2050Today Members

IOC – International Olympic Committee

Signatory institution of the 2050Today Charter

Contribution to climate action

The strategic intent for the IOC organisation is to become a role model in sustainability by 2030. The IOC Sustainability Strategy is framed around three spheres of responsibility and five focus-areas. The spheres of responsibility represent the IOC as an organisation, as owner of the Olympic Games and as leader of the Olympic movement. The five focus areas are: infrastructure including natural sites, sourcing and resource management, mobility, workforce and climate.

The IOC’s Climate Commitment includes 3 main actions:

  1. Reducing our emissions in line with the Paris Agreement

We are doing this by reducing air travel, improving energy efficiency of IOC buildings, phasing out uses of fossil fuels and increasing the proportion of zero and low carbon products. These actions conclude in the goal to reduce 50% of direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2030 (baseline: 2016-2019), with an intermediary target of -30% by 2024

  1. Compensating more than 100% of our residual emissions, mostly though the Olympic Forest project.
  2. Using our influence to encourage our stakeholders and Olympic fans to take action against climate change.

More info here: The IOC’s climate commitment

Thematic actions


Various biodiversity enhancement measures were integrated in the design of Olympic House, e.g.:

  • Half of the site area is vegetated, and the building includes 2,500 m2 of vegetated roof
  • Only indigenous plant species have been used, including pollinating plants
  • Environmentally-friendly gardening practices, involving no chemical pesticides
  • Outdoor lighting optimised so as to minimise ‘light pollution’.

Since the construction of the building, beehives and wild bee shelters were installed, and the lawn was converted into a flower meadow to further increase biodiversity and watering needs.

As part of its climate commitment, the IOC created an Olympic Forest as a way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while delivering long-term social and biodiversity benefits.

The IOC is a signatory of the Sports for Nature Framework, which it co-created in partnership with IUCN, UNEP and CBD.


Comprehensive energy efficiency measures are implemented across the three main premises of the IOC: The Olympic House (the IOC’s headquarters) and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland; and Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS)/Olympic Channel Services (OCS) facilities in Madrid, Spain.

100 per cent of the electricity used in our buildings in Lausanne and Madrid is produced from renewable sources.

The construction of the new headquarters, the Olympic House, which was inaugurated in 2019, achieved three widely recognized certifications:

    • The highest (Platinum) level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 standard. To date, with 94 points, Olympic House is the highest-scoring LEED building in its category (Building Design & Construction)
    • The highest (Platinum) level of the Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard (SNBS), being the first international headquarters, and the second building overall, to get certified at this level
  • The Minergie-P label, which guarantees that the building uses less energy per square metre than the Swiss average.

Olympic House has continued to receive international acclaim since its inauguration – including receiving the European 2020 US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award.

The new offices use half the energy per square metre than the previous headquarters.

At The Olympic Museum, the ongoing 10-year energy efficiency action plan has already delivered significant energy savings and fossil fuels have been almost completely eliminated.

Overall, carbon emissions of our buildings have already been reduced by over 70% compared to our baseline period (2016-2019).


Food purchases of the IOC restaurant are annually evaluated using the Beelong Eco-Score method and the results communicated to the staff.

Key indicators include: the proportion of local and seasonal products, the proportion of food with organic or other sustainability labels, the proportion of non-endangered fish, the proportion of vegetarian meals served, food waste production, quantities of disposable items used and CO2 emissions.On this basis, annual improvement targets are defined in collaboration with our catering partner, as part of a continuous improvement approach.


Business Travel: Specific sustainability principles have been integrated in the organisation’s travel policy, such as no flights for trips shorter than four hours.  New ways of collaboration and smart travel rules have been implemented, supported by setting carbon budgets per department and communicating individual travel-related CO2 data.

Staff commuting: Staff mobility plans – including various incentives for sustainable and active mobility, such as secured bike parking spaces, subsidies for sustainable mobility, preferential access to car park for car poolers and low emission cars, e-car chargers and daily car park fees in Lausanne – have been implemented successfully.

IOC car fleet: Fuel consumption of the IOC car fleet has constantly decreased since our baseline period, thanks to local transport optimisation measures and efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of vehicles on lease. The fleet is mostly composed of plug-in hybrid vehicles, full electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles.

Sustainable IT

We monitor the carbon footprint of our digital activities, including carbon emissions from data centers and cloud services.

The following key actions are taken to minimise the IOC’s digital footprint:

  • We include sustainability criteria in main hardware procurement projects.
  • We work with a specialised company to recondition and resale a maximum of old equipment.
  • We use external data centers supplied with renewable energy.
  • We are piloting the integration of eco-design principles in the development of selected applications and websites developed by the IOC.

These actions were identified following a comprehensive assessment of the environmental of IOC’s digital activities.

Waste management

To achieve a measurable reduction in waste quantities efforts have been focused on our five main waste streams: plastic, food, electronic waste, waste from events/exhibitions, and paper/publications. The IOC has been working to eliminate single-use plastics across all facilities: most single-use items used in catering activities have been replaced with reusable ones, while the remaining single-use items are made of compostable materials.

We are continually looking for new ways to reduce waste and increase the percentage of waste that is reused or recycled. It is an important criteria of our sustainable procurement approach and a key objective of our ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System.

Carbon Footprint

2050Today’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measurement methodology follows the GHG Protocol. The Protocol provides standards and guidance for organizations to measure and manage climate-warming emissions. It was created in 1998 through a partnership between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

According to the GHG Protocol, the distribution of emissions is done by scopes:

Scope 1 represents direct emissions linked to the consumption of fossil fuels.

Scope 2 represents indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company.

Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain (i.e. purchased good or services, business travel, employee commuting).

The 2050Today carbon footprint takes into account the reported emissions generated by the activities of the institution over one year and is divided by categories.

Energy and water : It takes into  account the amount of the consumed electricity produced and purchased by the institution. The energy consumed to heat and/or cool the institution’s building area and the consumed water are included as well.

Mobility : It takes into consideration business travels and commuting (on a survey basis).

Food : The CO2 impact of food includes the catering of the institution and individual consumption (on a survey basis) during working hours.

Purchased goods : The perimeter of purchased goods is set to a list of new office equipment, new mobility equipment (vehicles) and construction materials.

Waste : The perimeter of the waste inventory is set to waste production from facilities and internal operations of the institution

To ensure the reliability, the accuracy and a recurrent updating of the carbon footprint assessment, 2050Today is advised by an international Carbon Footprint Scientific Committee.

It has to be noted that the collected data of the 2050Today members resulting in each carbon footprint are not yet fully standardized and might not be entirely complete. Data collection is being progressively harmonized and improved. Therefore, direct comparisons between tCO2 / employee among institutions – be it in general or per sector – are not yet possible nor relevant.

The publication of the 2022 carbon footprint is currently under review. It will soon be available here.

The weight of this CO2 footprint

If we were to give a concrete weight to this carbon footprint, it would represent the weight of the following number of elephants  :

(average weight per elephant : 5’000 kilos) 

1 107 Elephants

The rate at which nature can absorb this amount of CO2

This amount of CO2 was emitted in one year. How many century-old cedars does it take to absorb this carbon footprint in the same amount of time ?

(a 100 year old cedar absorbs on average 25 kg of CO2 per year)

221 400 cedars are required

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