Greening Olympic Games 2012 and make both Olympic and Para-Olympic Games the greenest to date, the British created an urban park in a neglected and demoted industrial area by redeveloping more than 200 hectares, out of those 45 have been given over to creating new wildlife habitats for a variety of fauna – while much of the rest has been left as parkland.
The Olympic Park urban project redevelopment involved the plantation of thousands of semi-mature trees, hundreds of thousands of wetland plants and other species, and more than 10 hectares of annual and perennial meadows. The first independent commission ever appointed to review the results said the outcome has been impressive when compared to previous hosts Beijing, Athens and Sydney, though not everything has worked. ” Simon Lewis, a campaigner at environmental group WWF UK, said that, though progress on putting concern for the environment at the heart of the Olympic movement has been slow, London provided a sustainability blueprint for Olympic Games for years to come.
The International Olympic Committee encourages host cities to address how they will handle the environmental impact of the Games in their planning, and London 2012 Olympic Games embedded sustainability in its planning from the start. The ODA (Olympic Development Authority) matched or beat most of its sustainable development targets, such as those for carbon emissions, waste and energy efficiency, One target promised a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from construction in the Olympic Park compared to levels set out in 2006 building regulations. Others called for permanent buildings to be at least 15% more energy efficient, and for at least 90 percent of demolition waste to be reused or recycled. Some 2 million tons of the area’s soil was cleaned on site to remove contaminates such as oil, petrol, tar, arsenic and lead, while London’s Velodrome is twice as energy-efficient as it needed to be. Many of the venues, bridges and structures to accommodate an expected 11 million visitors to the London Games can be disassembled, downsized and relocated afterwards. Rio is already working on ways to cut traffic congestion and reduce emissions ahead of the 2016 Games, and its sustainability team has been in contact with London. But environmentalists say the IOC should set higher standards and require all future host cities to take on measurable targets. Until that happens, London – they say – is likely to remain the green benchmark by default.
How Green will be
The organizers failed to generate 20% of the park’s energy needs from renewable sources, but they still managed to meet the overall 50% emissions reduction goal . The WWF UK’s Lewis criticized London organizers in the selection of their “sustainability” partners, while “some of the Olympic sponsors, i.e. Energy and oil giant BP, are resisting a safer, cleaner and more affordable energy future. Therefore, they have not used the Games to create a positive change for sustainability and therefore they are not helping the Games be greener,” he said. BP pointed to its plans to offset the carbon footprints of all ticketed spectators’ travel to the Games, as an example of a BP initiative. She also added that the company is also providing biofuels and cleaner engine oils to be used in the more than 5,000 official vehicles earmarked for the Games. EDF Energy spokesman, conceded his company was unable to deliver a promised low-carbon fuel for the Olympic torch in time for London, but said it had successfully developed the fuel – derived from elephant grass – and that it would be available for future Games. EDF is also installing real-time energy monitoring technology to help control and reduce energy use at Olympic venue.
The next Day
Ultimately, London’s success will be judged on its ability to deliver a lasting environmental legacy – decades from now. Once the Games are over in mid-August, the Olympic facilities will be opened to the public in phases from the summer of 2013. Greening Olympic Gameas 2012 a variety of birds had been observed over the last couple of seasons since the new parklands were planted, while in the winter, a flock of some 50 teals took up residence, and the river corridor has also attracted cormorants, herons, little grebes, mute swans and coots. To host these new comers in the Olympic Park, more than 500 bird boxes, 150 bat boxes and artificial dens for otters have been installed in the park. Kim Olliver, an ecologist and environment manager with the ODA, said she hoped visitors and athletes would take time out from the excitement of the sporting events to relax by the river and listen to the reed warblers.