Stockholm Åre 2026 marked UN World Environment Day today by reiterating the bid’s pledge to deliver the first ever climate-positive Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with a transformational sustainability programme driven by Sweden’s global leadership in environmental protection and green innovation.
Stockholm Åre 2026’s vision is for Sweden’s first ever Winter Games – and all future Games – to contribute to a stronger, better and more sustainable world. This vision is underpinned by Sweden’s proven track record in environmental performance, sustainability and green living.
Nationally, Sweden already has among the world’s most ambitious climate targets, aiming to cut emissions by 70% by 2030 and reach full climate neutrality by 2045. That national culture of sustainability was in evidence on the slopes of Åre earlier this year, when the town hosted the first ever fossil fuel-free FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Stockholm Åre 2026 will convene a Sustainability Council comprised of independent experts, stakeholders, academics, community groups, NGOs and private sector representatives to guide sustainability innovation, but the bid has already developed concrete proposals.
For example, any flights the Organising Committee charters between Games venues in Stockholm, Åre and Riga will be double compensated at gold standard level for greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring the use of predominantly existing facilities yields maximum benefit. Overall, any unavoidable CO2 emissions will be offset by a minimum of 115%.
Stockholm Åre 2026 CEO Richard Brisius said: “Sustainability is in our DNA. Our nation’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals allied to our bid’s commitment to Olympic Agenda 2020 means Sweden’s first ever Winter Games will set new sustainability standards. Climate change is our planet’s most important challenge, so ‘neutrality’ is not enough: Stockholm Åre 2026 is committed to climate-positive Games. Sweden and the Olympic Movement can be the perfect partners in achieving this bold objective.”
Stockholm Åre 2026 has set a target of 0% waste and 100% reuse or recycling across the life of the Organising Committee. The Winter Games will make maximum use of emerging technologies in green building and overlay materials, and in low-carbon and electric vehicles, integrating new innovations as they become available in Sweden’s world-leading sustainability economy.
Earlier in the week, Maria Wetterstrand, a former Green Party member of Sweden’s Riksdag, gave an impassioned speech at the Swedish Olympic Committee headquarters on Stockholm Åre 2026’s potential to rewrite the rules on staging sustainable mega-events.
Speaking on Monday, Wetterstrand said: “There are huge possibilities in the dream of the Olympic and Paralympic Games that can boost energy in the region to start new ambitious cooperation, set new targets and speed up the pace in finding solutions. 2026 could be the year when the Stockholm region proves to the world that is has taken huge steps towards the global 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and that this is the result of a joint effort from the whole society in the spirit of the Olympic Movement!”