Tokyo Olympics ‘lagging behind’ sustainability standards: WWF

Tokyo Olympics ‘lagging behind’ sustainability standards: WWF

Tokyo, Jan 21 (IANS) The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is falling “far below the global best practice” in sustainability, despite organisers placing it among the top priorities of the event, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has said.

Organisers in January 2016 established a code for procuring resources and services, however, the WWF believes that Tokyo 2020 is “lagging far behind” its goal of the next Olympics being at the “forefront in the field of sustainability,” according to the environmental organization in a letter sent to the International Olympic Committee and published Monday, reports Efe news.

“The committee working on the sourcing protocols for commodities like timber, fishery products, paper and palm oil has finalized standards that are far below the global best practice and inappropriate for a global event such as the Olympics,” said WWF-Japan Chief Executive Officer Ron Tsutsui in the letter.

The organising committee “produced protocols that fell far below globally accepted sustainability standards” and showed “little regard for the expert advice they sought from the Working Group they set up to assist in developing world class protocols,” he added, describing it as “deeply concerning”.

“As an active member of the Working Group and as an environmental organization committed to protecting our natural world, we felt we had no choice but to write to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to raise our serious concerns,” said Tsutsui.

Among the specific requests made by WWF to the IOC are to disclose the origin of all the raw materials procured for the Games, as well as to conduct an external review on sourcing codes and its performance in sustainable sourcing.

The NGO said that high profile events like the Olympic Games “have the opportunity, and duty, to lead and be truly sustainable” when it comes to using and consuming natural resources in a sustainable way, as well as to “leave a legacy for Japanese society to transform to be more sustainable”.

In its sustainability plan, the organizing committee states that it will comply with all current regulations, in addition to taking into full consideration the impact of its policies from the point of view of climate change, the scarcity of natural resources or loss of biodiversity, business practices and human rights.

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