As skiers, skaters, snowboarders and other athletes vie for gold, silver and bronze, several organizations and companies have already taken home top prizes for their green initiatives in advance of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee implemented the Green Building Recognition Program, a competition among Olympic venue organizations and investors that celebrates achievements in social, environmental and economic development, as well as sustainability.
All winners (there were several different categories) can be found here, but the following are a few projects we found particularly noteworthy:
Best Economic Prosperity Project
General Electric supplied two gas turbines to help power the Sochi-area during peak times. The turbines feature special low-emission technology and are fueled by natural gas.
Most Environmentally Friendly Project
The Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort won the honor of “Most Environmentally Friendly Project” for implementing standards set forth by the ISO 14001 standard that control environmental impact. These standards reduce the cost of waste management and lower consumption of energy and materials. Rosa Khutor will host the Games’ Alpine Ski Center, snowboarding in its Extreme Park and the Mountain Olympic Village, where the athletes reside.
Best Water Efficiency Solution
The Adler Thermal Power Plant used a reverse circulation cooling system to help save up to 98 percent of drinking water and conserve up to 12 million cubic meters of drinking water per year. The power plant, built specifically for the Sochi games, will supply heat and power to the Olympic venues. The plant also runs on natural gas supplied by the GE turbines mentioned above.
Best Waste Management System
The Russian International Olympic University building’s successful implementation of the zero waste and zero loss strategy gave it the honor of the “Best Waste Management System.” The building has done an exemplary job at saving paper and other resources, using biodegradable materials and secondary raw materials, disposing of equipment, separating waste collection and composting waste.