Fill gaps for ‘green’ Olympics, says Commission for London 2012

Organisers have to fill “significant gaps” to make the summer Olympics more sustainable.

That’s the view of the independent body looking into the economic and environmental aspects of the Games.

Lord Coe’s organising committee, Locog, had failed to produce the promised one-fifth of the electricity needed to run the Games from renewable resources, although they are now aiming for equivalent savings through energy conservation, says the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012.

The Commission’s review of the Olympics preparations, published today (Thurs), sets out where action is needed.

“We have known since early last year that it won’t be able to meet its original target of 20 per cent enery from renewable sources,” said Commission Chair Shaun McCarthy.

“The new target is to save the equivalent of carbon by reducing overall energy demand—but Locog doesn’t currently have an energy conservation strategy to show how they’ll achieve this.”

The review reveals what Seb Coe’s committee is doing to meet standards and acknowledges they are ‘on track.’

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“There is only one chance to get the Games right,” Mr McCarthy points out. “We’ve identified some significant gaps which need bridging.”

Locog doesn’t have an overall energy conservation strategy, which the Commission’s report says “must be addressed urgently.”

Recycling was another issue concerning the Commission.

Mr McCarthy added: “There is a risk that standards will vary inside and outside venues.

“For example, exits from the Olympics Park lead to different boroughs with different recycling bin policies, or into Westfield shopping centre which has its own recycling policy.”

Yet the Commission is pleased with the overall performance at the Olympics Park site. Many of the day-to-day logistics towards a sustainable Games were “coming together nicely” towards a ‘zero waste’ goal which would be a first for any major international event.