The making of the IOC environmental policy as the third dimension of the Olympic movement (2000)

In this 2000 paper published by Hart Cantelon and Michael Letters, the development of environmental policy in the IOC is traced historically and thematically.


Organizations such as the IOC have received increasing pressure to respond to concerns about the environmental impact of their mega-events. The creation of value-laden policies on environmental responsibility in an international organization such as the IOC is complicated. Further, the mobility of these events (changing from one location to another for each occurrence) adds complexity to the creation of these policies, as different countries and locations have different notions of what constitutes 'the environment' and the degree to which it must be protected, and how.

The authors contend that discourse about globalization overwhelmingly favors the social, political, and economic dimensions over the environmental. In the local/global debate, even when it comes to the international organizations like the IOC, the local discourses dominate (e.g. the local practices and cultural norms are privileged over the global).

The IOC environmental policy, and the inclusion of environment as a third pillar of the Olympic Movement (along with culture and sport) followed a dramatically damaging Games in Albertville, France in 1992. Environmentalism in the IOC was inspired and catalyzed largely by local support and enthusiasm for sustainability in Lillehammer, Norway, host of the Winter Games in 1994.


CITE: Cantelon, H., & Letters, M. (2000). The making of the IOC environmental policy as the third dimension of the Olympic movement. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 35(3), 294–308.

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