Poster, 'Be a champion for the environment', autographed, paper, Green Games, Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, made for the Sport and Environment Commission and the International Olympic Committee c.2000
This is a unique example of the posters that the IOC and the Sport and Environment Commission released for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Its borders feature the signatures of sixteen renowned Olympic athletes who supported the IOC environmental agenda: Valeriy Borzov, Anita DeFrantz, Jonathan Edwards, Kevin Gosper, Charmaine Crooks, Kipchoge Keino, Michael Gross, Herb Elliot, Nawal El Moutawakel, Sebastian Coe, Sergei Bubka, Pal Schmitt, Alexander Popov, Joan Creus, Irena Szewinska and Rob Beamon. IOC president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, also signed the poster, and included the appeal, "please join us".
This poster reflects unanimous international support for the IOC environmental agenda, and a peak in agenda promotions during the Sydney 2000 Games. Furthermore, it is a significant record of the change that occurred within international sport during the 1990s when sporting bodies began to acknowledge their reliance and impact upon the environment.
In early 1993, the Sydney 2000 Olympics Bid Committee developed an ambitious environmental policy to supplement its bid for the Sydney 2000 Games. Central to this was the Environmental Management System (EMS), a direct response to the IOC's own agenda that integrated policies of sport and sustainable development. Importantly, the EMS gained formal approval from Greenpeace and the IOC and strengthened Sydney's contention for the Games.
EMS addressed five key environmental areas that ultimately influenced most Sydney 2000 operations. These areas were water conservation, waste avoidance and minimisation, pollution avoidance, and the protection of significant natural and cultural environments. In 1995, two years after Sydney won its Olympic bid, SOCOG began to structure these areas into programmes and policies, and also developed a series of promotional campaigns. From this time onwards, an independent coalition of six environmental groups (the Australian Conservation Foundation, the National Parks Association of NSW Incorporated, the National Toxics Network, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, and the Total Environment Centre) monitored SOCOG's environmental activities.
Until 2000, the sporting world had virtually ignored its reliance and impact upon the environment. The Sydney 2000 Games set a new environmental benchmark however, developing an extensive waste minimisation system, showcasing innovations in eco-design, and establishing partnerships between Australian industries and environmental groups. Most importantly, it left environmental legacies that included new products and services, community and industry awareness, eco-friendly sporting facilities, and new standards for the development of future sporting events.
Also arising from the Sydney Games was an archive of promotional material, including pamphlets, posters, CD ROMs and video cassettes. This material contributed to raising community and industry awareness before and during the Sydney 2000 Games.
Illustration by Thierry de Montvallon, Lausanne, Switzerland
Made for the Sport and Environment Commission and the International Olympic Committee, Sydney, 2000
Autographed by 16 former Olympians and the IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch
Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Games.