When the flaming torch arrives in Paris in July, for the Paris 2024 Olympics, after making its journey across France, it will herald the beginning of the most environmentally friendly Olympic Games ever.
Paris 2024, which runs from July 26 to August 11, has pledged to reduce the event’s carbon footprint by 50% since it was held in London in 2012.
To achieve this while moving and catering for some 15 million visitors to the capital city, looking after 10,500 athletes, and overseeing almost 330 events at over 40 venues, will be nothing short of a triumph for the International Olympic Committee (IOT) and its partners.
But the drive towards a collective achievement of the goal has been pounding onwards behind the scenes for some time now – in areas from logistics and transportation to catering, accommodation, and staffing.
Among those chosen to partner with this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games were Hub One, a digital technologies operation, and Toyota Material Handling (TMH) France, which manufactures, distributes, and sells material handling vehicles and industrial equipment.
In an interview with DirectIndustry, Benoit Meunier, Manager of Product Management in France for TMH, said:
“This is an exciting opportunity for us – the Olympics will be like a showcase for what Toyota can do to reduce CO2 emissions in terms of material handling for its customers. We are fully prepared and we have a big team working hard to make sure we deliver the best for our customers and partners.”
Paris 2024: A Smooth Operation
Partners to the games not only help ensure the smooth running of the global event but they also contribute to the promotion of Olympic and Paralympic values.
Effectively managing the flow of travelers, including athletes, during the games will be essential, especially on August 12 and 13, when people depart after the closing ceremony and the next day.
To ensure this runs smoothly and with low emissions, there will be autonomous, electric buses and Hub One will oversee remote check-ins at hotels and within the Olympic Village.
The company’s new Hub One Data Trust data platform, which has a 5G infrastructure and employs real-time IoT data, will also optimize operations.
This solution allows the exchange of data between different professions in a range of divisions – staff who would not normally be able to liaise within the airport.
RFID tags will be used to track and geolocate athletes’ luggage and essential sporting equipment.
Moving Materials and Supplies
TMH France will be working in tandem with the Toyota Motor Corporation, explains Mr. Meunier.
“Toyota Motor Corporation is focusing on the car side – for the mobility of people – and we are creating the mobility for goods: the forklift trucks.”
The company, which sells forklift trucks to the French market, will provide its material handling equipment to partners focusing on the intralogistics of the games.
“We will support them in getting the right goods to the right place at the right time, before and during the event.”
Two types of trucks will be used most within the Olympics – powered pallet trucks, to move goods within a depot from one area to another to load the lorries, and CB counterbalance forklift trucks to take goods from the lorry to the different areas on site.
“The powered pallet trucks will mainly work inside and the CB forklifts outside – for the Olympics this is likely to be a stadium or open venue, which is a bit different from their natural environment! Initially, our equipment will be moving materials for building the stadiums and setting up the different areas, then later on it will be moving supplies, such as food and beverages.”
In line to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the Olympics, TMH France will only be supplying low-emission equipment.
“We have decided to promote the LWi160 powered pallet truck, which is only available with lithium-ion batteries. Here we would expect a CO2 reduction of about 30% compared to a standard powered pallet truck. The electricity to recharge the battery comes from the grid, which has a CO2 footprint, but the lithium-ion technology is much more efficient in storing the energy, which is why we can estimate a reduction in electricity consumption that will make a difference.”
The CB trucks, which would normally have an LPG or diesel engine, will use either lithium-ion or fuel cell battery technology.
Mr. Meunier adds:
“The fuel cell produces electricity from hydrogen, with no emissions of CO2 during the use of the truck,” he explains. And if you produce it cleverly, you may also have zero emissions in terms of hydrogen, making it a completely renewable solution for the forklift truck. We wanted to use the Olympics to show this as a solution that exists and is workable and has benefits for our customers.”
“We wanted to show both solutions because one solution does not fit all. Typically hydrogen is a great solution if you are working in a continuous environment because you recharge it very easily and quickly. If you don’t have a continuous operation, however, then this might be an expensive solution, which is not the best, and lithium-ion could be better.”
The complexity of the operation will be down to the peak of extreme activity that will occur during the games, he observes.
“But we have a very strong network of aftersales and will be there during the Olympics to fully support our customers and partners.”
Toyota as a whole has been involved in the Olympic Games before, but this is the first time the TMH France operation has stepped in.
The company is fully prepared, Mr. Meunier stresses, and everyone is looking forward to being part of such a prestigious, global happening.