2012 London Summer Olympics Aims to be Green

Aerial view of Olympic Park, summer Games 2012 London/Photo: London Evening Standard

Looking to raise the ‘go-green’ bar and promote enviornmental awareness, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London have been announced by the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, as the ‘Greenest’ Olympic Games in history.

Committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the 2012 Games by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, The London Olympic Delivery Authority, responsible for building the Olympic infrastructure, aims to make the summer Games a globally ecological event, inspiring collective endeavors towards a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.

Maximizing the social, health and enviornmental benefits of the Games, which begin July 27, the UK Government and the International Olympic Committee share a committment to set new sustainable standards for all the Olympic events.

With the theme of “Towards a One Planet Olympics 2012,” the government is inspired to leave a lasting legacy, making Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living beyond the 17-day event.

With sustainability guidelines incorporated into the construction of the Olympic venues, such as the new 6000 seat permanent indoor Velodrome that will host 28 cycling and paralympic events, the design makes optimal use of natural light, using little artificial light, and the wood materials used to build the structure are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Promoting energy efficiency by reducing carbon emissions, carbon management strategies include transporting the Olympic athletes and officials between the different athletic venues in electric vehicles, with 120 charging stations installed by ChargePoint. Additionally, event attendees will be encouraged to walk, bike or take public transport to Olympic venues.

Because of the negative impact Olympic Games can have on the enviornment, other key green initiatives of sustainability will be:

Energy: Energy efficient technology has been installed at Olympic Park with a biomass boiler that uses recycled woodchips to generate power and a 120m tall wind turbine that will create enough electricity for 1,000 homes.

Water: With conservation and resource management strategies in place such as reusing and recycling, the goal is to reduce water usage by 18% with the installation of water efficient fixtures at Olympic Park.

Waste: In an effort to reuse, reduce and recycle, all waste will be treated as a potential resource, ensuring that 70% will be diverted from landfills, which subsequently creates methane emissions that eventually escapes into the atmosphere.

Biodiversity: With the committment to protect the wetlands and species-rich grasslands, the Olympic Park Biodiversity Action plan includes that the London Wildlife Trust and the ecology team will work together, providing ecological management for natural habitats and species, protecting the wildlife in the Lower Lea Valley. A key area is to minimize the impact of construction activity and maintain ecological continuity awareness and the value of biodiversity.

As one of the most watched sporting events in the world, the 2012 London Olympic Games’ ecological committments hope to foster and encourage more sustainable living practices in the United Kingdom.

For more information about the 2012 London Summer Olympics’ green initiatives, visit the London 2012 Olympic Games website at: http://www.london2012.com/sustainability/ or the “Towards a One Planet 2012” Sustainability Plan at: http://www.london2012.com/documents/locog-publications/london-2012-sustainability-plan.pdf

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