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 ( 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 …

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 …

Streets of fire

May 18, 2012   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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At long last the torch relay comes to the country, signalling the start of London’s third modern Olympics. People who have worked on Games in the past tell me that the attitude of the nation tends to change when the torch arrives; people start to get excited about the Games and more positive about them generally. I hope this is the case, as much as I support the doom mongers and whingers right to free speech I would like to hear more voices raised in celebration and pride. The greatest show on earth is coming to my city for the only time, certainly in my life. I am determined to enjoy every minute of it and bore my grandchildren about it for the rest of my life. Note to self; encourage grown up kids to start breeding soon so I can bore my grandchildren for a bit longer. Of course it is not perfect. We were critical of LOCOG and their energy partner last year for their failure to deliver their commitment to a “low carbon torch”. However I have been impressed with LOCOG’s efforts to reduce the size of the entourage following the torch around and subsequent number of …

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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 …

ITC land fill and energy management company in Ankara, Turkey

BP Target Neutral seeks world record in carbon offset

September 30, 2011   |   Posted by Jemma Percy

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BP Target Neutral has announced that all London 2012 ticketholders from across the world will be invited to attempt the setting of a new world record for the most number of people offsetting their travel carbon to a single event. The scheme aims to create awareness of the environmental impact of their journeys, and will invite ticketholders to sign up to have their travel carbon footprint offset at no cost to themselves. As London 2012′s official Carbon Offset Partner, BP Target Neutral will be providing the administration and funding to offset carbon emissions from the Games-related travel of ticketholders. LOCOG will be emailing all ticketholders on Monday 3rd October with a personal invitation to participate in the world record attempt. Further information can be found via this link

Commission statement on Stadium Wrap announcement

August 4, 2011   |   Posted by Jemma Percy

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Artists Impression of Stadium Wrap (Credit: AP Photo/Dow Chemical) The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed that their Worldwide Olympic Partner, Dow Chemical Company, will be producing a sustainable, fabric ‘wrap’ that will encircle the Olympic Stadium during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London, said “We welcome this addition to the Games experience and the great emphasis that has been placed on sustainability. The combination of light weight low energy design, use of alternatives to PVC and consideration to transportation is impressive. We value re-use over recycling and other forms of waste disposal and will follow up with LOCOG regarding the plans for re-use, to avoid landfill waste and potentially support humanitarian work.” Further information on London 2012′s annoucement can be found here

Love over gold

March 28, 2011   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

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The energy efficiency medal table? It is a great privilege to be Chair of CSL. I see all aspects of sustainability for the Games and meet everybody involved with the agenda. This is quite a unique perspective and gets me involved with many different government bodies, NGOs, political leaders and more. This has been a steep learning curve for me as I come from a mostly corporate background and I have had to learn several new cultures and ways of working over the past four years. It is always good to return to my roots and meet with LOCOG’s commercial partners to understand what they are doing. It must be a bit like doing a job in a second language that you speak fluently and then returning home to converse in your mother tongue. I met recently with Coca-Cola to understand what they are doing to reduce the carbon footprint of their product and operation, including their plans for recycling and HFC free cooling. This is the first time they have invested substantial resources into using their brand value and sponsorship of the Games to really push sustainability hard and it is very impressive. The project that most intrigued me …