Team Canada Climate Action Resources
As a sports leader in this country, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) acknowledges that it has a role to play to initiate climate action and reduce its carbon footprint.
Through the Team Canada Impact Agenda, the organization is both leading and supporting efforts towards sustainable sport, including:
United Nations Sport for Climate Action Commitment
In 2020, the COC became a signatory to the United Nations Sport for Climate Action, an initiative launched in 2018 by UN Climate Change and the International Olympic Committee with the aim of developing a climate agenda for sport.
In the spring of 2022, the COC committed to the UN Race to Zero Framework, which includes the following:
1) Reduce the organization’s carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 as a minimum
2) Achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040
As part of this commitment, the COC will be submitting a Climate Action Plan to the UN on how the organization intends to reach these targets.
On a yearly basis, the COC measures and reports to the UN on its annual carbon footprint as well as the progress being made with emissions reductions by comparing to its base year.
Over 40 other NOCs have already become signatories to the Sport for Climate Action Racer to Zero Framework. They are joined by several other Canadian sport organizations.
Along with these signatories and other sport organizations across the country, the COC is also part of the Canadian Alliance on Sports for Climate Action, a community of practice on sport and climate action. The hope is that many more actors within the Canadian sport system will join this group to share best practices and to be inspired by each other’s climate action journeys.
Team Canada Athletes on Climate Action
The COC continues to be inspired by Team Canada athletes who are directly involved in projects on climate action, such as:
- Brenda Taylor, a two-time Olympic gold medallist (1992) in rowing, who received an OLY Legacy Grant to support her Decarbonizing Rowing: Electric Outboard Pilot Project with the main objective to empower communities with the information and confidence to switch from gas to e-outboards.
- Seyi Smith, two-time Olympian (2012, 2018) in athletics and bobsleigh, recently launched an Educational video series on what to consider when thinking about transportation, waste management and other aspects of sustainability. He is also a recipient of the OLY Legacy Grant in 2020 and 2021 for his Racing to Zero initiative.
- Marion Thénault, 2022 Olympic bronze medallist in freestyle skiing (aerials), wants to be carbon neutral by the time she returns to the Olympic Games at Milano Cortina 2026.
Green Sports Day
Green Sports Day Canada is on October 6. It was first celebrated in 2021 to launch a national conversation about sustainable sport.
The 2022 edition featured virtual panels, a documentary screening, and Olympic education programs in schools. With the support of COC Premier National Partner Canadian Tire, Olympians Alannah Yip, Evan Dunfee, Martha McCabe, Melissa Humana-Parades, Seyi Smith, and Émilie Fournel helped a group of volunteers clean up waste in cities across the country and make a difference for our planet.
Visit www.greensportsverts.ca to learn more on the Green Sport Day in Canada.
IOC Climate Action Awards
The COC has previously been recognized for work undertaken to reduce carbon emissions. In 2020 and 2021, the COC was among a small group of NOCs to receive IOC Carbon Action Awards, which were created to inspire climate action by recognizing the sustainability efforts of sports organizations within the Olympic Movement. Having demonstrated its efforts to start reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the COC was rewarded with carbon offsets and has been considered carbon neutral for two years.
Here are some examples of initiatives the COC has taken that contributed to the IOC Climate Action Awards:
- Focusing on carbon-minded logistics planning, such as sending equipment used in Tokyo directly to warehouses in Beijing to avoid unnecessary transportation
- In 2021, the Canadian Olympic School Program renewed its Greenest Olympic Games resource for students and teachers across the country. Since it was first launched in 2019, this resource has been widely downloaded, including in other countries such as the United States, Kenya, and South Africa.
- The COC’s Toronto office has been certified LEED Platinum and BOMA Best Platinum for its sustainability standards.
- The COC continues to explore partnering with companies and organizations who share sustainability values and are actively engaged in making a difference towards climate issues.