Olympics on track for green goals

London plans to use its position as Olympic host city to inspire environmentally sensitive behaviour and shine a spotlight on good practice.

The London 2012 team published its sustainability plan this week, outlining the areas it will tackle and making commitments in a number of key areas.

While it uses a broad definition of sustainability, including economic and social measures as well as the purely ecological, there is no shortage of environmental targets in the document.

The 2012 team have looked at the games’ potential impact on climate change, waste and biodiversity and how they can be a catalyst for positive change.

The action ranges from the symbolic – the Olympic flame will burn using low-emission fuel – to the genuinely ambitious.

Actions on climate change will include mapping the carbon footprint of the preparation and the games themselves, and reducing it where possible.

This will include erecting a symbolic 120m wind turbine to the north of the Olympic Park and building a CHP plant as part of an on-site energy centre, allowing more efficient distribution of electricity while recycling heat created during generation.

The plant will be designed to be convertible to renewable fuel sources as they become viable and will be scaled to supply housing schemes in the area after the Olympics have come and gone.

On the waste front, the games are on target to meet the goal of recycling 90% of all materials from the demolition works clearing the site back into construction of the new park, and of ensuring that 20% of the materials used in the construction of the stadia and oth3er facilities come from secondary sources.

The games themselves will send no waste to landfill, and 70% of the waste produced will be reused, recycled or composted.

Alison Nimmo, director of design and regeneration at the Olympic Delivery Authority, told journalists on Monday: “Sustainability is at the heart of our programme and runs through all we’re doing – from recycling waste materials from the demolition programme, protecting and enhancing the ecology of the site, through to venue designs and energy source and supply.

“We’ve set ourselves challenging targets but have already made a strong start. We hope that the 2012 project will set new standards for the industry and establish high benchmarks for future developments.”

Sam Bond

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