OLYMPIC SPONSORS NEED TO PULL WEIGHT

The Olympic Games in London 2012 may not meet its sustainability goals unless sponsors start taking on some of the burden.

According to reports in the Financial Times, the head of the organising committee, David Stubbs, said of the targets: “We know we can’t do this on our own.”

The London 2012 Games has been billed as the “greenest ever”, with pledges such as “zero waste to landfill”. However, it seems that all the 55 sponsors will have to pull their weight. The sustainability watchdog for the games – the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 – said that some were already doing so with “evidence that the Olympics is starting to skew investment around sustainability”.

Coca Cola has, in fact, just announced that it will recycle a fifth of the litter at the Olympic Park. Coke will process around 20 million used bottles and use them in 80 million new bottles, each one containing 25% recycled content.

Coke is one of three commercial partners who will play a part in delivering food and drink for the Games – the others being McDonald’s and Cadbury. As significant contributors to the financing of the Games, they are all expected to play a key role in supporting and delivering the sustainability objectives, according to the Commission’s website. It claims that: “All three companies have made considerable efforts to reduce the social and environmental impacts of their products and all three have also signed up to the LOCOG Food Vision.”

Earlier in the week, six of the games’ Sustainability Ambassadors paid a visit to the Olympic Park. Campaigner and author, Eugenie Harvey; author and environmentalist, Saci Lloyd; entrepreneur and businesswoman, Deborah Meaden; environmentalist and writer, Jonathon Porritt; co-founder of the Eden Project, Tim Smitt; and Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud have been tasked with bringing people’s attention to the importance of sustainability at the games.

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