Environmental sustainability will be a focus of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth games, with an eye to leaving the city a green legacy.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) is exploring ways to look after the environment in the lead-up to, during and beyond the event.
Sustainability has become an integral part of major events across the globe.
GOLDOC sustainability manager Chelli Easson said it was not all about paper cups and looking after wildlife, but also looking at the environmental footprint, carbon emissions and waste management.
“It’s not just about the environment, it’s not just about being green, but they are very important aspects to what we do,” she said.
“We also look at making sure the venues are accessible for people with any sorts of mobility impairments or other impairments, so that everyone can have the same great experience.
“Community consultation has highlighted areas of public concern.
One in particular that has emerged is restricting the use of plastics and helium balloons.
“That’s a big issue, particularly being so close to the ocean, and the Gold Coast has more canals than Venice and Amsterdam combined,” Ms Easson said.
“We’re a water-based city and the pollution that comes from plastics and the impact that has on marine life is very important to locals.”
The organisers also want to make sure the social, economic and environmental practices adopted during the games are continued into the future.
“[We’re] looking for positive legacies to leave behind for the city and the region following the games,” Ms Easson said.
Sustainable Events managing director Fiona Pelham worked with the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
She said the biodiversity of the two countries made a huge difference.
“That will affect things like the food that’s grown locally and the food that can be used,” she said.
“It will also affect the roles that different volunteers will have to do on the day at the games.”
Ms Pelham has praised the Gold Coast community consultation and said the local organisers were in a unique position to create a lasting, positive legacy.
“The games will only happen once and then it will disappear,” she said.
“Then it is up to the local community to really own this so that they can attract maybe more sports events or more business events in the future.”
She has encouraged local environmental and sustainability community groups to get in touch with GOLDOC.
Credit:ABC Gold Coast