Team Canada Climate Action Resources

As a sports leader in this country, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) acknowledges that it has a role to play to initiate climate action and that it has to reduce its carbon footprint.

Here are some ways in which the organization is both leading and supporting efforts towards sustainable sport:

United Nations Sport for Climate Action Commitment

In 2020, the COC became a signatory to the United Nations Sport for Climate Action, an initiative launched in 2018 by UN Climate Change and the International Olympic Committee with the aim of developing a climate agenda for sport.

In the spring of 2022, the COC committed to the UN Race to Zero Framework, which includes the following interim and long-term targets: 

1) Reduce the organization’s carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 as a minimum

2) Achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040

As part of this commitment, the COC will be submitting to the UN a concrete plan on how the organization intends to reach these targets.

On a yearly basis, the COC will measure and report to the UN on its annual carbon footprint as well as the progress being made with emissions reductions by comparing to its base year.

More than a dozen other NOCs have already become signatories to the Sport for Climate Action Racer to Zero Framework, including (as of September 2022):

Several other Canadian sports organizations are also signatories to the Sport for Climate Action Framework, including (as of September 2022):

Along with these signatories and other sport organizations across the country, the COC is also part of the Canadian Alliance on Sports for Climate Action, a community of practice on sport and climate action. The hope is that many more actors within the Canadian sport system will join this group to share best practices and to be inspired by each other’s climate action journeys.

Team Canada Athletes on Climate Action

The COC continues to be inspired by Team Canada athletes who are directly involved in projects on climate action, such as:

  • Seyi Smith, two-time Olympian in athletics and bobsleigh, received an OLY Legacy Grant to support his Racing to Zero initiative. The goal is to make sports events starting at the grassroots level more environmentally friendly with respect to plastic waste, transportation, and other aspects of sustainability.

Green Sports Day

Green Sports Day Canada is on October 6. It was first celebrated in 2021 to launch a national conversation about sustainable sport.

The 2022 edition features different activities including virtual panels, a documentary screening, co-taught lessons for schools, and waste cleanups in cities across the country led by Team Canada Olympians and Paralympians. With the support of COC Premier National Partner Canadian Tire, which is providing trash bags and gloves, Olympians Alannah Yip, Evan Dunfee, Martha McCabe, Melissa Humana-Parades, Seyi Smith, and Émilie Fournel are looking forward to making a difference with you. Visit to learn the locations and how to participate.

IOC Carbon Action Awards

The COC has previously been recognized for work undertaken to reduce carbon emissions. In 2020 and 2021, the COC was among a small group of NOCs (five in 2020, seven in 2021) that received IOC Carbon Action Awards, which were created to inspire climate action by recognizing the sustainability efforts of sports organizations within the Olympic Movement. Having demonstrated its efforts to start reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the COC was rewarded with carbon offsets and has been considered carbon neutral for two years.

Here are some examples of initiatives the COC has taken that contributed to the IOC Carbon Action Awards:

  • In 2021, the Canadian Olympic School Program renewed its Greenest Olympic Games resource for students and teachers across the country. Since it was first launched in 2019, this resource has been widely downloaded, including in other countries such as the United States, Kenya, and South Africa. The COC is proud of the success for this resource and the number of children it has reached.
  • In 2020, the COC and its partners donated food and beverages intended to be used at the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo to a food bank which then distributed it among 253 community organizations.
  • For Beijing 2022, the COC worked with partner General Mills to turn their longtime campaign of Cheerios Cheer Cards into a digital format. For over a decade, more than 100,000 physical Cheer Cards had been cut from cardboard cereal boxes and mailed to the Olympic Games. The new virtual experience eliminated that volume of shipping and instead sent cheers directly to a digital booth in the Olympic Village.
  • The COC continues to explore partnering with companies and organizations who share sustainability values and are actively engaged in making a difference towards climate issues. These include: lululemon, Toyota, Canadian Tire, and Petro-Canada.   
  • One thing the COC did with Official Outfitter lululemon was approve the licensing of a reusable water bottle for retail sale to contribute to the efforts to reduce single use plastic bottles.