London 2012 Olympic Games Aim to Inspire “Lasting Change”
The countdown timer at the London2012 website shows less than 80 days before the 2012 Olympic Summer Games begins. Athletes and international delegates have no doubt prepared for this event for months and even years. Spectators from around the world probably cannot bear to wait much longer to see their teams and favorite athletes outperform each other. But for the organising committee for this year’s Summer Games, the event will be the culmination of a seven-year wait and preparation not only to host the games but to showcase sustainability as well. The organising committee has committed itself to meeting the sustainable event management standard BS 8901 in preparation for the Games and by doing so is setting world records in sustainability standards. LOCOG (London 2012 Organising Committee) Chairman Seb Coe states in a pre-games sustainability report that they hope the committee’s ambition to host the world’s first and truly sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games will finally be realized.
The LOCOG has taken the challenge of meeting sustainability standards to an unprecedented scale, from public transport to the Games to providing 14,000,000 sustainably sourced meals to waste management.
Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of LOCOG, shares six highlights of the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games programme where the committee and its partners were able to set new sustainability standards.
The Olympic Park The organising committee was able to complete the Olympic Stadium on time and budget, while meeting high sustainability standards. The site of the Park is now the largest new parkland in Europe, and the existing river valley on site was cleaned and reprofiled.
Carbon Management LOCOG used new footprinting methodologies to measure the carbon footprint of this year’s games. According to Deighton, it is the first to do so over the entire term of the project. The LOCOG’s pre-games sustainability report details the breakdown of the estimated carbon footprint and what measures were taken to reduce and mitigate it. LOCOG worked to achieve direct carbon savings through reduced energy use and sourcing local and renewable energy.
Sustainable Transport The organising committee plans to incorporate walking and cycling schemes into the nine million ticket holders’ journeys to the Games. Their public transport plans include the Active Travel programme and using the Thames for low carbon, sustainable water transport.
Food Vision LOCOG aims to provide 14 million sustainably sourced meals over the entire duration of the Games. Its chosen catering partners have to meet Food Vision standards. The Food Legacy Group is working on extending their Food Vision Approach beyond the 2012 Olympic Games.
Waste LOCOG has committed itself to a “zero waste to landfill” Olympic Games. According to the report, the committee achieved a 98.5% rate on material re-use and 99% on material recycling in demolition and construction of the Olympic Park, according to the standards of the ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority).
Standards Last year LOCOG was certified as the first Organising Committee to achieve the Specification for Sustainability Management Systems for Events, also known as the British Standard 8901.
If the LOCOG succeeds in meeting its sustainability goals, it will not only achieve a historical accomplishment but it will also set a global example on practical sustainability for generations to come.
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