A new report has found the London 2012 Olympic Games will be the most sustainable to date but organisers have still failed to deliver in significant areas.
The WWF-UK and BioRegional report, 'Towards a One Planet Olympics Revisited', concludes that London 2012 has succeeded in achieving many of its key sustainability targets.
However, the report points out serious shortfalls, including the failure to build a significant and visible renewable energy source.
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. Today’s 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.
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 have 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.”
David Nussbaum, WWF-UK’s Chief Executive, commented: “The Olympic Games is a truly global event that presents a powerful opportunity to drive positive outcomes for people and the planet. WWF, BioRegional and London 2012 helped chart a new course towards sustainability for ‘mega sporting events’ with the vision ‘Towards a One Planet Olympics’.
“We are pleased to report today that London has set the bar higher and has moved faster than previous comparable events. But as batons are passed in the next few weeks to those responsible for delivering a legacy from London 2012, and for putting on future Games, we expect that a stronger commitment to sustainability will continue.”