Dow solutions contributing to sustainability and legacy of Tokyo 2020

Cutting-edge solutions from Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow can be found throughout the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, with the company’s materials science expertise helping power infrastructure technologies and deliver a sustainable legacy.

Tokyo Olympic Stadium 2020 aerial shot Tokyo Olympic Stadium retrofitted by Dow 2021 Getty Images

From coating emulsions and insulation sealants to elastomers for electronic wiring, Dow is supporting the Games with solutions that enhance sustainability and serve as a catalyst for better building performance.

This includes within Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, which has been rebuilt for the Games and constructed with multiple Dow technologies in paints, coatings, insulation and wiring.

“The Olympic Games symbolise many things – from the thrill of competition to the common threads that unite the world – but for Dow and our customers, the most poignant aspect of the Olympic Movement is the power and possibility of collaboration,” explains Mike Reed, Vice-President of Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions. “In sharing our expertise in materials science and combining that with the know-how of architects, developers and customer partners in Tokyo, we are able to achieve new levels of innovation, sustainability and opportunity for the Olympic Games infrastructure and beyond.”

In line with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee’s aim to deliver sustainable Olympic Games, more than half of the 43 Olympic venues are existing facilities, with nine of these retrofit structures outfitted with building solutions powered by Dow technologies to help elevate the performance and aesthetic of facades, building envelopes and electrical systems while delivering a sustainable legacy.

"To ensure retrofit facilities at Tokyo 2020 have the necessary performance level expected of a modern Olympic Games edition, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games leveraged Dow’s materials science expertise," adds Reed. "The average lifespan of a building is 50 years, in particular due to inevitable damage and wearing of the structure’s skin or envelope. By working with our local customers to deploy Dow’s innovative technologies to these buildings, we’re able to help conserve and enhance existing structures, delivering sustainability gains long after the closing ceremonies."

Tokyo 2020 International Broadcast Centre retrofitted by Dow Tokyo 2020 International Broadcast Centre retrofitted by Dow 2021 Getty Images

In addition, Dow has collaborated with local partner Toppan to produce recyclable plastic signs and banners that are being used throughout Games venues and around the host city.

Once the Games have concluded, Dow and Toppan intend to collect these banners and signage and upcycle them into different products. Collected banners or signage will be re-pelletized as a recycled resin, to produce flowerpots and plastic bricks for flowerbeds.

"We can ensure that events like the Olympic Games have the necessary signage and decorations without increasing the amount of waste generated.  Dow’s collaboration with Toppan is a great example of the long-term impact that Dow’s materials science expertise combined with our customers’ market insights can have,” explains Dr Hirokazu Shibata, Technology Leader, Dow Japan. “Dow and Toppan developed this polyolefin-based fabric especially for Tokyo 2020 to address the growing need to give plastic a second life.”

Dow became a Worldwide Olympic Partner in 2010, bringing a world-class portfolio of advanced, sustainable and leading-edge products to the Olympic Movement. In addition, as the Official Carbon Partner of the IOC, Dow ignites action among organisations both within and outside the Olympic Movement to adopt technologies and practices that meet local market needs and deliver real third-party verified climate benefits. The cumulative results of Dow’s carbon programmes – which include Sochi 2014, Rio 2016 and Dow’s carbon partnership with the IOC – have delivered more than 5 million tonnes of CO2e reductions, received several external recognitions and have allowed the IOC to become carbon neutral, balancing its operational carbon footprint for the period 2017-2021.

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