London 2012 Releases Sustainability Plan

London, England - The Organizing Committee for the London 2012 Olympic Games has released a first draft plan on how it will ensure the 2012 Games will be as sustainable as possible. The Plan, Towards A One Planet 2012, covers five key sustainability themes: waste, climate change, biodiversity (the variety of life on earth), inclusion (making sure the benefits of the Games are enjoyed by everybody) and healthy living. It was approved by all members of the Olympic Board – representing the Government, the Mayor of London, the British Olympic Association and London 2012 itself.

From recycling or reusing demolition waste, to creating a sustainable food strategy during Games time to promote healthy living, the plan is intended to be a wide ranging look at how London 2012 is ensuring that all aspects of its preparation and staging of the Games are undertaken in a sustainable way.

London 2012 is the first summer Games to develop such a comprehensive and integrated approach, which goes beyond being ‘green’ to include key socio-economic issues such as leaving skills, employment and business legacies in east London – and boosting sport participation throughout the nation. In many respects it is very similar to the Sustainability Strategy being pursued by VANOC, the Organizing Committee for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

The Sustainability Plan identifies five priority themes:

  • Climate change – minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring legacy facilities are able to cope with the impacts of climate change;
  • Waste – minimizing construction waste and no waste being sent to landfill during Games time, as well as encouraging the development of new waste processing infrastructure in East London;
  • Biodiversity – minimizing the impact of the Games on the ecology of the Lower Lea Valley, leaving a legacy of enhanced habitats within the Olympic Park;
  • Inclusion – promoting inclusion and attitude change, especially towards disability, celebrate the diversity of London and the UK and create new employment, training and business opportunities for the communities living around the Olympic Park site and Lower Lea Valley;
  • Healthy Living – the Games will be used to inspire people across the country to take up sport and develop active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles.
    The themes were developed in association with WWF and BioRegional drawing from their One Planet Living ® principles.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • A ground-breaking carbon footprinting study to measure the climate change impact of the Games and therefore identify and prioritize areas for reducing emissions;
  • Work with EDF Energy, London 2012’s first Sustainability Partner to investigate the Olympic flame being low emission – a so-called ‘green flame’;
  • New standards for venue construction using world-leading environmental rating tools;
  • The development of a sustainable food strategy, seeking opportunities to promote the use of local, seasonal and organic produce from environmentally responsible sources;
  • Ensuring that sustainability lies at the heart of its commercial and merchandise program. All London 2012 suppliers and partners will sign up to a sustainability code which is being developed and will include sustainable sourcing and ethical trading;
  • Setting new standards for accessibility – from the physical accessibility of venues and transport, to utilizing new media to bring the Games to wider audiences;
  • Putting plans in place to ensure that Londoners gain employment and skills from London 2012 and that small and medium businesses can also benefit;
  • London 2012 will be the first summer host city to undertake the Olympic Games Impact study which will provide long term tracking of economic, social and environmental indicators that will highlight the impacts and benefits of hosting the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games;
  • The establishment of an independent sustainability assurance body – Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 – which will provide independent assurance and monitoring of the plans.

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London said: “We have set ourselves two very challenging aims - to stage not only the greatest Games ever but, as importantly, those Games in 2012 must be the most sustainable in the history of the modern Olympics. This demonstrates our commitment to meet those challenges and leave a legacy which shows that even the largest regeneration projects can build-in measures to tackle climate change.”

Promoting sustainable development has been a mission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since the early 1990s but it took until the new millennium, particularly Vancouver’s announcement of a carbon neutral Olympics in 2010, for the idea to truly progress.

As host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver will use the event to promote sustainable development and has launched one of the largest green community projects ever conceived. Every building in the 25 acre Vancouver Olympic village is being designed to meet LEED gold certification.

Host cities such as Vancouver and London are setting new standards for the Olympics by using the events to demonstrate excellence in green building design and development and the provision of sustainable infrastructure. More than ever the Olympic Games serve as a vehicle for promoting on a world stage a coming together of nations and the advancement of sustainable development for a better future.

For More Information: London 2012 Secretariat

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