Faced with the greatest challenge humanity has ever known, the world’s largest event is taking on unprecedented responsibilities to limit the climate impact of the Games. Guided by the principles of moderation, innovation and boldness, Paris 2024 is setting a new standard for the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Paris 2024’s goal is an ambitious one: to cut the carbon footprint of the Games in half compared with previous editions. By targeting every source of emissions and rallying all the parties involved, Paris 2024 hopes to show that another model exists. As well as reducing its impact on the climate, Paris 2024 wants to think bigger and set its sights further by contributing to the fight against climate change through support for projects aimed at providing environmental benefits, in order to offset more emissions than the Games create. And since, by their very nature, the Games only last a short time, Paris 2024 is already sharing its tools and methodology to help step up the pace of the environmental transition in sport and at major events, both prior to 2024 and beyond.
Changing the model: from a post-Games assessment to a pre-Games target
The goal: to control the event’s climate impact
For the first time, a methodology defined in advance and fully integrated into the overall strategy and operations
In order to control its impact, Paris 2024 is applying the already well known ARO approach – avoid, reduce, then offset – and has introduced two additional stages: to forecast emissions and to mobilise action by harnessing the appeal of the Games.
- Anticipate: The previous Summer Games emitted an average of 3.5 million tonnes of CO2. Paris 2024 considered this as its starting point and has developed a pioneering tool to gauge its carbon footprint, in order to guide the choices it has been making since the bidding phase and continues to make throughout the cycle of preparation for the organisation of the Games.
- Avoid: By using 95% existing or temporary infrastructure, and by only building facilities that can be used after the Games are over in the areas involved, Paris 2024 is organising an event with more moderation, which helps reduce its impact not only on the climate but also on the environment.
- Reduce: Paris 2024 has accurately identified sources of emissions and proposed solutions for every activity: low-carbon structures, renewable energy, sustainable catering, etc. As a result, Paris 2024 has set itself a target to not exceed 1.5 million tonnes of CO2, i.e., half the average carbon footprint of the previous Summer Games.
- Offset : Paris 2024 has taken into account the broadest category of emissions – Scope 3 – which also covers the indirect impact of the Games, such as travel by spectators. All emissions that cannot be avoided will be offset by projects designed to bring both environmental and social benefits on all five continents. The first projects have been in place since 2021. Paris 2024 is taking its commitment even further, becoming the first international sporting event to offset more emissions than it creates, by supporting the launch and development of climate-friendly projects in France, where such initiatives are still few and far between.
- Mobilise Paris 2024 hopes to harness the potential of sport as an effective driver of the environmental transition and to thereby rally together everyone involved the Games – employees, partners, the sport movement, and also citizens – in this process. To do so, Paris 2024 has launched its own “Climate Coach”, an app designed to help its employees recognise and reduce their personal and professional carbon footprint. Paris 2024 is also encouraging its partners and suppliers to apply sustainability and limit their climate impact for 100% of Games purchases, as part of its Responsible Procurement Strategy.