Olympics green watchdog fires starting pistol on six-month countdown

Organisers of London 2012 are on track to deliver the most sustainable Olympic Games to date, but risk failing to deliver on a pledge to save energy after a plan to install a wind turbine at the Stratford site was scrapped.

That is the warning of the Games’ green watchdog, The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, in its latest review of how organisers are taking steps to ensure it delivers the “greenest Games” this summer.

The review concludes that the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) has made good progress towards its sustainability commitments, which include becoming the first Olympics organiser to achieve the BS 8901 British Standard specification for sustainable event management.

LOCOG is also on track to achieving zero waste to landfill during the Games, with at least 70 per cent being reused, recycled or composted.

However, the watchdog issued eight recommendations to address on issues that could derail LOCOC’s efforts to meet its environmental targets. Among these, it included the need to step up its efforts in energy efficiency.

LOCOG was last year forced to admit that it will fail to meet a target to use 20 per cent renewable electricity during the Games, after scrapping high-profile plans to install a wind turbine at the Stratford site in 2010.

The Commission warned that it has still not seen enough evidence that LOCOG will achieve a replacement energy-saving target. It urged the organisers to produce an energy management and conservation plan demonstrating how LOCOG will reduce carbon emissions by at least the amount that would have been avoided through the renewable energy target.

It also claimed that the organisers have failed to provide enough evidence that they are complying with its sustainable sourcing code.

Just last week, the Commission and the Green Party questioned how the code is being enforced, after it emerged that 11 million tickets will be made in the United States and flown back to the UK for distribution.

“As we have not been able to assure the process in this area, this has given concerns about the application of LOCOG’s assurance processes for other aspects of the Sustainable Sourcing Code such as timber and PVC,” it said.

It also urged LOCOG to work more closely with other organising groups, including the Greater London Authorities’ live site operator, Live Nation, to ensure that every organisation using the London 2012 brand meets its green goals.

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