ASIDE from medals that were made from metals recovered from discarded mobile phones and electronic devices, there are other initiatives done by the organizers to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games environment-friendly. With the slogan “Be better, together—For the planet and the people,” Japan even involved its citizens in this massive undertaking.
The podiums for the medal ceremony of winning athletes like Hidilyn Diaz and Nesthy Petecio were also made from recycled materials. Procter and Gamble (P&G) partnered with Tokyo 2020 organizers to make the podiums from plastic, such as shampoo bottles, donated by the public and recovered from the oceans. Collection boxes for used plastics were placed in over 2,000 outlets of AEON, a Japanese retail chain. After the Games, the podiums will be used for educational purposes and also recycled back into packaging for P&G products.
The uniforms of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torchbearers were produced in part from recycled plastic bottles collected by Coca-Cola. The Tokyo 2020 staff and volunteer uniforms were also made from sustainable materials, including recycled polyester and materials derived from plants. A special dyeing process that requires a minimum amount of water was used to produce the uniform shoes.
The Olympic torch, designed with a cherry blossom motif, was produced using approximately 30 percent of aluminum waste from temporary housing that was built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The use of the recycled material is also a symbol of peace and to highlight the steps taken towards the reconstruction of disaster-affected areas.
The Plaza of Olympic Village was built with borrowed, sustainably sourced timber. The collection of wood was done through a project called “Japanese Lumber Relay: A Village Plaza Built by All at the Athletes' Village.” Under the project, lumber borrowed free of charge from local governments across Japan were used to construct the Village Plaza. After the Games, lumber from the dismantled Village Plaza will be used as a legacy in local governments’ public facilities and elsewhere.
For carbon reduction, carmaker Toyota provided a wide range of zero-emission vehicles including fuel cell electric vehicles. A news report said that the company supplied 100 hydrogen fuel cell buses and 500 hydrogen cars. In addition, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid vehicles were used to bolster Tokyo’s current public transportation system.
Electricity was supplied by renewable sources, such as solar, biomass and hydropower. These efforts are projected to reduce games-related CO2 emissions by about 280,000 metric tons. The wood for biomass power was derived from construction waste and tree clippings in Japan.
In December 2018, Tokyo 2020 was one of the first signatories of the United Nations Sports for Climate Action framework. Co-created and co-led by the International Olympic Committee, the framework calls on the sports world to jointly develop a climate action agenda for sport.