London 2012 - the greenest Olympics yet?

Mon, 30/07/12

On Friday night the United Kingdom welcomed the world to London and the 2012 Olympics with an impressive opening ceremony.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon played a starring role by carrying the Olympic flag across the arena to the flagpole, located up the green hill - the only part of Danny Boyle's bucolic Britian to survive into and beyond the Industrial Revolution.
Over the next two weeks, athletes from all countries of the world will run, jump and skip together, inspired by the hope of winning a medal. But the Games are about more than the medals. They are a public celebration of our shared humanity and the best the our species has to offer –  strength, endurance, skill and a great capacity for working together, with dignity and respect.
This year’s Olympics is also drawing attention to the relationship between people and the planet, and has long held the ambition to be ‘the world’s first truly sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games'.
The management team have been working with key stakeholders before and since London was awarded the Games in 2007, to identify the priority issues for a sustainable Games. In 2011 these were confirmed as:

  • Carbon management to deliver a low-carbon Games
  • Delivering a zero-waste Games
  • Providing sustainable and accessible transport
  • Using the Games to showcase the economic benefits
    of sustainability
  • Promoting sustainable living by making sustainability
    a visible part of the Games
  • Ensuring the Olympic Park legacy contributes to the
    regeneration of communities in east London

A report by WWF and BioRegional provides analysis of the extent to which London 2012 has succeeded in being the most sustainable Games yet, and concludes that overall it has succeeded, though there were failures in significant areas such as the failure to build a significant and visible renewable energy source. It has also been noted that there is little mention of air travel in the sustainability plans or reports.

Read more about the sustainability aspects of the Olympics

Read the London 2012 sustainability summary report

Read the WWF and BioRegional assessment of the sustainability performance of the Games