Sustainability in Construction

Aquatics Centre1

The ODA has been successful in making the Olympic Park an example of sustainable construction in action through a combination of

  • Commitment from its Board and management
  • Clear policies and targets
  • An effective sustainability management system
  • Robust monitoring and assurance
  • Sitewide contracts

ODA Sustainable Development Strategy

In February 2007 the ODA published its Sustainable Development Strategy. This set out clear targets for:

  • carbon
  • water
  • waste
  • materials
  • biodiversity and ecology
  • land, air, water, noise.

Environment and Sustainability Management System

These have been implemented through an Environment and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) developed with the ODA Delivery Partner. This has been certified to ISO 14001. Where the ODA has set clear targets, these have followed through into designs, which have then followed through into contracts and are being implemented on site. This is monitored through a programme of assurance and site audits.

Employment and Skills

In addition to environmental sustainability issues, the ODA has set targets and taken actions to help ensure the workforce is more representative of the local area and includes local people. They have set targets for local people and previously unemployed in the workforce and have benchmarks for BAME, women and disabled people. These have been supported by working with local job brokerages and with skills training centres. There is an apprenticeship centre on site and contractors are required to take on apprentices.

Sitewide Contracts

The ODA set up sitewide contracts to help contractors to meet their sustainability targets. These include contracts for:

  • ready mix concrete
  • aggregates
  • fuel
  • laboratory services
  • environmental monitoring
  • sitewide waste management

These contracts were let by the ODA and made available to contractors. They help contractors in meeting the ODA sustainability targets as they provide goods or services in a way that supports the targets. For example, the aggregates and raw materials for concrete are brought to the site by rail and include a high proportion of recycled content. These mean that the concrete used on site has been calculated to reduce cause 42% less carbon emissions than the UK average.

ODA performance

The ODA publishes updates of its performance against its sustainability targets. It published a Sustainable Design and Construction Update in November 2009 and a summary of how they have been transforming the Olympic Park in June 2010.

Feeding the workforce

The ODA has worked with its main contractors to encourage them to provide more healthy and sustainable catering for their workforces. More on this can be found in the Commission’s Food Review.