Olympics progress on sustainability announced

The independent watchdog monitoring the environmental impact of the London games has published its findings on 2012's environmental footprint.

The report published this afternoon (December 2) updates the London 2012 sustainability plan for the Olympic delivery bodies.

The chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, Shaun McCarthy, independently overseas London’s 2012 pledge to host the ‘most sustainable Games to date’ as well as protecting its legacy.

Mr McCarthy explains the report’s findings here.

Highlights from the report show the work the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to reduce the carbon footprint is ‘commendable’.

But it goes on to say there is an ‘opportunity’ to create new knowledge about the whole process of construction based on what we have learned.

If the property and construction industries could learn to take a ‘whole life’ approach to carbon emissions, including the energy embodied in materials, significant savings could be made and jobs could be created in the green economy.

The report finds the ODA’s waste performance to date ‘exemplary’ and LOCOG’s commitment to zero waste to landfill is both ‘challenging and unprecedented’.

However, it’s ‘continually frustrated’ by attempts to establish ultra-low carbon energy supply on the Olympic Park from waste generated biogas.

And is ‘increasingly concerned’ about the slow development of organic waste disposal facilities in East London.

The report also states: “Biodiversity is much improved, but we are concerned about the lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities between the end of construction and Games time, and after the Games.”

On the legacy of the Games it says: “We remain to be convinced that there is substance behind the promise to make the Olympic Park a ‘Blueprint for sustainable living’.

Luke Walsh

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