2014 Alberta Winter Games

While Co-Director of the Sustainability Advisory Committeecreated the greenest multi-sport games in history.

  • 1,800 Athletes
  • 473 Coaches and officials
  • 2,100 Volunteers
  • 5,485 Spectators
  • 39 facilities
  • Athletes from the province of Alberta

Quote from a volunteer “Towards Zero Waste Ambassador” For the 2014 Alberta Winter Games

“Recycled my little heart out today at the curling rink.  Dinner for 1300 in two hours was crazy but I think it went well- only three bags of garbage. Good work on that initiative, some kids had never even heard of refundable drink boxes never mind compost.”

Project Executive Summary

In February 2014, the Town of Banff and the Town of Canmore hosted the Alberta Winter Games. Recognizing that a large multi-sport event would draw on environmental resources in the Bow Valley, the 2014 Banff/Canmore Alberta Winter Games, on behalf of both Towns, created a “2014 Alberta Winter Games Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee”.  This committee incorporated sustainable actions into the framework of the Games, educated and engaged the local population, the athletes, and the spectators, and communicated their successes both prior to and during the Games.  The key success for the committee was that the 2014 Banff/Canmore Alberta Winter Games reduced its impact on the environment, left green infrastructure behind in both communities, and provided tools, resources, and inspiration for the athletes, parents, and all future sporting events so that they too can build upon these successes in their regions.

In hosting the 2014 Alberta Winter Games, the Towns of Banff and Canmore not only committed to developing a highly successful sporting event, but also to hosting a Games that incorporated sustainable initiatives into its framework.  Successful implementation of the sustainability strategies of the 2014 Alberta Winter Games demonstrated the strong commitment both communities have to sustainability in the Bow Valley.  The Games showcased sustainability initiatives not just to the local communities, but also to a broader audience of people from all across Alberta, thereby magnifying our reach and future impact.  The Games were a collaborative community event bridging political boundaries and at the same time fostering and enhancing both communities’ shared commitment to sustainability. The Games successfully incorporated waste reduction, alternative energies, greenhouse gas carbon offsetting, sustainable transit, water conservation, idle free programming, and the educational/communications strategies to celebrate all these initiatives.

Alberta Sport Connection, the provincial body that oversees the management of the Alberta Winter Games, does not mandate making the Games sustainable.  The Towns of Banff and Canmore voluntarily ensured that they were.

Final report – http://bvwaste.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/AWG-Sustainability-Final-Report.pdf

  • Calculated and offset with REC’s the entire GHG loading of the event
  • Calculated and/or offset with REC’s the entire electrical load of the event
    • Some facilities already utilized green energy offsets
  • Delivered a TZW (Towards Zero Waste) program at 39 sites simultaneously with an 84% waste diversion success.
  • Developed educational initiatives with local schools (https://www.dropbox.com/s/eb8rtq57kcf7qxa/alberta%20winter%20games%20sustanability%20video%20-final.mp4
  • While operating off a $0 budget delivered all the above PLUS almost $200,000 in cash and legacies to the games and the Bow Valley
  • Guided 39 Co-Directors towards our goals by creating and utilizing a purchasing and procurement guide.
  • Developed a “Walk On” program to provide free mass transit programs for all participants between Canmore and Banff and throughout Banff.
  • In partnership with CRAZ (Calgary Region Airshed Zone) developed an idle free program. We planned and executed a idle free program with the goal of a “White paper” to determine the results of the games on the air of the Bow Valley and our efforts to mitigate the affect of 10,000 visitors.
  • The overall result, we had no measureable affect on the air quality against the base data. We consider this a success, as it was -29 to – 10C throughout the event.
  • With the towns of Canmore and Banff we deliver a “drink local” program. We gave every participant (2800 bottles) a commemorative stainless steel water bottle and did not allow the vending of single serving beverage containers at any location we could control.
Water bottle program