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London 2012 is 'greenest Olympics ever' says report

20 Jul 12 Despite failing on its renewable targets, the London 2012 games are being hailed as the most ecologically sustainable modern Olympics ever held.

A report by WWF-UK and BioRegional, called Towards a One Planet Olympics Revisited, concludes that London 2012 has succeeded in being the most sustainable Games yet, but that failures have occurred in some significant areas.

For example, the use of carbon footprint as a strategic tool was good, but 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.”

In 2005, BioRegional and WWF-UK, worked with London 2012, to write the original sustainability strategy, Towards a One Planet Olympics. The new 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.

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Sue Riddlestone, BioRegional’s executive director who was involved writing in the original strategy, said: “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 has 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.”

Read the report Towards a One Planet Olympics Revisited.

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