Many of London 2012's sustainability measures were given the thumbs up by UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner as he toured final preparations for the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Every Olympic Games represents unique challenges and opportunities in terms of raising the bar of the third pillar of Olympism - namely the environment - and London is no exception.
This body of 'lessons learnt', dating back to UNEP’s cooperation with the International Olympic Committee in the mid-1990s, is the blueprint and guide to each successive host city and, increasingly, other organizers of mass spectator events from the FIFA World Cup to sports such as motorcycle racing.
London's cleanup of an old industrial site; the restoration of flows and habitat on the River Lea; the greening of supply chains; the low energy linked with the design and construction of the stadium including utilizing old gas pipe’s for the facility's Olympic ring; and the use of temporary structures to reduce emissions are among the actions that can assist in inspiring the organizers of the Rio 2016 games and beyondAchim Steiner
In its pre-Games sustainability report, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said it had met the vast majority of its targets, implementing measures that deliver the most sustainable games yet, such as the following: -
- The Olympic park was created on once-contaminated industrial land, and provides both new wildlife habitats and significant flood alleviation
- The most-sustainable and lightest Olympic and Paralympic stadium in history has been completed on time, with old gas pipes used in much of its construction
- London 2012 is the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to measure its carbon footprint over the entire project term
- London 2012 is the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to commit to a Zero Waste to landfill target, reusing or recycling over 98 per cent of waste in the demolition phase, and 99 per cent in construction of the Olympic Park
- London 2012 has pledged to deliver a public transport games, targeting one million extra walking and cycling journeys in London every day of the games
- London 2012 is also utilizing a new sustainability assessment guide developed by the Global Reporting Initiative, which was co-founded by UNEP
Mr. Steiner was joined by Caroline Spellman, the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on a walk around the Olympic site.
Ms. Spelman said sustainability had always been at the heart of the bid to host the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, and called the London 2012 event "the greenest games ever".
We are committed to building a future for everyone where the natural environment is not just protected, but valued as a national asset. We are delighted to have set new standards in sustainable development, and to showcase the expertise and ingenuity of British companies in delivering a green Olympics so warmly welcomed by Mr. Steiner.Caroline Spellman, the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs