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The Commission for a Sustainable London2012 Post Games reports has been released, have we managed to pull of “the most sustainable gams ever”?


A main priority for London 2012 was to deliver the most sustainable games, The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 were the assurance body for the London 2012 programme and have reported extensively on the preparations.

The question is however, have we achieved what we set out to do? The report describes their work during the Games and also examines whether the promised levels of sustainability were actually delivered on the day.

The most important point throughout the entire report however, is that The Commission for a Sustainable London has confirmed that although there are always areas which can be improved; London 2012 has delivered the most sustainable games ever.

The London 2012 Olympic Village as well as the other venues used during the games was constructed with exceptional levels of energy efficiency and water efficiency. All these venues were well designed and constructed using sustainable materials.

All the infrastructure supported the commitment to make this the most sustainable games, the use of combined cooling, heat and power and black water recycling ensured that energy and water were not only conversed, they were supplied from more sustainable sources.

In order to make the Olympic Park one of the best connected places in Europe for public transport, the presence of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Strafford International stat, extensions to the DLR, London over ground and modifications to the Jubilee Line all played a role.

Another main role player in achieving sustainability, it the food we eat, according to this report it impacts sustainability in every way and LOCOG set out an ambitious vision for healthy, fresh, sustainably sourced foods that would not only suit all budgets, but also all cultures.

There were some Live Sites commissioned by the GLA and some local authorities were not compliant and some non – LOCOG sites did not allow people to bring their  own food, this made some visits expensive, although all water was free at every venue, another Olympic first.

London 2012 was the first summer Games to reach a target of zero waste to landfill with 70% re-used, recycled or composted.  Careful attention to recyclable and compostable packaging, an innovative three bin system for spectators and exclusive use of materials recycling facility have all contributed towards achieving this.

According to the report the system was not perfect, but low levels of litter and higher than normal levels of source segregation provide another reason for others to follow.

LOCOG was very late in developing an energy conservation plan and in recruiting people with responsibility for this during the games, and being provided with excellent energy conservation plan and efficient buildings LOCOG’s conservation plan was disappointing.

There is no doubt that the people who were eventually recruited made a difference and the 20% energy efficiency improvements are very likely to be exceeded however, it is clear that so much more could have been done had planning started earlier.

Spectators and the general public were able to point to the waste strategy and the green spaces as examples of sustainable practice but limited information was made available about the sustainability of the venues and village buildings and infrastructure.


The Commission for a Sustainable London

LOCOG – London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games