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London Olympics Met Broad Sustainability Targets, Report Says

The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games broadly delivered on its sustainability objectives and will meet its targets to send zero waste to landfill and ensure 70 percent of waste is reused, recycled or composted, according to a report by the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012.

The “London 2012 – From Vision to Reality” report, which focused on “games-time” sustainability objectives, targets and aspirations, concludes that London 2012 delivered the most sustainable Olympics Games ever.

Although the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is on track to achieve games-time carbon savings, the commission said it was disappointed with slow development of a comprehensive energy plan, which meant opportunities for further reductions were missed.

The LOCOG targets included meeting 20 percent of games-time energy use in Olympic Park through local renewables sources and cutting carbon emissions 20 percent through reducing games-time energy use. The total energy consumption of the games was estimated by LOCOG at 35 million kWh.

London 2012 committed to sending zero waste directly to landfills during the 77-day games period. LOCOG also aimed to treat all waste as a potential resource and ensure at least 70 percent of games-time waste will be reused, recycled or composted. The event’s meticulous attention to recyclable and compostable packaging, an eye-catching three-bin system for spectators and exclusive use of a materials recycling facility made these sustainability targets possible, the report said.

The commission praised the transportation and logistics operation at the games, such as the use of alternative fueled vehicles and innovative demonstration projects using river transit.

The commission also said it is confident LOCOG met its goal, with a few minor exceptions, to deliver affordable, Fairtrade products, derive all fish products from MSC-certified sources and procure all meat from Red Tractor-assured sources.

The report doesn’t include performance data from London 2012. The commission will provide independent commentary on the London 2012 Sustainability Report, which LOCOG is scheduled to publish in December.

The commission reports to the Olympic Board and is funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Greater London Authority Group, LOCOG and the Olympic Delivery Authority.

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One thought on “London Olympics Met Broad Sustainability Targets, Report Says

  1. I was at the London Olympics this past summer. As a Sustainability Professional attending purely on a spectator purpose, I can tell you that I was impressed with the giant wind turbines and work around reducing the need for vehicles. I can also tell you that I was vastly disappointed in what I saw as a disastrous ” eye-catching three-bin system” recycling collection. They were often giant rain collectors that rarely had the right materials in each bag. Everyone I saw was filled with random trash, which would cause major headaches for any collection company. Lastly, I often had a very hard time finding these bins as they seemed few and far in between.

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