After the opening ceremony on Friday night, the organizers have been keen to emphasize the Games’ sustainability credentials, so we are going to have a look at it and see what is on offer.
A program called “Active Travel Programme” enables to the visitors have access to walking and cycling routes across London and other cities hosting the Games. £10m (US$15.5m) has been invested in making improvements to over 75km (46.6 miles) of key walking and cycling routes in and outside London. Thanks to this program people will able to walk and cycle, prevent emissions and improve human health.
Thereby, the organizers have set up an energy centre producing energy for the Olympic stadium using a biomass boiler fueled with biomass.
Besides, 60 percent of construction materials by weight were delivered by rail or water transport. Like this, 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill and was reused or recycled instead. The Olympic Stadium is said to be the most lightweight Olympic Stadium to date, thanks to a minimal use of steel. Moreover, the Velodrome is almost 100 percent naturally ventilated. Rainwater is collected from the roof for flushing toilets and for irrigation.
However, the list of corporate sponsors is not so green…The culmination of the ceremony involved green custard being poured over the heads of three company representatives of Dow Chemical, British Petroleum and mining giant Rio Tinto, which sponsor the Games. The Olympic medals are provided by Rio Tinto, which is responsible for such a string of international environmental and human rights controversies.
These cannot be the most sustainable games ever when the medals have been sourced so irresponsibly,” said Richard Solly of London Mining Network.
The issue of corporate sponsorship is particularly strong in the UK, where protesters often criticize the ethics (or lack of) steeming from the acceptance of money from companies that pollute.