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The Climate Group and Chicago 2016 Announce Olympic "Green" Program

Date
25 June 2008

The °Climate Group today announced an unprecedented program to link major businesses with an array of non-profit organizations to launch a comprehensive "greening" initiative in the City of Chicago in collaboration with Chicago's 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralymipc games bid.

Pat Ryan Chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016, and Chris Walker, North America Director of The °Climate Group today unveiled details of the joint Chicago 2016 - The °Climate Group initiative at a local conference on climate change.

"The Midwest is an important region in the US for addressing climate change," said Chris Walker, North America Director of The °Climate Group. "The large populations of its major cities offer a tremendous opportunity to achieve substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Chicago is at the heart of the region, and has a proven track record for its commitment to environmental responsibility, which makes taking action here key to addressing the issue and becoming a model for the region and the rest of the country."

"The bid puts a great emphasis on environmental protection as it is on of the three pillars of the Olympic movement. We are proud, not only of the leadership shown by Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago environmental initiatives such as: the green roofs program but also the contribution from our Chicago 2016 Environmental Advisory Committee, who developed the idea of 21st century green centers," said Patrick G. Ryan, Chicago 2016 Chairman and CEO. "The concept of green centers fits perfectly with our venue development plan, a plan that focuses on responsible use of our sports venue and minimal environmental impact."

Under the plan announced today, the Chicago 2016 initiative will form a coalition with established non-profit organizations which will work with the business community to identify, and then commit to creating a series of "21st Century Green Urban Centers." The centers will be located around the city's potential Olympic venues, creating innovative green spaces that demonstrate Chicago's commitment to climate action. The program will seek to create a greener Chicago, with the objective of offering a more "green" Olympic bid for the city.

The initiative will invite participation of major businesses based in Chicago, as well as national companies that have a presence in the Chicago area. Partnering with well-established non-profit environmental organizations to create these plans will help to ensure the programs deliver tangible and credible results.

The non-profit organizations involved in the initiative include ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Friends of the Chicago River.

"ICLEI is pleased to be a partner in this program and to further advance the greening of Chicago," said Amy Malick, Director of the Midwest Region for ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. "Through our office at the Chicago Department of Environment, ICLEI continues to explore new climate protection strategies for Chicago and hundreds of other local governments in the Midwest, across the country and around the world."

"We're excited to work with The Climate Group and Chicago 2016 to deploy environmental solutions in Chicago's communities for the Olympics and beyond,"said Kathryn Tholin, CEO of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. "Energy efficiency, clean and renewable power, new forms of transportation, including car sharing, and expanded green infrastructure not only reduce our carbon footprint but save money for residents, businesses, and government. In partnership with the business community, we can advance these solutions to lower carbon emissions, improve the quality of life, and reduce the cost of living in Chicago."

"Chicago is becoming a center of the emerging green economy and the nation's greenest city," said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. "We should put those principles into practice by greening the Olympics in the many ways that make good sense. This new undertaking in Chicago is another example of how by joining together, companies, government and non-profit organizations can deliver impressive results."


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For further information about The °Climate Group, please contact:

Neal McGrath Communications Director, North America
The °Climate Group
Tel: +1 646 233 0554
Cell: +1 609 672 1897
nmcgrath@theclimategroup.org 

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