What’s Going On Here?

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics lasted just over 2 weeks and generated around 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s more than Barbados produces in a year. So how were these the Olympics most sustainable Winter games ever? The answer: Carbon offsetting.

What Does This Mean?

Carbon offsetting allows people to invest in environmental projects around the world to balance out their own carbon footprints. This comes at a cost of around £8/$12 per tonne of CO2 offset.

Vancouver 2010 raised the bar by achieving “Net-zero carbon Games”. PyeongChang felt responsible for sustainable Games and we thought of going one step further.

Hyeona Kim, Sustainability Manager, PyeongChang 2018

Whilst South Korea may have built 8 new wind and solar farms providing 104% of the energy needed to power the games. It also cleared a centuries-old mountain forest of rare tree species to make room for a new ski slope. And don’t forget the 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. But can polluting the environment be solved by paying off Mother Nature?

Why Should I Care?

By 2050, 9 of the previous 21 host cities will be too hot to host the Winter Olympics. Even churning out fake snow won’t be able to save them! The search for fresh pow’ may have to be taken to even greater heights, leaving many snowsports fans piste off!

Winter Olympic venue minimum temperatures

Be Curious

Carbon offsetting does seem a lot like paying for a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. But with over a third of the CO2 emissions coming from transportation to the games, reducing our impact on the environment doesn’t have to mean doing less, it just means changing how we do it. So take the bus instead of an Uber, or better still; walk, run or cycle when you can. Change your mode of transport, not your destination.