The 2010 Olympic freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions on Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver are being made possible thanks to snow driven from upper mountains down to the site, as snowmaking machines cannot operate in the unusually mild Canadian winter.
The unprecedented freight operation will increase the 2010 Winter Games' carbon emissions, despite efforts to reduce them.
Its "carbon-offset" portfolio included investments in green technology projects that improve energy efficiency or produce renewable energy, in view of neutralising the 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions expected from the Games (EurActiv 02/04/09).
The Olympic village will reuse captured methane gas from a former landfill site to power buildings. Heat recovered from the municipal wastewater treatment system will be used for heating.
Furthermore, the community centre in the Olympic village claims to be energy neutral, as it has been built to match the highest standards of the United States' green building rating system (LEED).
After the Games, the buildings will become permanent residential housing, with a community centre as well as childcare centres, a school and a community garden.
The climate scorecard for the Vancouver Olympics underlined that the Games will leave the region with innovative energy-efficient buildings that will reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and save money "for many years into the future".
Sponsors going green as well
While corporate Olympic sponsors have embraced some eco-friendly elements in recent years, Coca-Cola is the first to have announced "zero-waste, carbon-neutral" sponsorship of the Olympic Games.
The company has pledged to use sustainable packaging, ensure 100% collection of all its containers and place climate-friendly refrigeration units in the venues.
Furthermore, the beverages are set to be delivered and distributed via hybrid or high-efficiency delivery vehicles.
London aims for greenest Games in history
The organisers of the London 2012 Olympics want the Games to be "the greenest in history," but critics say that their plans do not go far enough.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) aims to deliver venues, facilities and infrastructure for the 2012 games in a sustainable manner by concentrating on energy-saving schemes, the use of alternative energy sources and recycling.