Chicago 2016 Summer Olympics Bid Focuses on Green Games

CHICAGO, Illinois, January 29, 2008 (ENS) – Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games makes the environment an integral part of its proposal. Mayor Richard Daley said, “Our plan involves the entire city, focuses on athletes and leaves a lasting legacy for our young people through sport, culture, education and the environment.”

“We are looking forward to the international process to showcase the spirit, energy and commitment that Chicago can offer to further strengthen the Olympic Movement here in the United States and around the world,” the mayor said.

The first step was using 100 percent soy ink on Neenah’s Environment 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber to print Chicago’s Application File, called a mini-bid book or questionnaire, which was handed to the International Olympic Committee, IOC, on January 14.

The carbon emissions associated with printing and distribution of the mini-bid were offset with carbon credits purchased on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, known as Chicago 2016, donated 100 copies of the mini-bid book to Chicago Public Libraries where they were released for public viewing on Monday.

Doug Arnot, senior vice president of Venues and Games Operations for Chicago 2016, said, “With the worldwide need for environmental preservation, Chicago 2016 has made building a green Games an essential priority.”

“Mayor Daley has worked to improve the sustainability of our city over the past two decades, and now the questionnaire, which was printed using an entirely green process as a symbolic gesture, demonstrates to the IOC the steps we are willing to take to ensure an environmentally friendly games,” said Arnot.

Chicago is competing with six other cities for the 2016 Summer Games – Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; Madrid, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Tokyo, Japan.

The winner will be announced on October 2, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Chicago turns on the lights for
its bid for the 2016 Olympic
Summer Games. (Photo courtesy
2016 Chicago)

Chicago 2016′s Olympic Village design takes advantage of Chicago’s lakefront park system and centers the athletes in the heart of the city. The Olympic Village would be surrounded by 19 sports venues, and 91 percent of the athletes will be within 15 minutes of their competition venues. Only five permanent competition venues have to be built.

In its mini-bid, Chicago 2016 emphasizes that Chicago’s air quality exceeds all but one of the U.S. national standards and full compliance is anticipated before 2016. The city’s water quality exceeds all U.S. standards.

The application showcases Chicago’s commitment to achieve reductions in greenhouse gases in line with the Kyoto Protocol, which requires a cut of 5.2 percent in a basket of six gases relative to 1990 levels.

Mayor Daley has championed a variety of green initiatives and the mini-bid lists them – the development of Millennium Park, built on a deck over railroad tracks; brownfield remediation; the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rated Center for Green Technology; a Green Business Strategy and Green Construction Permit Program; a green roof effort, with more than 300 gardens and green roofs constructed to date in the city, covering 37.2 hectares on public and private buildings; a major tree planting program, with 500,000 new trees to date; and the reclamation and conversion of the downtown airport into Northerly Island Park, now a planned Olympic venue site and nature preserve.

And Mayor Daley recently appointed a chief environmental officer, Sadhu Johnston, the first cabinet-level environmental officer in a U.S. city, to oversee Chicago’s sustainability programs, the mini-bid emphasizes.

In its application, Chicago 2016 pledges to extend the city’s ongoing policies and programs, adopt best practices from current Olympic Games, consult with nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders and integrate the principles of the IOC’s Agenda 21 into a “state-of-the-art environmental management system.”

Chicago 2016 has committed to staging a carbon neutral Olympic Games that will serve as a catalyst for long-term environmental legacies, such as the introduction of new sustainable technologies and programs to promote mass transit.

To read the Chicago 2016 mini-bid book online, see

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