Case study: a carbon neutral legacy for an international sporting event


SITUATION: A  large international sporting event was  planned.

The investment by the host city needed to lead to a more environmental city including reduced waste and emissions, a better carbon profile and more jobs created in the circular economy.

FRAMING QUESTION: How can a sporting event make best use of the investment in the arrangements around the event to spark off the sustainable circular economy in the city and at the same time increase the number of jobs available for city residents?

SOLUTION: Create a complete biomass waste stream handling infrastructure around the event, inviting the attendees to invest by carbon compensating their journey to the event. Then use this infrastructure to spread to the other parts of the city.

Initial research showed that the UK Olympic games had done a considerable amount of research on the climate impact of the games. The British were also well aware of the importance of legacy for the economic development of the country. By far the largest impact on the climate was from the transport to the games, much of it by plane.
In terms of investment possibilities it was thought that it would be possible to sell some kind of souvenir from the event as a collectable that could represent one ton of Carbon Dioxide sequestered. The best way to sequester carbon would be to produce biochar and put it into compost for gardening as a soil enhancer.
In this way visitors to the event would compensate their flights, get a collectable to pass on, and the money be invested  in helping local residents build soil.
Local landowners could also be contacted as possible recipients for the soil enhancement, with a discount offered for landowners who registered the GPS coordinates of the land they were intending to use the soil enhancement on. If they bought the soil enhancement within a certain date, a discount could be offered as encouragement.
In this way, many people in the city could be involved in , and profit from , the circular economy  evolving from the sport event.
It is best to burn dry wood waste to produce char, so it was also decided to propose wooden and paper cutlery and drink utensils that would be collected separately from wet waste. The wet waste could be collected and turned into biogas.
The ideal investment would be one that left after it a legacy of making heat and biochar from dry wood based waste, and biogas and compost from wet waste. The two by products could be combined and sold as soil enhancers.
The infographic provided (SPORTEVENT.pdf) shows the idea in overview. An important next step is to do a pre-study on the idea to explore the economic possibilities.

Learn more : Biomass Municipality


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