environmental sciences

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Sustainability In The London 2012 Olympics Environmental Sciences Essay

The theme and heart of the Olympics and the Paralympic Games 2012 is sustainability. The sustainable approach will lead to long lasting environmental, social and economic benefits through regeneration and legacy (Pointer and Mercury, 2009). The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 was launched on 23 January 2007 to independently assure ‘London’s 2012’ pledge to host the sustainable Games.

Source: http://www.london2012.com

The reason for London to host the 2012 Olympic Games was the sustainable aspect of the Games and the site. The London Olympic Games are set to make history on carbon reduction issues and is the first of its kind concerning the infrastructure and worldwide publicity of Games. The venue of the 2012 Games will be the two hundred and forty-six hectare Olympic Park in east London and the western edge of the Thames Gateway. East London is the most diverse and most deprived community in the UK, the idea behind the project was to regenerate the whole city. To clean and clear the Olympic Park, sustainable techniques were utilised to recycle and reuse ninety percent of the demolition material and eighty percent of soil on site. The government is putting their best effort to achieve short and long term goals. A good progress is being made in the area of sustainable design and construction to achieve energy efficiency. The Olympics committee have planned to minimise the environmental impact and have set a zero carbon policy for 2012.

The organisations responsible for London 2012 Games are the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to plan and stage the Games and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to build the venues and infrastructure for the Games. The London 2012 Olympic offers opportunities for London to improve infrastructure being environmentally sustainable. The London 2012 organising committee has developed a policy to set out the idea of sustainability, One Planet Living and has a plan to achieve these goals. The committee wants United Kingdom TO BE the world’s leading sporting nation, MAKE the Olympic Park a guide to sustainable living, TRANSFORM east London to a better place, INSPIRE young people to take part in social and cultural activities, DEMONSTRATE the country is a welcoming place to all.

In 2006, few construction commitments were developed for the Olympics 2012. The committee wanted an integrated project team that works together to achieve the best possible outcomes and which includes designers, builders, architects, environmental analysts and sustainability developers to achieve designs that are innovative, creative and capable of meeting necessary objectives, using modern methods of construction, with the theme of sustainability and ensuring health and safety standards. The Olympics 2012 plan involves three main phases i.e. the preparation, event staging and building an ever lasting heritage. The 2012 games preparation involves design and construction of the Olympic Park and infrastructure, keeping sustainability the theme of the project, to create an influence on the construction techniques for the country as sustainability is a relatively new concept. The 2012 games must secure a legacy for the Olympic Park area and the UK to be a platform for sustainable regeneration programme. The important factor for the planning and construction is the sourcing of materials, waste management, construction impacts and benefits, employment and bio-diversity affects.

Reducing Carbon footprint of Olympics

I Energy

The main key to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is the provision of renewable energy with high level of efficiency, the authorities want to produce clean energy wastes and sewage. The Olympic committee and the London development authority are setting a new energy recovery plant that uses waste to generate renewable energy, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The main concern for the games is the carbon footprint of permanent venues and the embodied energy of the structures for temporary venues.

II Waste

One of the issues is to eliminate and handle waste and try to reuse, recycle or compost it, it has been ensured that no waste arising during Olympics will be directly send to landfill. The recycled material will be used for food packaging systems to avoid contamination.

Source: London 2012 sustainability plan

III Water resource management

The sustainability issue for the games includes provision of clean drinking water, recycling grey water, managing flood risks. This will be achieved by imposing water saving technologies, reducing demand of water and designing efficient landscape for the city.

IV Air Quality

Good air quality is a priority consideration for the games to ensure the best conditions for world athletes to compete in, the pollution will be reduced to a minimum during the games.

V Biodiversity

Biodiversity conservation is a part of the development of many 2012 venues, ensuring no significant adverse effect on habitats or species.

VI Materials

Selection of materials is a main part of the sustainable sourcing, the purpose and use is identified, keeping in mind the local source of the material, cost and value for money, its pay back time, environmental and social impacts and the scope to reuse or recycle.

VII Transport

The London 2012s sustainable transport schemes encourage people to travel to London venues by the sustainable modes - public transport, walking or cycling and use of rail over air transport to minimise the carbon emissions and impacts on air quality generated by the transport.

VIII Food

The vision for the food during games is to provide diverse and good quality British food and drinks at affordable prices which will leave a strong, sustainable legacy for UK by nurturing commercial partnerships.

VIII Health and Safety

London 2012 is committed to promote healthy living among the workforce by provision of healthy food in the site canteens, auditing caterers on the park by Environmental Health Offices (EHOs), not allowing alcohol on the sites and delivering health and safety educational programme for children residing near the site.

IX Equality and Diversity

The London Olympics 2012 will raise job opportunities in London by 70,000 by 2012 (job volunteer London 2012), the community believes in equality among men, women, races and disabled people.

The London Olympics 2012 have set five priority themes for sustainability. For change in climate issues, their aim is to minimise carbon footprint of Games and the development as a whole, which will be achieved by minimising embodied energy affects, optimising energy efficiency and use of renewable energy resources. The Olympics are trying to develop a waste management infrastructure - reuse, reduce, recycle, compost and use waste to produce energy. The area hosting Olympics will be developed by physical, social and economic regeneration and by enhancing ecology of the venues to conserve nature. The Games and the legacy will promote a healthy lifestyle for British and make them aware of the sustainability aspects (London 2012 sustainability plan).

The Olympics will provide a platform to solutions for developing infrastructure, energy and water resource management, transport, local food production, carbon mitigation and adaptation.


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