Stockholm Åre 2026 Olympic Bid Emphasizes Goal To Deliver First-Ever Climate Positive Games

Stockholm Åre 2026 observed the United Nations World Environment Day Wednesday by confirming the Swedish Olympic and Paralympic bid’s plan to deliver the first ever climate-positive Games, leveraging a transformational sustainability programme that is driven by Sweden’s global leadership in environmental protection and green innovation.

IOC Evaluation Commission Chief Octavian Morariu (red jacket) with IOC Executive Director Christophe Dubi (left) and Stockholm-Åre bid Chief Richard Brisius (2nd left) at Lugnet Nordic Complex in Falun, Sweden (GamesBids Photo)

IOC Evaluation Commission Chief Octavian Morariu (red jacket) with IOC Executive Director Christophe Dubi (left) and Stockholm-Åre bid Chief Richard Brisius (2nd left) at Lugnet Nordic Complex in Falun, Sweden (GamesBids Photo)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is scheduled to choose a 2026 host city from either Sweden’s bid or rival Milan Cortina from Italy when almost 100 members vote in Switzerland on June 24.

“Stockholm Åre 2026’s vision is for Sweden’s first ever Winter Games – and all future Games – to contribute to a stronger, better and more sustainable world,” a statement released by the bid explained.

“This vision is underpinned by Sweden’s proven track record in environmental performance, sustainability and green living. Nationally, Sweden already has among the world’s most ambitious climate targets, aiming to cut emissions by 70% by 2030 and reach full climate neutrality by 2045.”

In March Åre played host to the the first ever fossil fuel free FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, underlining the nation’s commitment to sustainability.

Bid CEO Richard Brisius said “Sustainability is in our DNA.”

“Our nation’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals allied to our bid’s commitment to Olympic Agenda 2020 means Sweden’s first ever Winter Games will set new sustainability standards. Climate change is our planet’s most important challenge, so ‘neutrality’ is not enough.”

The Stockholm Åre bid has set a target of zero percent waste and 100 percent reuse or recycling across the life of the potential Organizing Committee, and the Games will make maximum use of emerging technologies in green building and overlay materials, and in low-carbon and electric vehicles.

On Monday, former Green Party member Maria Wetterstrand spoke at the Swedish Olympic Committee headquarters to underline her views on sustainability and the Olympics.

She said “there are huge possibilities in the dream of the Olympic and Paralympic Games that can boost energy in the region to start new ambitious cooperation, set new targets and speed up the pace in finding solutions.”

2026 could be the year when the Stockholm region proves to the world that is has taken huge steps towards the global 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and that this is the result of a joint effort from the whole society in the spirit of the Olympic Movement.”

Luge and Bobsleigh track in Sigulda, Lativa proposed for potential Stockholm-Åre 2026 Olympic Winter Games (Latvia Tourism Photo)

In a report released by the IOC last month, the Olympic bid Evaluation Commission recognized Sweden’s efforts towards sustainability.

“Sweden has a strong global reputation in the sustainability field and can be expected to offer world leading expertise and innovation,” the 144-page report indicated.

The “…Games concept responds well to sustainability principles in Olympic Agenda 2020,” a reform package that has introduced flexibility in the bid process.

To meet the IOC’s expectations and use the maximum amount of existing venues, Stockholm Åre 2026 plans to stage events in four clusters including in the Capital and a ski resort town in the North; ski jumping in Falun and sliding events in Sigulda, Latvia.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil