London 2012 was “most sustainable” Games ever

07:50 15 November 2012

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The London 2012 Games were the “most sustainable ever”, a commission has said.

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 today published its in-depth review, London 2012 - From Vision to Reality, looking at how green and sustainable the Games were.

The report concludes that the London 2012 Games broadly delivered against its sustainability objectives, although there were some areas of concern.

The Commission said that ambitious sustainability targets such as zero waste to landfill and 70 per cent of waste to be re-used, recycled or composted are on track “thanks to efforts such as meticulous attention to packaging and the effective use of the colour coded three-bin system”.

It also said the transport system delivered an “excellent service, and London 2012 should be praised for being the first Games to offer a fully comprehensive mobility service”.

Another success story was the food, according to the Commission, with a wide variety of healthy, sustainably sourced, affordable meals available at most London 2012 venues.

However the Commission criticised the way members of the public were banned from taking their own food into the Live Sites at Victoria Park and Hyde Park, saying the decision compromised “affordability and the principle of creating an event for all budgets”.

The Commission said that it was disappointed with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ “slow development of a comprehensive energy plan, which meant opportunities were missed for even further carbon reductions”, even though Games-time carbon savings are on track to be achieved.

And the report also said that the “opening and closing ceremonies provided a showcase for messages about sustainability, and elements such as the method of waste management on the Olympic Park and use of green space offered spectators an opportunity to observe sustainability in practice”.

However, the Commission said “the lack of information available about the venues, village buildings and infrastructure was a missed opportunity for communicating their sustainability credentials to visitors”.

Shaun McCarthy, chair of the Commission, said: “I have no hesitation in confirming that London 2012 has delivered the most sustainable Games ever, and we congratulate the delivery bodies and all those who contributed to this excellent achievement.

“But we mustn’t rest on our laurels – more could be achieved if London’s lessons, both the good and the challenging, are heeded by others.

“London 2012 has raised the bar on sustainability, not just for future Olympic and Paralympic Games but for industry, and for the organisers of major events the world over – from music festivals to football World Cups.

“By being open to learning from these successes as well as the missed opportunities, future major projects could even out-perform London 2012’s sustainability achievements.”

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