Environment Secretary Caroline spelled out how sustainability has been at the heart of every stage of the London 2012 project, at an international media briefing earlier this week.
From the construction of the Olympic Park to the long-term legacy plans, 75 pence in every pound invested has been focused on longer-term benefits.
There have been immediate benefits, from the regeneration of East London, to the prospects of thousands of businesses across the country, with a new study showing that the positive economic impact of London 2012 could reach between £13 and £16.5bn. But hosting the Games has always been about showing how British ingenuity and commitment to making the world “greener” could deliver both economic and social benefits.
The evidence from the construction of the Olympic site clearly shows that taking a sustainable approach can actually save money, rather than costing a project more, as is usually assumed. Major businesses involved in creating the Games are already applying these sustainability lessons to their next projects, not out of some altruism but because there are real bottom line benefits for business.
Defra has also been working with a number of organisations to use the Games to “Inspire Sustainable Living”. This has generated a number of projects which have successfully encouraged individuals and local communities to adopt greener behaviours, such as recycling more, reducing water and energy use, and walking and cycling more on new accessible routes.
In conclusion, Caroline Spelman noted that:
- The Games is this country’s opportunity to show the world what a fantastic place Britain is to live in, to visit, and to come and do business.
- It showed that we are an innovative, creative, and forward-thinking nation that has realised the value of its natural environment.
- It also showed how we can protect that environment while still generating new buildings, new business and new jobs.
Watch Caroline Spelman discuss this
In this video, Caroline Spelman discusses how London 2012 will be the greenest Games so far: