The Athens Environmental Foundation (AEF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established to organize, support and promote global environmental awareness, education, responsibility and sustainability associated projects such as the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and the Oakland lead remediation project.
In 1994, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) adopted the Environment as the third pillar of the Olympic charter, along with Sport and Culture. Since that time, environmental responsibility has been at the heart of the Olympic movement. AEF is dedicated to addressing environmental issues at all Olympic Games. We began at Salt Lake City 2002 where we were awarded the Spirit of The Land Award. We continue on, implementing programs in Greece and around the world. We were in Torino (2006), Beijing (2008), and we are planning in participating in future Olympics as well.
AEF was initially borne out of concern for the compelling environmental issues facing the nation of Greece as it prepared to host the 2004 Olympic games. As the organization took form, however, it became apparent that on the momentous occasion of the homecoming of the Games to Greece, an unprecedented opportunity to focus world attention on global environmental issues emerged. The birthplace of the Olympics and the Olympic ideals manifested through sport, culture and the environment, are founded on the Greek philosophy of bringing the world together in peace through sport.
As the largest spectator event on the planet, the platform of the Olympic Games is a powerful vehicle to transmit messages and raise awareness. The return of these Games, however, to their home for the first time in our lifetime, presents a unique and unprecedented opportunity to reach a global audience primed by the excitement of the extraordinary nature of this one Olympics.