Sustainability and Legacy
In the context of the climate crisis and the push to achieve sustainable development, event organisers should focus on delivering sporting events and infrastructure that leave a positive impact on society and the environment. Key risks include the potential detrimental impact of hosting the Olympic Games or similar events on long-term development goals, poor post-event use of infrastructure, and human rights and environmental concerns associated with long, complex supply chains. Event organisers can benefit from a range of existing policies, tools and good practices from the world of sport and beyond to evaluate their current approaches and inform the development of their own strategies and policies.
Three groups of risks are identified as relating to sustainability and legacy
Balancing the short-term goals of the Games with sustainability considerations and the long-term needs of Host Cities
Planning for the transition to post-Games uses
Addressing environmental and human rights risks across the supply chain
Principles for ensuring sustainability and a positive legacy
Maximize the use of existing infrastructure and use temporary venues where there is no long-term need.
Making use of existing and temporary facilities, where possible, is a key measure in mitigating sustainability risks related to environmental impacts and legacy. OCOGs should seek to use existing facilities and temporary venues where no long-term legacy needs exist.
Incorporate and prioritise legacy planning from the beginning of the delivery of the Games.
OCOGs should incorporate legacy considerations into all aspects of infrastructure planning. This can include engaging long-term operators and funders through the decision-making process, planning for the post-event transfer of assets, ensuring that sustainability expertise is embedded throughout the organisation, particularly in the procurement function, and integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations throughout the infrastructure lifecycle.
Implement clear sustainability policies strategies when procuring infrastructure and associated services.
Taking a strategic approach to procurement can help to mitigate adverse impacts on workers, human rights, and the environment. Setting policies early in the Games delivery process can provide clear guidance throughout within OCOGs and with their partners, and help mitigate risks that are more challenging to address if they arise closer to the Games.
Costing and cost-benefit tools:
Fully evaluating the costs and benefits of options around the construction of new infrastructure, renovation of existing infrastructure or use of temporary infrastructure is critical to managing sustainability and legacy risks. These tools can help guide OCOGs’ evaluation of decisions around when to build new or temporary venues, or use upgrade existing venues.
European Investment Bank: The Economic Appraisal of Investment Projects at the EIB
The Guide illustrates how the Bank conducts economic appraisal of projects. It takes a broader view than standard financial appraisals that focus on private financial returns to include other benefits and costs to society, accounting for all resources used by the project, whether human, technological, or natural, and gauges the value the project generates to all stakeholders. The Guide includes methodology specific to the tourism sector, including venues, and a case study involving a multi-purpose sport, social and cultural arena.
Asian Development Bank Guidelines for the Economic Analysis of Projects
The Guidelines set out a general approach to the economic analysis of projects. They include a financial evaluation of the project and financial analysis of the implementing entity, supported by detailed guidelines on the financial management and analysis of projects.
OECD Infrastructure Toolkit: Value for Money
Ensuring fiscal sustainability is an integral part of ensuring the success of infrastructure projects. This involves embedding evidence-based project appraisals, implementing an effective prioritisation process and ensuring affordability within public budgets.
The OECD Infrastructure Toolkit is an online resource to guide the planning, financing and delivery of infrastructure.
These tools provide guidelines for OCOGs to evaluate their progress in addressing sustainability and legacy risks in their planning for the delivery of Games infrastructure and associated services.
Implementing the OECD Recommendation on Global Events and Local Development: A Toolkit
The toolkit provides concrete guidance on the full life-cycle of global events, including the pre-bidding, bidding, operational and delivery, and evaluation phases. It includes a detailed self-assessment checklist to track progress. Many elements of this checklist are applicable to the sustainability and legacy risks faced by OCOGs.
Fédération internationale de l’automobile’s (FIA) environmental accreditation programme
The programme introduces a clear and consistent environmental management system, and includes a detailed self-assessment tool. While aimed at motor sport and mobility stakeholders, the Guidelines and Self-Assessment Tool can be a useful guide and tool for OCOGs
Nature-Based Solutions Tools Catalogue
The catalogue provides an inventory and assessment of nature-based solutions tools (methodologies, software, catalogues, repositories, e-platforms, guidelines and handbook) to support climate resiliency. Aimed primarily at cities, a number of the tools can be useful for OCOGs and their partners.
Sustainable procurement tools and guidance
These tools provide approaches and guidance that can help OCOGs integrate sustainability considerations into their procurement and ensure their supply chains for infrastructure and associated services are sustainable.
UNEP Sustainability-Weighted Procurement Portfolio Model
The model supports organizations in identifying procurement categories that represent the highest sustainability risk exposure, and where interventions will yield the highest relative sustainability impact.
European Commission Green Public Procurement (GPP) Criteria
The GPP criteria provide a framework and examples to facilitate the inclusion of green requirements in tender documents for categories including catering and cleaning services.
OCOGs could choose, according to their needs and priorities, to include all or only certain requirements in their tender documents.
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises – National Contact Point (NCP)
The Guidelines provide non-binding principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a global context. Governments adhering to the Guidelines have set up NCPs whose role includes providing a mediation and conciliation platform for resolving practical issues that may arise with the implementation of the Guidelines.
OCOGs operating in adherent countries could consider promoting the NCPs’ grievance process for the resolution of issues of alleged non-observance of the Guidelines throughout their supply chains.