The World Wildlife Fund expressed concern Monday over standards set for commodity procurement by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, saying that they are “inappropriate.”
In a statement, the WWF said it was “deeply concerned” that the organizing committee produced “protocols that fell far below globally accepted sustainability standards” especially for timber, fishery products, paper and palm oil to be used for the 2020 Summer Games.
The environmental group said it had sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee asking the body to instruct the Tokyo Organising Committee to disclose its purchasing, including the origins of certified products, and carry out an external evaluation. The group also called for a report by the end of the year based on the evaluation, as it claims that the Tokyo committee “showed little regard” to advice given by experts to develop world-class sourcing protocols.
“As the host country of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan is responsible for sourcing and consuming products in a sustainable way,” said WWF-Japan CEO Ron Tsutsui.
“If the Tokyo Olympics fails to lead sustainable sourcing, how can it lead future Olympics or leave a legacy for Japanese society to transform to be more sustainable?”
The committee rebuffed the criticisms the same day, saying its procurement codes recognized various points of views with feasibility in mind and used standards created by international organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council and the Marine Stewardship Council. At the same time, the committee said it would study the WWF’s request for a report and external review.
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