One Planet Centre for London 2012
The One Planet Centre, now open in the London 2012 Athletes Village, will encourage athletes to make sustainability pledges and champion sustainable behaviours in their communities. By helping to raise awareness about environmental issues, and explaining how people from their home country can take simple actions towards a more sustainable future, the centre will give Olympic and Paralympic athletes the opportunity to inspire people across the globe.
One Planet Centre, London 2012 Athletes Village
The One Planet Centre is an interactive hub filled with activities and information about the positive steps that can be taken to help build a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future. Through a series of fun, social events and competitions, athletes will be able to find out more about reducing energy use, cutting waste, and protecting the environment. By combining the power of social media, with the charismatic and inspirational role-model leadership which Olympic & Paralympic athletes provide to young people, the One Planet Centre aims to play a vital part of the London 2012 Games’ desire to build a better world for future generations.
Sharing for sustainability
Each day of the Games one hundred athletes will receive a limited edition sustainability pin for pledging to take a positive step in reducing waste or saving energy. There will be swapping of pins with athletes from around the world and swapping surplus athletics kit, showing how our old things can be given new homes. The success of this type of sharing activity between athletes has been learned from Coca-Cola’s previous experience at previous Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Over the course of the Games, athletes’ written pledges will fill the walls of the Centre, swapping stories about how people are saving energy and reducing waste in their home country. A giant globe surrounding a central column will be brought to life as the athletes who’ve pledged to take action place a pin to highlight their home.
The Centre has been brought to life by leading sustainability charity BioRegional. It is built from recycled and sustainable materials, including a timber frame built using reclaimed timber from East London, a roof made from reused ply board and sustainably-sourced structural timbers, sustainably-sourced decking , and ‘grass’ made of recycled materials. All materials comply with London 2012′s sustainability policies. Internal surfaces covered with timber and cork board, provide a welcoming and adaptable space.
In addition to the Centre, a number of “Sustainability Circles” around the Athletes Village have been designed by the Royal College of Art to tell the story of living more sustainably and be at the heart of a ‘treasure hunt’ competition for athletes. The One Planet Centre is also running a photo competition to engage athletes in thinking creatively about saving energy and reducing waste, and will be the meeting point for athletes who want to take a sustainability tour of the Olympic Park, an activity called “A Walk in the Olympic Park”.
Ambassadors for a sustainable future
Opening the One Planet Centre, UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman stressed the importance of sustainability to London 2012:
“Sustainability has been at the heart of the bid to hold the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – from the construction of the Olympic Park, to the staging of the Games and the long legacy they will leave behind.
“Our investment in the One Planet Centre will help Olympic athletes to return to their home countries as ambassadors for creating a sustainable future and a greener planet.”
Caroline Spelman at the opening of the One Planet Centre, with Katherine Symonds, Head of Sustainable Games, Coca Cola; David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability at LOCOG; Sue Riddlestone, Executive Director, BioRegional
David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), explained the role of the One Planet Centre:
“Our vision was to use the power of the Games to influence lasting sustainable change. The athletes and sport are at the heart of the Games, and the One Planet Centre on the Olympic Village is the perfect place to positively engage with them.”
Thinking about sustainability
The Olympic Park One Planet Centre follows an earlier centre, opened in October 2011 at the BedZED eco-village in Sutton, south London. The Sutton One Planet Centre has told the London 2012 sustainability story, inspiring visitors to live greener lifestyles, and helping local residents to feel more connected with the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Inside the One Planet Centre in Sutton, south London
The One Planet Centre is a collaboration between government, charity, business and London 2012. Funded by Defra , with financial and practical assistance from Coca-Cola, the project has been managed by leading charity BioRegional, actively supported by LOCOG.
Sue Riddlestone, BioRegional’s Executive Director, welcomed the opening of the One Planet Centre saying:
“For some athletes the One Planet Centre will be the first time they are asked to think about sustainability. I am excited that we have been given this unique opportunity to create a centre which will educate athletes about living sustainably and inspire them to become ambassadors for helping to create a better tomorrow.”
British Olympian Ben Hunt-Davis, a gold medallist at Sydney 2000, agreed that the special energy created inside the Athletes Village would be a powerful force to help drive change, saying:
“This project is an ideal way to capture the one planet spirit you find in the athletes village during the Games. Engaging athletes in sending out a positive message from London about how we can all build a better world ensures the village spirit is carried to every corner of the globe.”
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