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EMAS and Eco-label - greening sports events
Major sports events have a huge impact on the environment. The best way to reduce this impact is to take environment into account from the outset, when planning such events. This is precisely what the organising committee of the Turin February 2006 Winter Olympic games (TOROC) has done. It has registered to EMAS, the EU eco-management and audit scheme, launched green procurement programmes and promoted the EU Eco-label for tourist accommodation in the surrounding region. As a result, other organising or bidding committees for the Olympic Games or other major sports events are considering joining EMAS and the EU Eco-label.
At every stage
EMAS is the EU programme that helps organisations across Europe to identify their main environmental impacts, to make systematic plans and undertake actions to improve them and to communicate this effectively to stakeholders.
TOROC subscribed to EMAS in September 2004. It integrated the European programme within the planning and construction process. It then registered all 29 sites hosting the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, including the training sites and the Olympic village. Moreover, the EU Eco-label will be granted to the Media Village as an example of how to address the sustainable use of facilities once the event is over.
This has created a knock-on effect in the Turin area. For example, 8 municipalities hosting the Games are also registering with EMAS and the EU eco-label is being granted to several tourist accommodations. This should encourage other companies and organisations in the area to embark on a programme to improve environmental performance through EMAS and to provide visitors with environmentally friendlier accommodation in the vicinity of the event, through the Flower Eco-label.
Throughout the European Union, more than 4 200 sites have currently registered to EMAS. Twenty are registered for sporting activities, including the Formula 1 Nürburgring circuit in Germany and several nautical sports organisations. TOROC’s registration should encourage other large sports events to register with EMAS in the future.
The number of successful applications for the EU Eco-label on tourism is growing rapidly since its adoption in mid 2003. The tourist accommodation service is already the third most successful product group within the Flower scheme.