Combatting Climate Change

Is it possible that sports and science can help advance a low-carbon economy?

By leveraging the sport platform and the Olympic brand, Dow and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are engaging organizations across industry value chains to take action on climate change by implementing lower-carbon technologies.

Climate change, alongside factors like land degradation and habitat loss, is emerging as a top threat to wildlife around the globe. In Africa, it could cause some animals to decline by as much as 50 percent by the end of the century, and up to 90 percent of coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean may bleach or degrade by the year 2050, according to a 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

As the Official Carbon Partner of the Organizing Committees of the Olympic Games Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 and the IOC, we’ve already mitigated more than 4.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. According to the U.S. EPA, that’s the same as the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 912,951 passenger vehicles. It’s the same as the annual energy use of 514,908 homes. It’s also the amount of carbon sequestered annually by 34,896 acres of forest preserved from deforestation.

Mitigation Through Innovation
Ahead of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Dow launched the Sustainable Future program – a groundbreaking initiative aimed at balancing the Organizing Committee’s carbon footprint by implementing low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies across Russia. Mitigation projects enabled by Dow’s low-carbon solutions were designed to upgrade business-as-usual practices in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture and industry, reducing GHG emissions. Through this program, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games were the first Olympic Games where the direct carbon footprint of the Organizing Committee had been mitigated before the opening ceremony.

Building on the expertise and success of the Sustainable Future program, Dow designed a tailor-made program to address the technology needs for Brazil while generating climate benefits for the mitigation of the carbon footprint of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It was the most comprehensive carbon program in Olympic Games history, involving projects in five countries and meeting Dow’s commitment to balance the footprint of hosting and staging the Games. Many of these projects also have delivered new efficiencies and value for participating businesses as well.

Now Dow and the IOC have come together to use sports as a rallying platform and starting point to drive changes toward de-carbonization across specific value chains. In close collaboration with the IOC, Dow is working with multiple parties to evaluate technologies and support implementation of economically viable projects that can deliver significant climate benefits and maximize positive impacts.

Learn more about how this partnership delivers a blueprint framework that demonstrates how business and sports can collaborate to help transition toward a low-carbon society.