London 2012 to miss renewable energy target

11th April 2011

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The London 2012 Olympics should meet its target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50%, but not by using renewable energy according to its monitoring body.

In its review of 2010, the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 has revealed that the target of achieving a 20% reduction of emissions through renewable energy was found to be “uneconomical”.

Instead the games aims to achieve just 9% through energy sourced renewably and will achieve the remainder though an “aggressive energy conservation plan”.

The commission said it was “satisfied” that the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) had explored all feasible alternatives and that the failure was a lesson to “set targets based on what will be achieved rather than how”.

Overall the annual review was a positive one stating it was “reasonably confident” that the games would meet its carbon reduction targets and that the signs were good that the games would have a lasting legacy on the sustainable development of future events.

Furthermore, the commission praised the “exemplary performance” of the ODA in ensuring sustainability in the construction projects and the targets set by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) following the 2009 annual review.

After previous criticism of the Greater London Authority City Operations (GLA CO) the commission agreed that the operation’s employment of a full-time sustainability resource team and a commitment to the British sustainable events standard, BS 8901, were “encouraging”.

The review concluded with 10 recommendations including:

  • the ODA evaluates and publishes the carbon footprints of at least two venues as a part of their learning legacy work
  • the GLA City Operations urgently develop targets, objectives and procedures to comply with BS 8901 and to meet LOCOG’s sustainability standards
  • the UK government and the GLA mandate certification to BS 8901 for all official events.

To read the report in full, visit the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 website.


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