Towards a One Planet Olympics revisited
SD Scene publishes news and comment on sustainable development from across government, business and civil society. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect government policy.
WWF-UK and BioRegional have published Towards a One Planet Olympics Revisited, examining London 2012′s success in meeting the commitments of its sustainability strategy, set out in 2005′s Towards A One Planet Olympics. BioRegional and WWF-UK worked with London 2012 to write the original sustainability strategy.
The report provides a snapshot of progress on the eve of the Games, examining the 76 promises made then and rating them according to whether they have been met. It finds that London 2012 has succeeded in being the most sustainable Games yet, though failures have occurred in some significant areas. For example, the use of carbon footprint as a strategic tool was good; however, the failure to build a significant and visible renewable energy source was bad. The report’s authors conclude that:
“London 2012 is the Olympics that sets a new sustainability standard for future Games; we just wish London 2012 had been able to push sustainability a little faster, a bit higher and with an even stronger focus on changes beyond the Olympic Park.”
The journey to a sustainable Olympics
Sue Riddlestone, BioRegional’s Executive Director who was involved writing in the original strategy, described London 2012′s ambitions and achievements:
“London 2012 has set the sustainability bar high for future Summer Olympics. It has built venues and staged an event which set new standards for resource efficiency which cut the carbon and saved money. The 2012 team pulled out all the stops to achieve real innovation on park recycling, sustainable food and yes even transport. We are proud to have been part of setting the vision for London 2012 and helping deliver it.
“That said, there were some promises made in 2005 which London 2012 didn’t keep, even though we know they tried. We were especially disappointed about the failure to meet the renewable energy targets. So the journey to deliver a sustainable Olympics will continue. It is important that all the great things which London 2012 have achieved and the lessons learned are passed on and that a commitment to sustainability is a key criterion by which the 2020 Summer Olympics bids are judged.”
David Nussbaum, WWF-UK’s Chief Executive, commented on the opportunity taken by London 2012:
“The Olympic Games is a truly global event that presents a powerful opportunity to drive positive outcomes for people and the planet. WWF, BioRegional and London 2012 helped chart a new course towards sustainability for ‘mega sporting events’ with the vision ‘Towards a One Planet Olympics’. We are pleased to report today that London has set the bar higher and has moved faster than previous comparable events. But as batons are passed in the next few weeks to those responsible for delivering a legacy from London 2012, and for putting on future Games, we expect that a stronger commitment to sustainability will continue.”
The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 welcomed the views of BioRegional and WWF on the progress of the London 2012 Games in meeting its sustainability objectives.
Further examination of London 2012′s sustainability
BioRegional and WWF-UK have also set up an online social network at www.towardsaoneplanetolympics.com where readers can post their own views about London 2012’s sustainability performance. BioRegional and WWF-UK will publish a fuller review of London 2012s sustainability performance once the Games has finished, and will include examples, opinions and quotes from the social network site to paint a comprehensive picture of what worked and what didn’t.
Do you have a comment on this page?
All comments are moderated: we will not publish irrelevant or inappropriate comments. Please note that we require your email to validate your message and will not publish it or use it for any other purpose.