Tokyo 2020 Looks to Tomorrow on World Environment Day

As Japan celebrated the 40th anniversary of World Environment Day today, its capital city continued to prepare for a spectacular - and sustainable - Olympic and Paralympic Games in the heart of one of the world's most dynamic cities. Tokyo 2020 leaders are intently focused on ensuring that the 2020 Summer Games would deliver a lasting social and sporting legacy, including sustainable construction and a continued commitment to energy conservation.

Tokyo 2020 organisers envision environmentally-responsible sports facilities, including a new Olympic Stadium that would perfectly suit athletes and spectators in 2020, and would also sustainably benefit generations to come. All venues and facilities being built or renovated for the 2020 Tokyo Games would meet the CASBEE energy-efficiency building certification standard, Japan's tool for assessing and rating the environmental performance of buildings (the equivalent to LEED in the US and BREEAM in the UK). The plan calls for maximum use of natural energy, renewable sources, and recycled construction materials.

"World Environment Day gives all of us a good reason to again think about the importance of respecting today's environment for the sake of tomorrow," said Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno. "Public events large and small must be designed for minimum impact on the environment, and the Olympic Games are no exception. The Tokyo 2020 plan minimises the Games' environmental impact in all facets, including building materials, waste reduction, smart water use and more." Mizuno is also a member of the International Olympic Committee's Sport and Environment Commission.

The 2020 Games plan meshes with Tokyo Vision 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's (TMG) long-term plan to turn the city into a showcase of urban sustainability under an unprecedented urban and environmental transformation over the next eight years.
Tokyo Vision 2020 includes initiatives for green technology, transport and sport, especially for the younger generation, as part of meeting the city's long-term development needs for new homes, offices, transport and green space.

To date, a new city policy is promoting more solar power systems in Tokyo. Meanwhile, more than 463 ha of green space were created between 2007 and 2010 in the city centre, and projects for further greening are underway. The book says its goal is 1,000,000 street trees by 2016, and looks to further increase this number by 2020. Tokyo aims to become a city in harmony with nature, with more open spaces and greenery integrated with long-term development. For example, the Sea Forest zone being created in Tokyo Bay will reconnect the city and the sea to increase cooling breezes in the city.

Hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is indispensable to Tokyo's plan to reinvigorate the city through sustainable urban development under Tokyo Vision 2020.

Mizuno said: "The environment is the third dimension of Olympism, alongside sport and culture. For decades Tokyo has been a world leader in long-term environmental planning.
Hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will serve as the catalyst to create the ultimate 21st century showcase of environmental responsibility and sustainability."

World Environment Day, which was established with Japan's urging in 1972 at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, is a key pillar of the United Nations' efforts to stimulate global environmental awareness and political attention and action.

Many World Environment Day events took place in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park, a large green space that hosted the Olympic Village during the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and thereafter became a magnificent legacy of the Games that has benefitted countless millions. Over the past weekend, the annual Ecolife Fair was held, attracting large numbers of environmentally-conscious people and raising awareness of the impact that people have on the environment. Goshi Hosono, Japan's Environment Minister, was among the speakers.
Yoyogi National Stadium

Iconic Tokyo 1964 Games Venue Yoyogi National Stadium sits next to Tokyo's abundant greenery