By Michael Pavitt

Pyeongchang 2018 are hoping to offset greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 ©Getty ImagesPyeongchang 2018 have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Environment Corporation (KECO) to work together to deliver a carbon neutral Olympics and Paralympics.

A special ceremony was held at the headquarters of Pyeongchang 2018 in Seoul to mark the two organisations coming to an agreement on three facets that would make the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics environmentally friendly, it is claimed by South Korean officials. 

They are targeting reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating a waste recirculation system and maintaining a healthy air quality.

As a first step towards accomplishing their "Green Dream: O2 Plus Winter Games" vision, Pyeongchang 2018 has published a "Green House Gases Inventory Report" focused on the emissions throughout the preparation period before the Games, between 2012 and 2018.

Additionally, estimates were made for the total emissions during the 2018 Games, with 1.56 million tons of CO2 –eq expected to be emitted, with Pyeongchang 2018 devising a long-term strategy that will see between 30 to 40 per cent of the total emissions reduced by the year of the Games. 

Organisers claimed that 100 per cent will have been offset by 2025, enabling them to have held the first carbon responsible Games in Olympic and Paralympic history, something that Vancouver 2010 claimed to have achieved already.

But it was target that London 2012 and Sochi 2014 failed to meet. 

"In cooperation with KECO, we will put our utmost efforts in preparing for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games to become the most environment-friendly Winter Games in Olympic history," said Yang Ho Cho, President of Pyeongchang 2018.

"Also, by hosting the Olympics Winter Games, we expect to promote South Korea as one of the most advanced green nations in the world."

Pyeongchang 2018 are targeting an O2 plus Winter Olympic Games ©Getty ImagesPyeongchang 2018 are targeting an O2 plus Winter Olympic Games ©Getty Images

The two organisations claim they will work together to estimate the amount of greenhouse gases set to be emitted in all venues and implement a programme to reduce the emissions, which includes organising a wind plant complex to provide electricity to venues, build facilities that will utilise geothermal and solar energies.

Development of eco-friendly cars, including electric, will also be expanded for the benefit of athletes and the workforce, with one-stop charging stations for vehicles set to be constructed along the express motorway that links the South Korean capital Seoul and Pyeongchang.

Pyeongchang 2018 and KECO will also estimate the amount of waste that will be accumulated at competition venues and the Olympic and Paralympics Villages before put into place recycling guidelines and waste disposal systems.

The two organisations will work together to educate the workforce at competition, accommodation and ancillary venues on maintaining a healthy air quality, which with then be monitored throughout the course of the games.

"The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games will be the milestone to showcase Korea's advanced standard for environment management," said Lee Si-jin, KECO's chief executive.

"Through seamless cooperation, we will provide [Pyeongchang 2018] our full support for staging a successful 'O2 Plus Winter Games' as promised to the world."

To read the full Pyeongchang 2018 inventory report click here.

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