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Sustainability management system: starting from the Olympic Games

2017-10-10China WTO Tribuneadmin0010

There is no doubt that Olympic Games is one of the biggest global events with huge and profound influence. Compared with the past, Olympic Games today is not just a sports event, but also a sustainability issue on economy, environment and society.
In the 2nd Meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 held in June, Alexander Zhukov, President of IOC Coordination Commission, gave a full affirmation to the organizing work of Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and highly praised the philosophy of sustainability. “the organizing work of Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games has gained great achievement, and this achievement will benefit Beijing, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and even whole China in the coming decades”, he said.
Why the Olympic Games emphasizes “sustainability”?
As a sports event, why does the Olympic Games emphasize sustainability? It should be understood in the context of global sustainable development and the continued evolution of Olympic Games.
·           IOC supports United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is the coordinated development of economy, environment and society, and it is the common cause and goal of the world, which has become a global consensus. The release of United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. IOC believes that Olympic Games can directly contribute to 11 of SDGs.
As the common goal of the world, SDGs impact every aspect, including Olympic Games. In 2014, Thomas Bach, President of IOC, in the celebration of United Nations, applauded “the principles of Olympic Games is the principles that United Nations pursues” proposed by then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; at the end of 2014, IOC released Olympic Agenda 2020, which takes “sustainability” as the core concept of Olympic Games. After United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development released in late September 2015, as the permanent observer of United Nations, IOC expressed that it would support Post-2015 Development Agenda, which was a complete set of general and transformational development plan made on the base of millennium development goals. “Sports is a natural partner, and it will contribute to the realization of this great development agenda for the next 15 years, which will lead the development of globalization”, Bach specified.
·           Olympic Games could not win the broad supports without “sustainability”
As we mention hosting Olympic Games, most of Chinese believe that this is an event that benefits people’s livelihood. While in many other countries, it could not be widely supported by the public as the bid and host of the Olympic Games is often regarded as a waste of manpower and money, leaving the host city heavy burden.
Hosting the Olympic Games requires a great deal of financial expenditure, and it is an unaffordable economic burden for the host city and country; the construction of Olympic venues and infrastructure involves environmental protection and resource settlement, which brings enormous environmental pressure. Most of the public are not able to enjoy the benefits of the Games, and thus they do not support the cities or countries to host the Games, or even boycott the Games.
Therefore, Olympic Games is not just a sports event. If we want to get more wide supports and get more countries and cities involved, it is necessary to consider the comprehensive impact on economy, society and environment, and this is the “sustainability” of Olympic Games.
“Sustainability” makes Beijing be widely praised
What exactly is the “sustainability” that Alexander Zhukov, President of IOC Coordination Commission for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, has highly praised? This may start with Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics have made Beijing a unique “double Olympic city”, and the sustainability of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games is an extension of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and it can be reflected in the use of both talents and venues.
·           One-third of the staff come from Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
It is known that one-third of staff of Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games had participated in organizing Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. By comparing the bid and organizing processes of two Olympics Games, the sustainability of talents makes Beijing finally be successful from lack of experience and continuous learning from the preparation to rich in experience and resolve to make new achievements. That is the wonderful story of sustainability of talents in the history of Olympic Games.
·           Reuse of Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadiums
Unlike many of deserted Olympic stadiums in other host cities, the stadiums and facilities of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games were widely used after the Games.
Beijing Olympic Forest Park has become a good place for the public to exercise.  China National Convention Center has a full schedule of events every year, and there are many stadiums will be used in Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games:
Water Cube will be changed into Ice Cube to hold curling competition.
Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center will achieve conversion within 6 hours from basketball stadium to hockey hall.
National Stadium has even become an ice and snow park in every winter after 2008.
“Sustainability” will be combined in management system
As the core concept of Olympic sports, the “sustainability” in all aspects will need the support of management system.
2012 London Olympic Games became the first Olympics to carry out a sustainability management system, and in 2012, the sustainability management system applied in London was transformed into an international standard ——ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management Systems - Requirements With Guidance For Use, which becomes an IOC’s prescriptive requirement to the Olympic Organizing Committee of every host city. 2016 Rio Olympic Games also passed the certification.
After the release of ISO 20121, China converted the standard into a national standard in 2015 —— GB / T 31598 Event Sustainability Management Systems – Requirements With Guidance For Use, and made it take effect on January 1, 2016.
This standard has become the management system of host city for hosting Olympic Games, and it also has become the ruler of IOC to measure the sustainability performance of each Olympics.
Focus on the influence of Olympics “sustainability”
It may be argued that as a sports event, the Olympic Games merely adopts its “sustainability management” in the event itself, and it does not have much to do with the corporate development. However, sustainable development has become the world’s common language system. Olympic Games is a sports event, and also the collective carrier and platform of sustainable development in the world’s most important activities. The guiding and exemplary role of Olympic Games for the sustainable development of the world and China cannot be ignored.
The success of the Olympic Games has not only been related to the sports department, but all participation and support of multiple departments, and the “sustainability” of the Olympic Games is influencing these departments, regions and areas.
The organizing and host of Olympic Games need procurements, and its procurements behavior adopts sustainability management. For the enterprises which hope to take the business opportunity of Olympic Games, they may have the chances only when they achieve their own sustainability management.
The concept of green, inclusiveness and participation emphasized in the sustainability of Olympic Games will influence the development of the whole society.
Nowadays, at every Olympic Games, it is not only a sports competition, but also a competition of sustainability in the host of the Games. Today’s Olympic movement is not only about sports and health, but also about sustainability. The connotation of Olympiad is not only faster, higher, stronger, but also sustainable; the Olympic Games influences not only sports, but also economy, society and environment. Under the promotion of “sustainable” Olympic Games, the trend of whole society’s sustainable development will take shape and surely be a new direction of the world.
The enterprises, which attach importance to the CSR and sustainable development, should be the pioneers of the global sustainable development.

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