Greenest Olympics Yet

Internationally, everyone is watching the 2012 Summer Olympics occurring in London.  Although the focus is the athletes, it is important to recognize England’s sustainability efforts regarding the venue.

David Stubbs, head of sustainability for the London 2012 Games, claimed that “Sustainability was a key reason why London was chosen.” Britain even agreed to allow an outside organization, the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, to monitor its green efforts.

Once a wasteland and contaminated industrial site, the area has been transformed by the Olympic Village.  The original buildings were knocked down and reduced to rubble that was used to supplement building materials in the Olympic Park.

England also had many of the arenas built as temporary structures or with temporary seating extenders.  This will allow the venues to reduce their size after the games are over, to provide smaller facilities for the local community.  For example, there are detachable wings on the main stadium that adds an additional 50,000 seats.

Outside the stadiums, the Olympic Village was built to mimic a park.   Since construction began, they have planted over 300,000 wetland plants, with more than 4,000 trees and 130,000 plants and bulbs.  They have also cleaned up the once contaminated local river.

Stubbs claims that they tried to use sustainable or recycled materials as much as possible during construction.  For example, cyclists will race on a track made from sustainably-sourced Siberian Pine.

The main Olympic Stadium is the lightest ever built, which means less materials and waste associated with its construction.  The Velodrome, is the most energy-efficient venue in Olympic Park. 

Despite these efforts, the commission and other environmental organizations claim there is still much room for improvement.  Specifically: “The CSL is concerned that waste won’t be properly segregated for recycling or reuse. And critics have complained about the influence and role of corporate sponsors.”

Read more about the 2012 Olympics’ sustainability efforts at CNN or the National Geographic.

One thought on “Greenest Olympics Yet

  1. Reblogged this on Teresa Young's Beautiful Life Blog and commented:
    We haven’t watched much of the Olympics yet while in Paris, but we’re looking forward to jumping into it once we get home this weekend. Meanwhile, I was not aware of these impressive sustainability efforts. Thanks to fellow blogger Ambika Melville for this informative post…

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