerate received the award for organizing "International Black Sea Day" in the host region of the Games. Under the project, the city's residents participate al volunteers in city-wide environmental initiatives, including clearing the sea coast and river banks, planting trees in areas with new construction tables, and learning about environmental issues.
"We aim to be the most innovative Olympic Winter Games in history, and our long-lasting positive impact will leave behind an unparalleled heritage not only to Sochi and the Krasnodar Region, but to Russia and its people for generations to come," said Chernyshenko.
Dow will help the Organizing Committee implement a number of energy-efficient projects, helping to shrink the carbon footprint of the Games while bringing benefits to Russia's economy. Dow's projects will include upgrades in building infrastructure, optimization of farming practices and improvements to industrial processes.
"We are very excited with the opportunity to work with Sochi 2014, Dow customers, and Olympic Partners to contribute to the sustainability vision of the first Olympic Winter Games in Russia - a country where Dow will celebrate a 40 year presence in 2014," said George Hamilton, vice president of the company's Olympic Operations.
Founded in 1897 in Michigan, Dow has since entered nearly every international market. Dow is the world's second-largest chemical manufacturer. The company claims that its technologies have helped customers avoid more than 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.
To measure the efficacy of Dow's contributions, the company is partnering with Offsetter Climate Solutions, the official carbon offsets supplier for the Vancouver Organizing Committee during the 2010 Olympics. Dow will also engage the Russian public and Olympic fans around the need for carbon reduction to reduce human impact on the climate.
"One of our key goals with this project is to highlight the science behind our solutions to go beyond business as usual and accelerate the adoption of more efficient technologies across Russia," said Peter de Groot, Dow Russia general manager. "Dow's vast portfolio of innovative, technology-based solutions, combined with the highly-valuable contributions from our partners, will enable Sochi 2014 to deliver on its carbon commitments."
Image credit: Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee