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London 2012 sustainability plan launched

26 November 2007

London 2012 today outlines the sustainability framework to drive its plans in the preparation, staging and legacy of the Games in 2012 ranging from recycling or reusing demolition waste, to creating a sustainable food strategy through to promotion of healthy living.

The plan, Towards A One Planet 2012, has been launched unveiled by London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, ODA Director of Design and Regeneration Alison Nimmo, BOA Chairman Lord Moynihan, Director of Business Planning & Regeneration for the Mayor’s Office, Neale Coleman and double gold medal winning athlete James Cracknell at a press conference in London today.

From recycling or reusing demolition waste, to creating a sustainable food strategy during Games time to promote healthy living, the plan is intended to be a wide ranging look at how London 2012 is ensuring that all aspects of its preparation and staging of the Games are undertaken in a sustainable way. London 2012 is the first summer Games to develop such a comprehensive and integrated approach, which goes beyond being ‘green’ to include key socio-economic issues such as leaving skills, employment and business legacies in east London – and boosting sport participation throughout the nation.

The Sustainability Plan identifies five priority themes, which are:

- Climate change – minimising greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring legacy facilities are able to cope with the impacts of climate change

- Waste – minimising construction waste and no waste being sent to landfill during Games time, as well as encouraging the development of new waste processing infrastructure in East London

- Biodiversity – minimising the impact of the Games on the ecology of the Lower Lea Valley, leaving a legacy of enhanced habitats within the Olympic Park

- Inclusion – promoting inclusion and attitude change, especially towards disability, celebrate the diversity of London and the UK and create new employment, training and business opportunities for the communities living around the Olympic Park site and Lower Lea Valley

- Healthy Living – the Games will be used to inspire people across the country to take up sport and develop active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles

These themes and the document as a whole, have been developed in association with WWF and BioRegional drawing from their One Planet Living ® principles.

Highlights of the plan include:

- A ground-breaking carbon footprinting study to measure the climate change impact of the Games and therefore identify and prioritise areas for reducing emissions;

- Work with EDF Energy, London 2012’s first Sustainability Partner to investigate the Olympic flame being low emission – a so-called ‘green flame’;

- Setting new standards for venue construction using world-leading environmental rating tools;

- The development of a sustainable food strategy, seeking opportunities to promote the use of local, seasonal and organic produce from environmentally responsible sources;

- Ensuring that sustainability lies at the heart of its commercial and merchandise programmes. All London 2012 suppliers and partners will sign up to a sustainability code which is being developed and will include sustainable sourcing and ethical trading;

- Setting new standards for accessibility – from the physical accessibility of venues and transport, to utilising new media to bring the Games to wider audiences;

- Putting plans in place to ensure that Londoners gain employment and skills from London 2012 and that small and medium businesses can also benefit;

- London 2012 being the first summer host city to undertake the Olympic Games Impact study which will provide long term tracking of economic, social and environmental indicators that will highlight the impacts and benefits of hosting the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games;

- The establishment of an independent sustainability assurance body – Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 – which will provide independent assurance and monitoring of the plans.

London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe commented: 'The Olympic and Paralympic Games can set agendas and with Towards A One Planet 2012, we hope to use the power of the Games to drive change – behaviourally and in the way big events are staged in the future. Sustainability was an important element of our bid and underpins our preparations and our vision for the legacy of London 2012.'

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: 'Towards A One Planet 2012 is unique in its scope - covering not just the environmental impact of the Games but also the impact on areas like transport, biodiversity, skills, employment and business legacies in east London. No other host nation has been so ambitious. With the eyes of the world upon us, the London 2012 Games must set standards for generations to come.'

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London said: 'We have set ourselves two very challenging aims - to stage not only the greatest Games ever but, as importantly, those Games in 2012 must be the most sustainable in the history of the modern Olympics. This demonstrates our commitment to meet those challenges and leave a legacy which shows that even the largest regeneration projects can build-in measures to tackle climate change.'

Alison Nimmo, Director of Design and Regeneration for the ODA said: 'Sustainability is at the heart of our programme and runs through all we are doing - from the recycling of waste materials from the demolition programme, protecting and enhancing the ecology of the site, through to venue designs and energy source and supply. We have set ourselves challenging targets but have already made a strong start. We hope that the 2012 project will set new standards for the industry and establish high benchmarks for future developments.'

BOA Chairman Colin Moynihan: 'The London 2012 Sustainability Plan meets the high expectations of all of us involved in the 2012 Project and sets a precedent for the preparation and staging of future international sporting events. The environmental and socio-economic legacy benefits complement the need for a befitting 2012 sporting legacy which the BOA sees as a major priority in the years ahead.'

WWF Chief Executive David Nussbaum also welcomed the plan: 'WWF is pleased to have been involved in developing London 2012's sustainability plans. We welcome the publication of 'Towards a One Planet 2012', believing that it provides the framework for the contribution that the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games must make in working towards a one planet future. While there is still much work to be done between now and 2012, this document sets London on track to deliver the most sustainable Games yet and a lasting legacy.'

Sue Riddlestone, Executive Director of BioRegional, added: 'BioRegional welcomes the new sustainability plan which we have been closely involved in developing with the team. We are very happy to have been able to support London and the team since the bid stage, bringing the benefit of our experience in delivering solutions for sustainability. Our recent work with the ODA recycling and reclaiming the demolition waste on site shows what can be achieved. We look forward to continuing to work together to achieve a truly sustainable ‘One Planet 2012’.'

In addition, BSI is creating a new sustainable event standard, Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards commented: 'BSI British Standards and LOCOG worked together to develop the idea for a sustainable event standard following the successful London 2012 bid. Driven by the desire to produce a sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG worked closely with BSI to set up, draft, consult and run trials on BS 8901, Specification for a sustainable event management system with guidance for use. LOCOG will seek to use BS 8901 fully in its supply chains to enable delivery of the ‘most sustainable Games yet’. The standard will enable the events sector to operate a sustainable management system and it is hoped that future initiatives, small or large, will be inspired by the good work started by LOCOG in partnership with BSI British Standards in this important area of sustainability.'

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