Sustainable Road to PyeongChang

The Olympic vision is "New Horizons for Sustainability - Furthering benefits to People and Nature" which means co-existence and co-development of human and nature, through sports with a sustainable legacy to Gangwon Province and the Republic of Korea. Take a look at the efforts over the past decades implementing sustainable regulations in South Korea. 


Sustainable Road Blocks:

The most publicized environmental controversy in PyeongChang involved a centuries-old virgin forest that was partially cleared to create a run for the alpine ski competitions. Critics said the forest on Mount Gariwang included rare tree species that could are irreplaceable. Their destruction would alter the ecosystem forever. Organizers rejected the idea of holding the events at an already-established ski slope but promised to reduce the area designated for clearance at the new site, combine all courses on a single run (the first time for alpine events) and avoid clearing the densest vegetation growth areas.

Given that future tourism for Olympic cities never materializes. The IOC has noticed this problem. The next Olympics cycle is in Tokyo and Beijing. Both these cities have hosted before and will use already-existing venues rather than building new ones. This "build less" strategy could also apply to future hosts like Paris and Los Angeles. PyeongChang could be one of the last "built from scratch” Olympics. Some are already concerned that the Games won’t make a profit when ticket sales and sponsorships are added up.



Korea's 'Island Without Carbon' project!!

Overview: Jeju Island located in the southern part of Korea, became a Free International City in 2002. It's natural beauty, and clean environment was designated as World Natural Heritage Site, Biosphere Reserve, and Global Geopark by UNESCO. Their goal for 2030 is to become carbon-free by relying solely on renewable energy to become self-sufficient. 

Source: here


Jeju residents will also see the proliferation of electric cars and smart homes, among many other improvements:

  1. Wind and solar power - combined will give the island surplus of energy.
  2. Smart-grid technologies - Jeju will aim to be the world's smart grid leading city
  3. Electric cars -371,000 electric cars and 225,000 rechargers will be available across the island by 2030, with improved laws and regulations to promote the use of electric cars.
  4. Green jobs - About 40,000 green jobs will be created, mostly through carbon emissions training.

Measured success:

Residence saw their electric bill decreased by 1/5 with an increase in the number of tourists from 40,000 in 2011 to 110,000 in 2015. The stored surplus from both wind power and solar power are a benefit as the supply for both energy sources are not stable. 


Despite the harmful effects of climate change, efforts are being made to curb rising temperatures. The following features bring you innovative approaches by South Korea's government, corporations, community and individual contributors, helping to combat the effects of climate change.


In 2013, Korea implemented a pay per use policy in which homeowners were charged a fee to dispose of food waste. The installation of the food waste machines happened in 16 cities. They automatically weigh the discarded food waste and charged the household owners. The fee helped Koreans reduce food waste.

The three forms of billing systems included: 1. RFID Food Waste Management System, users, tap an RFID card and billed monthly to their account. 2. Pre-paid garbage bags were designed to be priced based on volume. 3) Barcode management system by purchasing barcode stickers attached to the bins.

Source:  FAO

Source: FAO


Upcycle community: Reusing to reduce waste

Korea Upcycle Design Exhibition (2014)

Upcycling, the taking of something old to remake into a new product. The concept is not new but its something that is gaining a lot of interest especially within the DIY culture.