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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 …

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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 …

They sold me a merry Christmas

December 17, 2010   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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Christmas – season of goodwill or orgy of conspicuous consumption of useless tat? As we approach Games-time the push to sell London 2012 merchandise is hotting up. You can see the offers available on the London 2012 website at http://shop.london2012.com/   When I was at the Beijing Games in 2008, I commented on these pages about the huge appetite Chinese people had for the Games and the cheap merchandise that went with it. I tried to describe the huge retail outlets piled high with all manner of stuff carrying the Beijing 2008 logo and the hot, tired shoppers queuing outside the door to get their hands on these items. At the time I expressed a desire that London 2012 would be different. During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, I commented on the horror stories coming from China about the labour and environmental standards employed at the factories making the mascots for the event. Claims of excessive profiteering were abundant, damaging the reputation of the event. This was shortly before LOCOG gave the world Wenlock and Mandeville, the twin Olympic mascots for London 2012. I must say I was quite impressed with the way sustainability messages were weaved into …

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