EMEA Upstream Sustainability Services
With less than 80 days to go to the Games, East London Business Alliance (ELBA) kindly hosted a visit to the London Olympic site in Stratford, which I was lucky enough to attend. I stepped on the tour bus, the guide said “Welcome to the 2012 Olympic site, this tour is all about sustainability and the legacy of the site.” This was great to hear since the organisers consistently said that sustainability will be at the heart of the Games.
He proceeded to tell us about all the sustainability credentials of the site; the Velodrome’s natural ventilation system and 100% sustainability sourced timber; the Aquatics Centre’s recycled material foundation; the cleaning and reusing of tonnes of soil; the parklands that were produced to create biodiversity and green space; and the list goes on. To top it off, all the buildings except the stadium have been already sold to private investors for post-Games use; well except for all the temporary buildings that will be dismantled to be used elsewhere. Needless to say, I was impressed and amazed – and I don’t use the terms lightly.
The Statement from the Chair of the London 2012 Sustainability Ambassadors Group put it very well: “Invite 14,700 of the world’s finest athletes to compete together, watched by millions of spectators from all around the world in the presence of the world’s most demanding media. Locate the whole show in one of the most under-developed areas of your capital city, on some of the most contaminated and derelict land it’s possible to find. Undertake to make sure all the buildings and all the infrastructure required, and all the services provided to stage such a jamboree, meet the highest possible sustainability standards. Give yourselves just seven years to marshal all the money needed, employ the best possible staff, procure billions of pounds worth of goods and services and mobilise thousands of volunteers – with sustainability at the heart of the entire operation – and that’s the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games!”
I’ve never been more proud to be a Londoner!