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PARIS2024

Paris 2024 presents the latest advance in its low carbon strategy

Paris 2024 has set itself the goal of halving the carbon footprint of the Games compared with the average of London 2012 and Rio 2016. Less than a month before the Games begin, it is presenting the latest developments regarding its climate commitments in two key areas: reduction of Games-related emissions and support for carbon avoidance and capture projects.

 

Paris 2024 is convinced that major sports events must assume their responsibilities in the face of climate change. To reduce the Games’ impact on the climate, it has adopted an approach that offers a radical departure from that of previous major sports events, moving from a post-event assessment of its carbon footprint with offsetting activities to the pre-Games definition of a carbon impact reduction target and strategy. 

To measure its objective of halving the carbon footprint of the Games, Paris 2024 has chosen to take into account all the carbon emissions of the event (scopes 1, 2 and 3), both direct and indirect, including spectator travel. Excluding Tokyo 2020, which was held without spectators, the average carbon footprint of the most recent editions of the Games is 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (teqCO2).

To control, reduce and reassess its carbon emissions throughout the run-up to the Games, Paris 2024 has surrounded itself with climate experts within its Ecological Transformation Committee. Supported by specialist outside companies trained in the Bilan Carbon® method, Paris 2024 has developed a method and a tool that now includes nearly 10,000 pieces of data.

Ahead of the Games, the tool estimated the carbon footprint of the Paris 2024 Games at 1.58 million teqCO2, even lower than the target of 1.75 million teqCO2. The entire Paris 2024 Games ecosystem is designed with this ambitious goal in mind. With less than a month to go before the Games, all the actions taken to avoid, reduce and control carbon emissions are helping to keep Paris 2024 on track.

 

Initial carbon assessment for the 2018-2023 period

While all the detailed results, including actual data from the event, will be published in autumn 2024, an initial carbon assessment for the 2018-2023 period has been carried out with the support of a specialist firm in accordance with the international reporting standard – the GHG Protocol – and the IOC’s carbon footprint methodology. During this five-year period, Games preparations generated 476,000 teqCO2, three-quarters of which resulted from the construction and renovation of permanent infrastructure carried out under the supervision of Solideo, which will be left as a legacy after the Games. The other quarter was generated by Paris 2024 operations.

Taking these actual emissions (476,000 teqCO2 between 2018 and 2023) into account, the estimated carbon footprint of the Games has been updated, while current and future emissions have been re-estimated in line with the latest information. These calculations confirm that the ambitious target set in 2019 to reduce the Games’ carbon footprint is on track to be met in relation to emissions from construction and operations, which account for two-thirds of the total emissions initially estimated.

 

Actions to reduce carbon emissions across all parts of the organisation

Paris 2024 is on course to meet this objective thanks to the measures to avoid, reduce and control carbon emissions that were initially defined and that have been implemented in all areas of Games organisation:

  • Construction: In order to limit carbon emissions linked to new construction sites, 95% of the infrastructure being used for the Paris 2024 Games is either temporary or already in existence. Solideo has also used low-carbon construction techniques (wooden frames, low-carbon concrete and recycled materials in particular) that reduce emissions per square metre in the Athletes’ Village by 30%, for example. Over the buildings’ entire life cycle, Solideo’s results show a 47% reduction in carbon impact compared with conventional construction projects.
  • Energy: All the Games venues are connected to the electricity grid thanks to the work of Enedis, Official Supporter of the Paris 2024 Games, in order to limit the use of diesel generators that are usually used at such events. These permanent facilities will benefit post-Games events by reducing their carbon footprint. EDF, Premium Partner of the Paris 2024 Games, will supply the grid with electricity from renewable sources (solar and wind). This model will reduce Paris 2024’s energy-related carbon emissions by 80% compared with the traditional sports event model.
  • Catering: Key measures to halve the carbon impact of the 13 million meals and snacks that will be served during the Games include doubling the use of plant-based food and halving the amount of single-use plastic compared with the London 2012 Games, increasing local and seasonal sourcing, and fighting food waste, showing that a different event catering model is possible.
  • Transport in France: All the competition venues can be reached by public transport and those in Ile-de-France will be accessible by bike thanks to 415km of cycle paths and secure bicycle parking facilities. To meet the needs of the Olympic and Paralympic family, Paris 2024 is providing a fleet of light electric, renewable hydrogen and hybrid vehicles with its partner Toyota. Paris 2024 has also chosen to reduce the number of vehicles by a third compared with the average of previous Games by optimising and pooling vehicle use.
  • Equipment: 90% of the 6 million pieces of equipment used will be given a second life by the Games service providers and partners. More circular Games for less impact.
  • IT: 70% of the IT equipment used during the Games will be leased, and it will all be used after the Games. The most popular consumer applications have also been eco-designed.

 

One-third of total estimated carbon emissions are transport-related

One-third of the total estimated carbon emissions of the Games are linked to athlete and spectator travel. This estimate is based on travel directly attributable to the Games, i.e. journeys made by ticket- and accreditation-holders. The number and geographical origin of spectators will only be known after all tickets have been sold, and the modes of transport they use to travel to France only after the Games are over.

Paris 2024 continues to call on all visitors to the Games (officials, partners, athletes, media, spectators and volunteers) to help it meet its climate objective by using low-carbon modes of transport to travel to France and the least carbon-intensive methods of travel once they arrive. This strategy is already bearing fruit among the delegations of neighbouring countries, with Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland announcing that their athletes will travel to France by train.

 

Carbon avoidance and capture projects supported by Abatable and Schneider Electric with EcoAct, new partners of Paris 2024

Alongside its ambition to reduce the carbon emissions of the Games, Paris 2024 has developed a funding programme for projects aimed at avoiding and capturing carbon emissions, which will aim to offset unavoidable Games-related emissions.

In line with recommendations on so-called ‘carbon offsetting’ projects and in agreement with ADEME (the French agency for ecological transition), Paris 2024 has chosen to no longer use the term ‘carbon neutrality’. Nevertheless, it remains convinced that the financing of projects to combat climate change must continue.

 

It is with this same conviction that Abatable and Schneider Electric with EcoAct are joining the Paris 2024 adventure as Official Supporters of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the “Research and development services for third-party climate contribution project’s category”.

 

Projects in France…

Paris 2024 has chosen to finance projects in France through the Laberbonel bas-ca(Low-carbon label) where such projects are still rare. Providing funding of nearly €600,000, this programme will finance the sequestration of 14,500 teqCO2 in France, the equivalent of direct emissions (scopes 1 and 2) as well as those related to the activities of the Paris 2024 headquarters since 2018.

 

Four forestry projects were selected at the end of this process: a project to plant a new forest (1,340 ha in total) on the Plaine de Pierrelaye-Bessancourt in Ile-de-France, and three projects to repopulate degraded forests in Montmorency (15 km from the Stade de France), the Vosges and the Aisne. Paris 2024 has ensured that these projects are virtuous and will have distinctly positive overall outcomes, in particular thanks to a significant diversification of tree species.

 

… and abroad

At international level, Paris 2024 has carefully selected a number of projects that comply withADEME rules and criteria on voluntary carbon offsettingand have positive impacts that resonate with the values of Paris 2024 and sport, such as health, gender equality, education and the protection of biodiversity.

The Paris 2024 international programme is funding the implementation of nine projects, all close to the equator, which is one of the areas hardest hit by climate change. These projects meet the best international certification standards (Goldstandard and VCS) and provide large-scale transformation:

  • installation of tens of thousands of cooking systems and provision of easier access to water in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Rwanda
  • opening of solar farms in Senegal (20 MW) and Vietnam (50 MW)
  • protection of thousands of hectares of forest from deforestation in Guatemala and Kenya, andrestoration of a mangrove in Senegal

 

At this stage, Paris 2024 and its new partners – Abatable and Schneider Electric with EcoAct – have committed to fund the international programme to the tune of €10.7 million, making it possible to sequester or avoid 1,458,500 teqCO2, with equally significant impacts for the protection of nature and the people most affected by climate change. All the projects are subject to very strict monitoring to ensure the expected results are achieved in terms of emission reduction and storage and co-benefits for local communities and biodiversity.

 

Six years ago, Paris 2024 set itself an ambitious goal of reducing the carbon footprint of the Games. With one month to go before the Games and after years of work, we are where we wanted to be, with reduced and controlled carbon emissions across all parts of the organisation. We are proud to back up our commitment to the climate by supporting carbon avoidance and capture projects both in France and in the regions of the world most impacted by the effects of climate change.Tony Estanguet, Paris 2024 President

“We are very proud to support the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Our partnership enables the Games to go beyond their emission reduction efforts thanks to the high-impact climate projects we have selected: conservation projects in Guatemala and Kenya, clean cooking stoves in Kenya, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and photovoltaic solar energy in Senegal. This cooperation illustrates how our expertise helps major organisations navigate confidently through the voluntary carbon market by identifying and facilitating high-impact and high-integrity climate actions. We share the determination of Paris 2024 to leave a sustainable legacy for climate, nature and people.Valerio Magliulo, CEO and Co-Founder of Abatable

“As the world expert in carbon market and project development, EcoAct, a Schneider Electric company, is proud to support Paris 2024 in the selection and monitoring of three climate contribution projects in Senegal, Rwanda and Vietnam. These projects will not only sequester carbon and reduce carbon emissions, but also bring numerous co-benefits for local communities, who are on the frontline of climate change.” Emilie Alberola, General Director of EcoAct France

Paris 2024 has the ambition to organise the lowest-carbon Olympic and Paralympic Games in modern history. This is a compass that guides the entire Organising Committee, which has adopted a rigorous approach to the assessment of carbon impacts in which ADEME is fully involved. Part of the challenge is to capitalise on this proactive, unprecedented approach in order to apply the same level of French excellence to all our major international events.” Sylvain Waserman, ADEME President

“The low-carbon label is an innovative system that makes it possible to support projects in France. Paris 2024 will be able to showcase this important component of the national low carbon strategy.” Benoît Leguet, executive director of I4CE (Institute for Climate Economics) and member of the Paris 2024 Ecological Transformation Committee and member of the Haut Conseil pour le Climat