London 2012 needs to shout about merchandising energy efficiency

The sustainability watchdog for London 2012 has revealed the Olympics are performing well on meeting the green agenda - but warned the organising committee it needs to communicate those credentials more effectively.

In its review Sustainably Sourced? the commission looks at the work of the London Organising Committee of the Olympics (LOCOG) to create sustainable product policies as part of its drive to be the ‘greenest games ever’.

According to the review, LOCOG’s sustainable merchandising efforts are the best the Olympics and Paralympics have ever seen. It is also setting new standards for the event and retail industries to follow.

The commission finds the way in which companies have adapted to meet LOCOG’s sustainability requirements ‘should put them in better shape’ to compete for other contracts as the green agenda becomes more widely adopted by events in the UK and overseas.

In addition, it finds in many cases the requirements should also help to make the companies more efficient, through changes such as reducing packaging costs and managing carbon emissions through energy efficiency.

It states: “Where this can be demonstrated the commission recommends that LOCOG work with their licensees to produce a series of case studies showing how companies have improved their performance, measured against previous performance and industry baselines.

“Where companies have measured the carbon footprint of their products this
should also be included in case studies.

“This would also help in the sharing of learning and best practice between licensees.”

Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 chairman, Shaun McCarthy, said: “London 2012 has been successful in changing the behaviour of the industry, but needs to seize the opportunity to change the behaviour of the consumer.

“We recognise that there are some sustainability issues which LOCOG can’t solve on its own; however, we believe that by fully engaging with LOCOG’s sustainable and ethical sourcing codes, London 2012 licensees can adopt more sustainable behaviour on a permanent basis. This will create a lasting legacy for UK and international brands and will have commercial as well as environmental and social benefits.

“We recognise that labour standards are an issue for the industry, and welcome LOCOG’s efforts to address this. However, more can be done by licensees, particularly in the area of public disclosure of factory locations.”

Luke Walsh

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