With the Olympic Games in full swing in London, there is a sustainable legacy that it should leave behind. The games have been planned to ISO20121, the international standard on sustainability in event management, that will potentially be part of a very influential global legacy. Key elements of the standard includes sustainability issues such as:
- venue selection
- recycling or reusing demolition waste
- creating a sustainable food strategy
- promoting healthy living and creating skills
- employment and business legacies
The Olympic Park is also very green with the local river having been returned to a more natural state. There are many wild flowers that have been planted around the Olympic Park site making it more natural looking than previous games. The Velodrome has been designed with natural ventilation to reduce the energy requirements of air conditioning for example. The Aquatics Centre was built using concrete from demolished buildings that originally stood on the venue’s site. Most visitors to the games are being encouraged to travel by public transport. Tickets come with a travel card for London as an incentive. Stratford station nearby is well connected to EuroStar international services, Underground trains and mainline train services as well as buses.
On the energy front there are biomass boilers using sustainable biomass fuels (woodchip) and gas to generate heat, and a Combined Cooling Heat and Power (CCHP) plant to capture the heat generated by electricity production. There are also vertical axis wind turbines around the site that generate electricity. All of these factors make the site more energy efficient than it could have been if the power was just imported from external sources.
With regard to employment and business legacies a company called Closed Loop Recycling is set to expand and provide more jobs in the future. The new plant in Dagenham, Essex, is around 5 miles from the Games. The company has a state of the art recycling facility that will recycle plastic bottles and the expansion plans aim to reduce the energy consumed also. Details may be found at the Business Green web site.