By Dawn Selak
Later this week, athletes proudly wearing their countries’ colors will fill the winter sports arenas of PyeongChang, South Korea, as they compete in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. But one color—green—will be present throughout the games, thanks to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee’s (POCOG) sustainability and energy efficiency efforts.
These efforts—including a high-speed railway, electric vehicles, and efficient buildings—explain why the Nigerian women’s bobsled team won’t be the only team making history at this Olympics. PyeongChang 2018 is the first Winter Olympic Games to receive the ISO 20121 certification, a sustainability standard for entire events. It is only the third Olympic Games to be certified, along with the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
New Railway Saves Energy
The South Korean government and its citizens have long prioritized public transportation. Seoul’s subway is the third-busiest metro system in the world—touted as among the best in the world, as well. So it’s no surprise that public transit is a key part of the POCOG’s sustainability plan for the Winter Games.
With both the Games and overall accessibility in mind, the Wonju-Gangneung High-Speed Railway was constructed to connect the Incheon International Airport, located outside of Seoul, to PyeongChang and nearby Gangneung. The railway is energy efficient, using less energy and boasting a carbon footprint one-eighth that of gasoline vehicles. It is also time efficient, cutting travel time between Seoul and Gangneung to less than two hours, as compared to six hours on the Mugunghwa train. In fact, the newly constructed railway is expected to prevent more than 6,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions if 420,000 visitors choose the express railway over personal vehicles…
To continue reading Selak’s blog post, visit the ACEEE website.
Selak is Communications Manager for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.