South Korea wins a gold medal for sustainability

South Korea should win a gold medal for its energy efficiency successes in its hosting of the Winter Olympics. That’s the verdict from the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), which […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

South Korea should win a gold medal for its energy efficiency successes in its hosting of the Winter Olympics.

That’s the verdict from the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), which says the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) has managed to cut carbon intensity through the careful management of transportation and accommodation.

The group says the recent construction of a 120-kilometre high-speed railway connecting the site of the games to important cities and airports means trains can reduce the carbon footprint of passengers to an eighth of what they would generate travelling in petrol or diesel vehicles.

POCOG predicts 6,654 tonnes of emissions can be saved if 420,000 visitors use the railway rather than personal vehicles.

It also signed an agreement with the Korea Electric Power Corporation to provide staff with 150 electric vehicles (EVs) and 24 rapid charging stations.

These will remain after the event finishes, providing infrastructure to support the continued use of efficient EVs.

POCOG also built 11 green sports facilities, designed to consume less energy and reduce pollution throughout their life cycle, from design to construction and maintenance.

These include the Gangneung Ice Arena, which ASE says saves energy through LED lighting, efficient insulation, airtight doors and windows and a water circulation system.