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Renewables and sustainability at the Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics uses 100% renewable energy for its venues and facilities. The Olympic village is a showcase of a functioning hydrogen city. Hydrogen is in use to heat water for the cafeterias, dormitories and training facilities.

Much of the electricity for the precinct is generated from wood biomass power, using construction leftovers and tree clippings. Another source is from solar power generation facilities in Fukushima Prefecture.

The Olympic flame itself has been fuelled by hydrogen since it began its relay around Japan in March. Now burning brightly in the Olympic cauldron, the hydrogen-powered flame does not produce carbon dioxide. 

Athletes and officials are being transported around in 500 Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and 100 fuel cell buses.

Even the athletes’ medals are sustainably produced. Over 40,000 tonnes of tech waste and 5 million old mobile phones were recycled into the gold, silver and bronze awards.

‘With their immense reach and visibility, the Olympic Games are a great opportunity to demonstrate technologies which can help tackle today’s challenges, such as climate change,’ Marie Sallois, director for corporate and sustainable development at the International Olympic Committee.

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Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

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Photo: Naomi Osaka after igniting the Tokyo Olympics hydrogen-burning cauldron. (Getty)