Bioregional helped to make the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the most sustainable ever. We want to build on that contribution by helping organisers of sports events to reduce environmental impacts, boost the local economy and help surrounding communities to secure long term benefits.
A winning formula for sustainable sport
Back in 2003, Bioregional wrote the sustainable strategy for London’s bid for the 2012 Olympic Games with support and endorsement from WWF UK. That strategy, which helped bring the world’s greatest sporting event to London, was based on the ten One Planet principles.
We went on to work alongside the London 2012 team as a critical friend advising on planning applications, the carbon footprint of the event and other aspects. We worked on site helping to achieve the ambitious 98% target for recycling and re-use of demolition materials. We acted as all-round sustainability adviser and checker for the construction of the Media Hub, the biggest enclosed building on the Olympic Park. And, again with support from WWF-UK, we analysed the overall performance of the Games in terms of sustainability publishing our findings just before they opened in July 2012.
Bioregional also created and ran two Olympic-themed visitor centres on sustainability with funding from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Coca Cola. Both had clear, engaging messages about the benefits of moving to a more sustainable lifestyle based on our One Planet framework. One of these interactive exhibitions was hosted in our BedZED headquarters. The other was housed in a compact pavilion made from recycled and low impact materials and sited in the Athletes’ Village during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. More than 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 140 nations visited it.
We have gone on to research and write the first annual review of the sustainability performance of the London Legacy Development Corporation, assessing this against a sustainability plan with 73 accompanying targets organised into seven key themes. This work included producing a corporate carbon footprint. This report, with graphic design by leading consultancy The Ayres, covers the period from April 2012 to April 2014 when the LLDC’s most high profile asset, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, was fully reopened to the public. We found 88% of the LLDC’s targets have either been achieved or are on track for achievement.
We also published our own recipe for sustainable sport and major events and venues based on our ten One Planet Living principles. This three-part guide is a practical, clear and coherent statement of what genuine sustainability means for sports organisations – ranging from a small sports club to a city bidding for the Olympic Games.
We want to carry on working with the LLDC and the surrounding boroughs, supporting them in delivering a sustainable legacy from the Games for East London and beyond.
About the partners
The London Legacy Development Corporation’s purpose is to use the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the London 2012 Games and the creation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to develop a dynamic new heart for East London, creating opportunities for local people and driving innovation and growth in London and the UK. The LLDC is responsible for the long term planning, development, management and maintenance of the park and its impact on the surrounding area.
WWF is the world’s leading independent conservation organisation. It addresses issues from the survival of species and habitats to climate change, sustainable business and environmental education, creating solutions to the most important environmental challenges facing the planet so people and nature can thrive. WWF-UK, the first national organisation to be set up in the global WWF network, is a registered charity working with governments, businesses and communities in the UK and around the world.