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© 2018 Sport Ecology Group

The environmental legacies of the Olympic Games

Though environmental sustainability has been considered a priority in the Olympic Movement since the 1990s, very little research has explored how 'green' legacies are planned nor managed. This exploratory study drew on ‘insider’ accounts of green legacies of the Olympic Games to generate an understanding of the drivers of green legacies.

The study found that the four determinants of green legacies are: 1) the breadth and depth of environmental commitments during the bid process; 2) embedding sustainability in the vision, mission, and branding of organizing committees; 3) embedding sustainability in various aspects of Olympic Games organization; and 4) knowledge transfer from one Olympic Games to the next.

The analysis revealed that each city was unique and the influence of the local cultural, infrastructural, governmental, and social pressures influence green legacies. As such, there is no 'one size fits all' solution to creating green legacies.


CITE: Samuel, S., & Stubbs, W. (2013). Green Olympics, green legacies? An exploration of the environmental legacies of the Olympic Games. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 48(4), 485–504.

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