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Energetic Olympics

Start Date: Mar 29, 2007
Completion Date: Dec 31, 2009
Country: Canada
  • Canadian International Development Agency's Public Engagement Fund
Key Contact(s):

Kim Struthers, Energy Programmer

Project Description

Energetic Olympics is challenging 16 BC municipalities (and their residents) to reduce their energy consumption and energy footprint over a two-year period leading up to the Olympics. Strategies to reduce their energy consumption and energy footprint, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, are being profiled in both the context of the developing world and Canada.

To capture the spirit of the Olympic Games, the Energetic Olympics consist of five “events”. These include Food and Consumption, Heating, Electricity, Goods and Services and Transportation.

Actions can range from passing an anti-idling by-law to participation in the annual Commuter Challenge, changing to compact fluorescent lightbulbs to forming a recycling committee, installing renewable energy systems or improving household energy efficiency. For example, under the Food and Consumption event category there are a number of low cost approaches to gain points such as starting to compost, supporting local farmer markets, organizing a 100-mile meal or a workshop, creating a community garden or even developing a pesticide reduction policy.

Our games officially began in January 2008 with communities “weighing-in” by filling out a base-line survey and an expression of interest. The competition involves municipalities with populations of less than 20,000 residents. A description of the events and a scorecard of how to score points are available on the website. Gold, silver and bronze medals (prizes) will be awarded based on the amount of points earned in both “lightweight” (communities with less than 5,000 residents) and “heavyweight” (communities with 5,000 or more residents) categories. Winners will be announced before the 2010 Olympic games.

Communities who have taken up the challenge include 100 Mile House, Burns Lake, Chetwynd, Comox, Dawson Creek, Fort St. James, Gibsons, Ladysmith, McBride, Port Edward, Prince Rupert, Sechelt, Smithers, Telkwa, Terrace and the Village of Queen Charlotte.  More information can be found here: Energetic Olympics homepage

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates that close to 50% of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be influenced by decisions made by municipal governments. Municipalities can reduce GHG emissions through land use decisions, energy and transportation planning, infrastructure design, green procurement, building retrofits, water conservation, solid waste diversion and the use of distributed energy systems.

By participating in Energetic Olympics, municipalities are showing leadership on these issues and a number of Energetic Olympics’ municipal participants have signed BC’s Climate Action Charter, committing to being carbon neutral by 2012. One Sky applauds their efforts!

BC Climate Action Charter

Contact Kim at 250-877-6030 or email her if you have any questions or want to get involved.