By Robert Fawdon, Paris, France: May 6, 2016: The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Bid Committee has today formed a strategic partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in France to ensure the bid and the city’s Games Plan implements best practice in sustainability with the ultimate aim of delivering a Games that changes behaviors and encourages a responsible approach to environmental issues.
The alliance between Paris 2024 and WWF France was signed by bid Co-Chairmen, Bernard Lapasset and Tony Estanguet – who is also a member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission – and WWF France President, Isabelle Autissier, an internationally recognized environmental scientist and the first woman to have completed an in competition solo world navigation [Sailing] in 1991.
The partnership is in line with the sustainability practices set out in the IOC’s Agenda 2020 vision and supports the ambition for Paris 2024 to become a ‘laboratory of innovation’, leading the way in the reinvention of the city. An example of this pioneering action can be seen through the plans for the proposed Olympic Village which will be converted into a new ‘Eco City’ with 3,500 homes for local people. Once finalized, this innovative and environmentally-sensitive area will form a diverse, pleasant and multi-functional urban centre in the heart of Paris.
Autissier will also Chair the new Paris 2024 Committee for Environmental Excellence which will further integrate green initiatives and sustainable innovations into the bid project. Further details of the Committee will be unveiled in the coming weeks and additional members of the group will include NGOs, environmental scientists, journalists and entrepreneurs.
Tony Estanguet, who delivered a keynote speech on ‘Innovation of French Sport and the Climate’ at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change [COP21] in December and also spoke on sustainable mobility in relation to EURO 2016 at the 11 Tricolore event, will also be involved in the Committee.
Paris 2024 Co-Chairman, Tony Estanguet, said:
“Sustainable development has been at the heart of our campaign since the very beginning. This is not just a box ticking exercise; it is the very DNA of the bid we are building with our athletes and partners. The agreement with WWF France will allow us to deliver a project integrating new infrastructure with temporary and existing venues with a sharp focus on renewable energy, sustainable mobility, food and waste management and preservation of biodiversity.
“We aim to deliver a Games that has a positive impact up on the lives of French people. For example, the River Seine will be a key feature of our Games Plan and it will undergo a major clean-up programme helping to further connect people with the local environment through sport, making it a swimming destination that the public can use for many years beyond the Games. Paris 2024 is the catalyst for this process.
“We are also delighted that the Paris 2024 Environmental Excellence Committee will be chaired by Isabelle Autissier. Isabelle is exceptionally well qualified for this role and I know she will do a fantastic job. We’re looking forward to announcing further details about the Committee in the coming weeks.”
Isabelle Autissier, President of WWF France, said:
“Based on the experience of WWF UK at London 2012, we know that the Games are a unique opportunity to accelerate change in favour of lifestyles involving better living and sustainability.
“The Paris 2024 bid committee shares our ambitious vision. That’s why I agreed, as President of WWF France, to chairing the Paris 2024 Committee for Environmental Excellence. Our mission is to ensure that the environmental ambition of the Paris 2024 bid is translated into concrete actions and innovative solutions for the benefit of all. This is an essential criterion for support.
“WWF France will also bring all of its experience to make the 2024 Games a sustainable model and a blueprint for future major sporting events.”