Paris 2024 becomes first ever Olympic and Paralympic candidate city to be awarded prestigious sustainability certificate

Amelia Fisher-Starzynski, Paris, Mar 27, 2017: Prestigious Sustainability, Grant of internationally-recognized ISO 20121 best-practice standard means Paris 2024 is on course to deliver the most sustainable Games ever.

The Paris 2024 Bid Committee has today been awarded ISO 20121 certification, becoming the first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games Candidate City to do so.

The ISO 20121 certification is an internationally-recognised standard handed out to event organisers that are able to guarantee sustainable management of major global events. The certification highlights the best-practice approach the Paris 2024 bid team has taken to ensure sustainability is at the heart of the city’s vision for the Games.

The independent, Swiss-based audit body, SGS, which awarded the certification, found that the Paris 2024 Organising Committee has excelled in four key areas of sustainable, responsible event planning. These are:
• Social Consultation – Paris 2024 has consulted with a number of social development bodies (NGO’s, Unions, Civil Society, political parties) on every aspect of its bid, ensuring sustainable and responsible planning

• Commitment to stakeholders – including schools, public sector, sports entities, private companies (17 of Paris 2024’s corporate partners all offer innovative services to ensuring a progressive, sustainable bid as referenced on -newest sponsor SNCF was not part of the audit)

• Governance – Paris 2024’s bid is built upon an ingrained code of ethics which practices financial transparency, environmental responsibility and sustainable innovation

• Legacy – The Paris 2024 Games will leave a lasting legacy for the people of France, with more sport, sustainable projects, and social enterprises than ever before

Sustainability is at the heart of the Paris 2024 bid, with the Games set to be the most responsible in history. The City of Paris has further established itself as a global leader in environmental initiatives and at the forefront of the fight against climate change over the past year, beating 125 cities in 2016 to be crowned World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Global Earth Hour City. On Saturday (25 March 2017) Paris 2024 once again played a key role in this year’s Earth Hour, with Co-Chair Tony Estanguet switching off the lights of the Eiffel Tower to mark Paris’ commitment to the global event and the bid’s pledge to deliver the first Games fully aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement.

2016 also saw Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, elected President of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, while just three months ago Paris picked up a prestigious C40 Cities Award, recognising it as one of the world’s most innovative cities tackling climate change.

More recently, organisers of all major sporting events in France signed a charter on sustainability with Paris 2024 and WWF France, promising a more sustainable approach to event hosting across the country.

Paris 2024’s concept also promises that 100% of spectators will travel by public transport during the Games, contributing to a 55% smaller carbon footprint than London 2012, which currently stands as the most sustainable Games to date. Achieving this would cement Paris 2024’s status as the most sustainable Games in history.

Paris 2024 bid co-chairman, Tony Estanguet, said:
“Sustainable development has been at the heart of our project since the very beginning, and will continue to be so. It is not an objective but a part of our bid’s DNA.

“We have devised a comprehensive project that promotes a low carbon impact, responsible management, financial transparency and a unique Games legacy.

“We have the ambition to offer Games that will have a positive, lasting impact on French society and on the Olympic movement. The ISO 20121 certification guarantees that we will organize sustainable Games, in accordance with the Agenda 2020.”

Paris 2024 Head of Sustainability, Jerome Lachaze, said:
“Environmental responsibility is part of our DNA. Since the beginning of the bid, we have been driven by a strong environmental ambition, in accordance with the Paris Accord. Paris 2024’s project puts forward a sustainable management system that guarantees our candidature maintains an exemplary approach to sustainable development.

“Our objective is to go further than current standards by respecting Olympic Agenda 2020 and organising the most sustainable Games ever. The ISO 20121 certification guarantees that Paris 2024 will have, from the very beginning, a sustainable management system that will exceed IOC expectations.”

SGS Development Director, Zakri Toufik, said:
“SGS carried out a thorough audit of Paris 2024’s candidature including risk identification and evaluation, dialogue with stakeholders, operational control and communication. The audit highlighted a real consistency between the executive management’s vision and the systems and processes put in place to create a sound economic, environmental, social and societal project. Several strong points were identified, particularly the strength of the dialogue with stakeholders. Since the very beginning of the project, Paris 2024 has established strong values such as inclusion, integrity and transparency.”

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