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Commission statement on BP Target Neutral programme at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

March 19, 2013   |   Posted by Jemma Percy

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The Commission has completed its assurance of BP’s Target Neutral Programme. BP was appointed by London 2012 as the Olympic and Paralympic Games offset partner for official travel. In addition, BP established a voluntary programme which offered to offset travel related carbon emissions for spectators, London 2012 corporate partners and the wider ‘Olympic family’ such as athletes and country delegations. The Target Neutral Programme: “…is an initiative that provides information and tools primarily through a website (www.bptargetneutral.com) but also other channels such as Facebook, to support the reduction of carbon footprints. The information and tools are structured around three topic areas: ‘Reduce, Replace and Neutralise’. Participants are encouraged to reduce their travel emissions, for example by replacing car journeys with public transport, by driving ‘smarter’, driving less and maintaining vehicles better. Participants are also encouraged to consider new fuel-efficient vehicle technologies such as high efficiency engines and improved tyres, or products that may support vehicle efficiency such as “BP Ultimate Fuels” and BP’s “Castrol” lubricants. The ‘Neutralise’ stream encourages participants to offset the carbon emissions from unavoidable travel, and provides the facility to offset”[1] The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (‘CSL’ / ‘The Commission’) decided to conduct assurance of …

Commission publishes Post-Games Report

November 14, 2012   |   Posted by Jemma Percy

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The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 has published its in-depth review into whether the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games truly delivered the promised levels of sustainability. The post-Games report, entitled London 2012 – From Vision to Reality, presents the final conclusions through key sustainability themes, with information based on first-hand observations and data gathered by the Commission during Games-time. The report concludes that the London 2012 Games broadly delivered against its sustainability objectives, and highlights several examples of leading practice which the Commission urges future Olympic and Paralympic organisers to follow. Using today’s release of its post-Games report, the Commission has called on the UK to lead the charge in ensuring London’s lessons are firmly embedded into the events industry. Ambitious sustainability targets such as zero waste to landfill and 70% waste to be re-used, recycled or composted are on track thanks to efforts such as meticulous attention to packaging and the effective use of the colour coded three-bin system. The transport system delivered an excellent service, and London 2012 should be praised for being the first Games to offer a fully comprehensive mobility service. Comprehensive public transport options and effective planning meant that the logistical operation for …

They think it’s all over

  |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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I was eight years old when England won the world cup in 1966. I can’t claim to remember the oft repeated commentary from Kenneth Wolstenholme “They think it’s all over – it is now” as Geoff Hurst completed his unique hat-trick to beat West Germany 4-2 in extra time but of course this is now the stuff of legend. Team GB and Paralympics GB made an equally legendary contribution to our sporting heritage. Maybe the choice of a lion as a mascot has something to do with it; Team GB and Paralympics GB had Pride the Lion and in more innocent times in 1966 we had World Cup Willie. They think the London 2012 Olympic Games are all over but from a sustainability point of view this is the end of the beginning. Today sees the release of our report entitled “London 2012 – From vision to reality“. It documents the fantastic effort made by my team to get to practically every Olympic venue with the exception of the football stadia. Not bad for a team of four people in a few short weeks. We also visited live sites, logistics hubs, waste transfer stations and numerous other “back of house” …

Commission statement on allegations of excessive food waste

September 13, 2012   |   Posted by Jemma Percy

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On 31st August 2012 the Commission received allegations from BBC London News that catering staff were being asked to throw away excessive quantities of food immediately after cooking at the athletes catering facility at Royal Holloway village, which served athletes competing in the rowing and flatwater canoe/kayak events at Eton Dorney. Background The BBC had approached LOCOG several days before they contacted the Commission and were issued with a statement denying the allegations, saying that this was the action of one disgruntled ex-employee. There had been no communication between LOCOG and the Commission before being approached by the BBC. The Commission was presented with some of the evidence before the news item was broadcasted on 7th September 2012. After the broadcast new evidence that was not used was presented to the Commission in confidence. These included photographs, additional video footage and transcripts of interviews. We were advised that 6 whistle blowers had made the allegations; their identity remains confidential to BBC London News. Given the evidence presented, this was investigated under our emerging issues procedure. LOCOG and Aramark have co-operated fully with this investigation. Context It is important to understand the scale of this operation. Catering for elite Olympic and …

A whiter shade

August 31, 2012   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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It was great to work with blind radio presenter Peter White again this week. He has done a lot for disabled people over the years and I admire his work. Peter frequently presents mainstream Radio 4 programmes such as “You and Yours” but my most recent contact with him was in his role as presenter for “In Touch” which he has presented since 1974 with a particular focus on blind and visually impaired people. Just this week I was involved in a debate with a blind Olympic and Paralympic Games Maker called Terry and a visually impaired spectator called Robert who had been to a wide variety of venues. LOCOG has placed a great deal of emphasis on the diversity of the workforce, volunteers and their supply chain. Their aim to have 6-10% of these workforces made up of disabled people was well on track to be achieved when we checked before the Games and I am confident that the final analysis will show this to be a success. It was great to hear Terry’s story, how he was trained and supported by LOCOG and how inspiring he found his role as a Games Maker. He said that he couldn’t …

Bike

August 28, 2012   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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It was great to see the ODA and LOCOG promoting cycling as a way to get to the Paralympics yesterday. Gold medal winner Joanna Rowsell is helping to promote cycling as a great way to get around. Over the past five years, London has become a much more cycle friendly city with thousands of people enjoying cycling as a cheap, sustainable and healthy way to experience our great city. The addition of the bright “Boris Bikes” means that you don’t even have to own a bike to enjoy this unique pleasure. Cycling gives you the full experience of the city, all the sights, sounds and smells and is the quickest way to travel over short journeys, along with walking. Travelling by car, bus or taxi is like observing the city through a TV screen. The subterranean experience of the Tube does not give you an experience of the city at all but it remains the fastest and most efficient way to travel for longer journeys. London 2012 has made a great effort to promote cycling as a way of getting to the Games as part of the Active Travel programme. A total of 7,200 secure bike parking places have been provided, along with web-based maps …

The end of the beginning

August 10, 2012   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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Like Jessica Ennis going into her final event; LOCOG’s Games were the final act in seven years of hard work by a variety of organisations. Early success was already in the bag. Great sustainable infrastructure, venues and a wonderful green park constructed by the ODA. Only venues that have a clear legacy use were designed to be permanent. The use of temporary venues has been unprecedented. Long term investment in public transport infrastructure has made Stratford one of the best connected places in Europe. The world’s first public transport Games was delivered by Transport for London and LOCOG despite all the predictions of doom and gridlock. The cheerful volunteers made the experience a joy. I even saw some people on the tube talking to each other! Why can’t it be like that all the time? LOCOG’s spectacular success in delivering a low carbon Olympic cauldron set the scene. London 2012 has demonstrated that it is possible to deliver a wonderful variety of sustainably sourced, competitively priced food and aim to dispose of the packaging with recycling and composting performance that should put the rest of the event industry to shame. Green spaces were well looked after. This was billed as …

All we are saying…

July 28, 2012   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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My team have been out on the streets of East London interviewing anti-corporate protestors coming together in a combined “Day of action” to use the London 2012 Games as a platform for their campaigns. After last night’s Danny Boyle extravaganza the nation is feeling incredibly positive about the Games but there remains a significant minority of people who are concerned about the role of corporate sponsorship related to the Games.  Over the seven years I have been chair of the Commission I have met a wide variety of people from NGOs and also most of the corporate sponsors to talk about issues related to the sustainability of the Games and its legacy. Most of these relationships have been constructive and I think we have been helpful in providing neutral, unbiased assurance and fact based analysis of the issues within our scope of responsibility. Sir David Higgins once referred to the Commission as “the single source of the truth about sustainability and London 2012”. We have tried to live up to this challenge at all times. However, there have been exceptions. Some corporations are inclined to demonstrate ultra-defensive behaviour and reach for their lawyers as a first reaction to any inconvenient …

Athletes Village

Village People

May 1, 2012   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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It was great to take our Commissioners on a tour of the Olympic Village and many thanks to Nigel Garfitt, Tony Sainsbury and the team from LOCOG for patiently showing us round and giving us their valuable time so close to the Games. The first impression of the experience is high security, we had 3 separate ID checks to get into the Village and for specific buildings. Nigel is the director responsible for the Village and many other aspects of the Games, his pass did not have the correct date so he was refused entry until the error had been corrected. I appreciate that a large amount of additional security is necessary to ensure the Games are safe but our Commissioners have expressed concern that  additional scrutiny may continue in wider society after the Games and infringe the civil liberties of the most watched nation on earth. There has to be a balance after the Games. The Village is the first to be located within walking distance of the main competition venues and the excellent public transport links to central London will provide a great experience for athletes of the 208 nations who will descend on us in less than …

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Commission publishes sustainability review of London 2012 merchandise

October 11, 2011   |   Posted by Jemma Percy

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The Commission has published a snapshot review of the sustainability of London 2012 merchandise. The review, titled Sustainably Sourced?, examines the work done by LOCOG to implement sustainable merchandising policies, in line with the overall commitment to host the most sustainable Games ever held. With total expected retail sales in the region of £1 billion and 10,000 individual products, merchandise is a significant part of LOCOG’s revenue generation. Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, said: “LOCOG has had success in making standard merchandise more sustainable, but not in making sustainable merchandise standard. London 2012 has been successful in changing the behaviour of the industry, but needs to seize the opportunity to change the behaviour of the consumer. “We recognise that there are some sustainability issues which LOCOG can’t solve on its own; however, we believe that by fully engaging with LOCOG’s sustainable and ethical sourcing codes, London 2012 licensees can adopt more sustainable behaviour on a permanent basis. This will create a lasting legacy for UK and international brands and will have commercial as well as environmental and social benefits. “We recognise that labour standards are an issue for the industry, and welcome LOCOG’s efforts to address …

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