Chicago 2016 and City of Chicago Host Summit on Sport and Sustainability September 10-11

Industry leaders in sport, business and environment gather to establish initiatives as defined by Chicago 2016’s vision for first ever “Blue-Green” Games

Chicago 2016 and the City of Chicago will co-host the first Chicago Summit on Sport and Sustainability on September 10-11, 2009.  Led by Chicago 2016’s environment team, the two-day summit will feature national and international leaders in sport, business, environment and sustainability and will culminate in sustainability proclamations and other proceedings that will showcase new initiatives in Olympic and Paralympic sport and sustainability.

“Chicago 2016 is committed to using the Games as a catalyst for the development and use of sustainable technologies,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “The plan we put forth to the International Olympic Committee demonstrates that commitment, and if we have the honor of hosting the 2016 Games, we will work over the next seven years to ensure it is the greenest, most environmentally responsible Games possible.”

The Chicago Summit on Sport and Sustainability is part of Chicago 2016’s vision for the first ever Blue-Green Games.  Inspired by the Olympic Movement’s commitment to sustainability and Chicago’s two-decade commitment to environmental issues, the Blue-GreenTM Games concept is based on five core components:

  1. Climate – a focus on reducing carbon emissions
  2. Water – a focus on conservation and providing access to clean water throughout the world
  3. Resources – a focus on recycling and reuse of materials
  4. Habitat – addressing the need to preserve nature within urban environments
  5. Legacy Sustainable – designed to unite the world’s leaders in sustainability and showcase new, affordable technologies at the Games.

“Mayor Daley has been a strong proponent of green initiatives for many years, and a Chicago Games would have a significant impact on the many sustainable projects already underway,” said Sadhu Johnston, chief environmental officer for the City of Chicago. “We look forward to hosting this summit and bringing together leaders in environmental sustainability to discuss real-world applications that can be found through sport.”

One innovative concept that will be highlighted as part of Chicago 2016’s commitment to Legacy Sustainable initiatives is the idea to reuse stadium seats from Chicago 2016’s proposed temporary venues. As part of the WheelAidTM program, a large number of stadium seats would be removed after the Games and converted into wheelchairs—which would be distributed to those in need around the globe. The program will be donor-supported, which will cover the cost of materials and transformation of the stadium seats into wheelchairs.

“Chicago 2016’s Blue-Green Games environment plan is sustainable and responsible—everything from venue construction and venue operations to post-Games use and re-use,” said Bob Accarino, director of environment for Chicago 2016.  “The idea to reuse stadium seating and turn them into wheelchairs is just one example of how to eliminate waste materials by re-purposing items that are used for a short period of time during the Games. We have applied sustainable strategies to our Games plan, and we look forward to discussing others during the Summit early next month.”

The Summit will have two tracks – Blue and Green – to provide focus on water issues as well as habitat and other “green” concerns.  The group of speakers and participants will provide a foundation as well as new real-world applications and initiatives to support sustainability through sport.

A full list of speakers and program information will be available at chicago2016.org/summit in the coming weeks.


Chicago 2016 Media Line, +1 312-861-4826

Published in: Environment, Legacy Press Releases, Local News, Sports Keywords: , , , ,

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