Commission launches final report – Making a Difference

March 20, 2013

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The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL) has today published its final report, which looks at the sustainability achievements of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and whether these successes can be replicated in the UK and beyond.

Entitled Making a Difference, the report concludes that while there have been some excellent examples of action to embed the lessons learnt from the Games, for example, through the Government’s on-going support for the 2012 Learning Legacy web portal, there is still more to be done.

The Commission’s findings point to two main factors holding back widespread adoption of sustainable practice in the UK: firstly, slowness in government action in embedding sustainability in government procurement; and secondly, the need for more independent oversight to ensure that sustainability targets in all sectors are met. The Commission has recommended the Government revisit advice to embed sustainability into the construction sector, and that major projects open themselves up to independent scrutiny of their sustainability commitments.

Also examined are issues relating to corporate sponsorship, which raised some unresolved ethical concerns during London 2012. The use of forced labour and excessive working hours in supply chains remain a problem for many industries as a whole.

To combat this problem in the Olympic and Paralympic world, the Commission’s report recommends that the IOC and other sports bodies work together to develop an ethical framework as a means of encouraging sponsors to improve human rights in the supply chain.

Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, said:

“London 2012 was the first games to be monitored by an independent sustainability body. It was a ground-breaking decision seven years ago when we were first established. We’ve proved that the concept works, and now we’re seeing evidence of Commission-style assurance being used on large-scale private developments around the world.’

“However there is some way to go before the model is embedded in the UK public sector. London and the UK is looking to host a number of high profile events in the coming years and are well placed to take advantage of London 2012’s sustainability successes and lessons learnt. Internationally, Rio 2016 and the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco have already demonstrated a commitment to cutting edge sustainability goals and we look forward to even better sustainability outcomes from the UK into the future. So much good has come from the Games, it’s up to government and the private sector to adopt Olympic best practice and ensure the legacy lives on.”

The full report can be read here.