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Olympic Sustainability - How's London Doing?

We're not sure how many of our readers saw the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.  But we do know that overall, over 1 billion people did.  So it's worth discussing a little of the project and sustainability aspects of the games.

Our first impression of the games took a big positive jump when we saw how the organizers brought the olympic flame into the stadium to the applause of thousands of the project team members who worked on the construction projects for the years leading up to the event.  Seeing hundreds of folks in hardhats was a particularly heartwarming moments for us.  We love the athletes, of course, but we (more than many) know that they're simply not performing at all without the project teams that assembled the whole thing.

Now – how about sustainability and the games?

Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of the London Organizing Committee identifies six major highlights that demonstrate where they and their partners have been able to set new standards for sustainability:

1 The Olympic Park: The most sustainable Olympic Stadium ever built was completed on time and budget and to high sustainability standards. The Park itself is the largest new urban parkland in Europe for 150 years. It is already developing a mature landscape, and the cleaned up and reprofiled river valley is providing both new wildlife habitat and significant flood alleviation – early examples of lasting legacy benefits.

2 Carbon management: London 2012 is the first summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to measure its carbon footprint over the entire project term. By using the outcomes of the footprinting assessment to inform decision-making, we've radically improved our ability to avoid, reduce and substitute carbon emissions associated with delivering
the Games.

3 Sustainable transport: Our commitment to delivering a public transport Games means nine million ticket holders will experience sustainable events like never before from the way they travel. Our Active Travel programme, launched in October 2011, aims to achieve one million extra journeys by walking and cycling in London each day of
the Games.

4 Food Vision: London 2012 is the first Games to specify stringent sustainability requirements for its catering operations. All our caterers are signed up to the Food Vision standards and are ready to serve 14 million sustainably sourced meals. Meanwhile, the excellent work of the Food Legacy Group is extending the Food Vision approach to
other sectors and organisations beyond the Games.

5 Waste: Our commitment to delivering a zero waste to landfill Games is another first for the Games and has required detailed planning, as set out in our recently published Zero Waste Games Vision. The work of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) on the Olympic Park construction has set a very high bar, achieving 98.5 per cent and 99 per cent rates of re-use and recycling of materials in demolition and construction respectively.

6 Standards: In 2011 LOCOG became the first Organising Committee to be certified to the British Standard 8901: Specification for a Sustainability Management Systems for Events. The standard was inspired by the London 2012 bid and is proof of how deeply sustainability has been embedded into our organisation. Achieving the standard enhances our ability to deliver sustainability across all the areas that matter to stakeholders.

Read the full report here .

Visit the 2012 Olympics page regarding sustainability here.

And here's a very interesting video about sustainability and the London Olympics.