London is the first summer Host City to embed sustainability in its planning from the start. We're aiming to set new standards, creating positive, lasting change for the environment and communities.
For London 2012, 'sustainability' is far more than being 'green'. It's ingrained into our thinking – from the way we plan, build and work, buy, to the way we play, socialise and travel; ultimately everything that we do.
Launch of the Changing Places Programme
Local people involved in the Changing Places programme are helping to transform the area around the Olympic Park site.

Planning a sustainable Games from the outset

Sustainability was embedded in the bid for the 2012 Games. We committed to: 

  • use venues already existing in the UK where possible;
  • only make permanent structures that will have a long-term use after the Games;
  • build temporary structures for everything else.

We want to use the Games as a catalyst for change, for the regeneration of and improvement of quality of life in East London and encourage more sustainable living across the whole of the UK.

Towards a One Planet 2012

Our approach is based on the WWF/BioRegional concept of ‘One Planet Living®’ - to help us live within the world’s resources, rather than using three planets worth of resources as we currently do in the UK. 

The London 2012 Sustainability Plan: Towards a One Planet 2012 highlights how we aim to host the most sustainable Games to date and the progress we are making. 

The Sustainability Plan focuses on five key themes:

1. Climate change: minimising greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring legacy facilities are able to cope with the impacts of climate change.

2. Waste: minimising waste at every stage of the project, ensuring no waste is sent to landfill during Games-time, and encouraging the development of new waste processing infrastructure in East London.

3. Biodiversity: minimising the impact of the Games on wildlife and their habitats in and around Games venues, leaving a legacy of enhanced habitats where we can eg the Olympic Park.

4. Inclusion: Promoting access for all and celebrating the diversity of London and the UK, creating new employment, training and business opportunities.

5. Healthy living: Inspiring people across the country to take up sport and develop active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

Each year we report on progress to date – see the London 2012 Update and Report Card (2008).

To ensure we stick to our promises, an independent body, the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, has been set up to monitor us and report back to the public.

Creating sustainable events

We aspire to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 in compliance with the British Standard for Sustainable Events (BS 8901). 

As part of this approach we must ensure that the events we host leading up to the Games are as sustainable as possible. We have published our Sustainability Guidelines for Corporate and Public Events to help us.

A key aspect to our Guidelines, and indeed our approach to the Games overall, is ensuring that we only use or hire what we need. 

Read more in our Sustainability Guidelines for Events

See also

environmental monitoring

Environmental monitoring
We're checking the environment around the Olympic Park site to limit dust, noise and other pollution

Changing Places - Team Green Britain Day

Changing Places volunteering

Get email updates