Chicago 2016 and the City of Chicago are co-hosting the first Chicago Summit and Sustainability, on September 10-11.
The two-day summit, led by Chicago 2016’s environment team, will feature national and international leaders in sport, business, environment and sustainability and will culminate in sustainability proclamations and other proceedings that will showcase new initiatives in Olympic and Paralympic sport and sustainability, said a press release.
Patrick Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “Chicago 2016 is committed to using the Games as a catalyst for the development and use of sustainable technologies. The plan we put forth to the International Olympic Committee demonstrates that commitment, and if we have the honour of hosting the 2016 Games, we will work over the next seven years to ensure it is the greenest, most environmentally responsible Games possible”.
The “Blue-Green” Games concept is based on five core components. They are climate – a focus on reducing carbon emissions; water – a focus on conservation and providing access to clean water throughout the world; resources – a focus on recycling and reuse of materials; habitat – addressing the need to preserve nature within urban environments; and legacy sustainable – designed to unite the world’s leaders in sustainability and showcase new, affordable technologies at the Games.
Sadhu Johnston, chief environmental officer for the City of Chicago said, “Mayor Daley has been a strong proponent of green initiatives for many years and a Chicago Games would have a significant impact on the many sustainable projects already underway. We look forward to hosting this summit and bringing together leaders in environmental sustainability to discuss real-world applications that can be found through sport”.
One concept highlighted as part of Chicago 2016’s commitment to Legacy Sustainable initiatives is the idea to reuse stadium seats from Chicago 2016′ proposed temporary venues. As part of the WheelAid program, a large number of stadium seats would be removed after the Games and converted into wheelchairs which would be distributed to those in need around the globe. According to a press release the program will be donor-supported, which will cover the cost of materials and transformation of the stadium seats into wheelchairs.
The summit will have two tracks – Blue and Green – to provide focus on water issues as well as habitat and other “green” concerns. Speakers and participants at the summit will provide a foundation as well as new real-world applications and initiatives to support sustainability through sport.
Meanwhile Ryan issued a statement congratulating the sports of rugby and golf on making it into the final round for consideration for the 2016 Games. He said, “if selected with the honour of being the host city for the 2016 Games, we look forward to working with the Federations and the IOC through the venue selection and approval process. When the IOC makes its final selection, presents the schedule and competition formats, we are prepared to present several excellent, existing facilities for both sports”.