Sustainable London 2012 – the final lap

July 26, 2011   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy


Like many British people, I remember the sound of the bell to signify the last lap, the gasp of tension in the crowd and the sight of Seb Coe crossing the finishing line to claim his gold in that famous race. The bell has now sounded on the race to become the most sustainable Games ever and it is time to assess the likely medal position. It is a question of gold or silver, not abject failure. But what are the successes propelling us forward, and what are the failures tugging us back? It cannot be denied that the ODA has set new standards of sustainability for the construction industry. They have many significant achievements and one significant failure. The good news first: 95% waste diverted from landfill, buildings which are 95% HFC-free, are 15% more energy efficient than building regulations (with the wonderful velodrome achieving 31%) – the list goes on. With respect to social and economic sustainability the ODA has delivered on its promises to employ people living locally, to offer more than 350 apprenticeships and to employ 10% of the workforce from people previously unemployed for six months. The big failure relates to renewable energy. LOCOG promised …