London plans ‘greenest Games ever’

With 2012 days to go until the London Olympic Games kick off organisers came up with a strategy outlining how they plan to make the games the "greenest ever."

The sustainable development strategy, published on Tuesday, includes energy efficiency and onsite renewable targets to reduce carbon emissions from the development by 50% compared to what current building regulations allow.

There have been critical voices over the fact that this flagship development will not achieve carbon-neutrality, however.

The Olympic Delivery Authority wants to minimise water use, with residential buildings which will double up as homes after the event using 40% less water and permanent venues 20% less water than average.

The ODA has also promised to minimise construction waste, a serious concern with a development of this scale. Most (90%) of demolition material will be reused or recycled, and at least 20% of materials used for the Olympic Village will come from recycled sources.

Over 80km of walking and cycling routes and a commitment prioritise walking, cycling and public transport use will complete the transport part of the strategy.

David Higgins, chief executive of the ODA, said: “We want to ensure London 2012 is remembered not only as two weeks of fantastic sporting action, but also as the ‘Greenest Games’ in modern times.

“This strategy is unprecedented for a development of this nature and signals a watershed moment in the delivery of sports facilities in the UK. We are meeting tomorrow’s requirements today – far exceeding current policy targets.

London mayor Ken Livingstone said: “The 2012 Games are the perfect platform to demonstrate how high sustainability standards will help transform London into an exemplary, sustainable world city, in line with my London Plan.

“The prize for hosting the 2012 Games will be to transform one of the most derelict and disadvantaged parts of Europe into a revitalised, sustainable, new urban quarter fit for the 21st century.

The Sustainable Development Strategy is part of a wider Sustainability Plan, to be finalised and published later this year.

The full strategy can be accessed here.

Goska Romanowicz

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