How London is Keeping the 2012 Olympics Sustainable


Carrying the torch for green.

In a London Olympics 2012 poster titled “being greener”, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games vows to keep this year’s Games eco-friendly.

London’s Olympic Park will be one of the biggest city parks newly constructed in Europe for more than 150 years. The Games will host 26 Olympic events, 20 Paralympic events, 14,700 athletes, 21,000 media, and 10.8 million ticket holders. While it will inevitably boost the city’s economy, the strain on resources is unavoidable. The Organizing Committee is working hard to maintain a high level of sustainability despite all that needs to be constructed, and the the “being greener” poster is a representation of London’s conscious efforts to make its Olympics the greenest of them all.


The Park will be equipped with some of the most cutting-edge technology to curtail the Games’ greenhouse gas emissions, preserve the natural habitat surrounding the area, as well as to recycle, reuse and reduce all waste. In a pamphlet distributed by the Organizing Committee, the extent of London’s green efforts are detailed.

  • 20% of the energy used on the Olympic Park will come from renewable sources
  • 4,000 newts and hundreds of toads have been removed from the Park to be protected
  • 90% of the materials from the demolition of building in the Olympic Park have been recovered so they can be reused or recycled.
  • 50% of materials that are being used to construct the Park will be transported by water or rail, saving thousands of trips on local roads.
  • A 120-meter wind turbine in the Park will produce enough electricity for 1,000 homes
  • 80 lampposts, 2 tons of red bricks, and 76 tons of paving stones will be saved for reuse on the Park.
  • A 3-kilometer footpath and cycle-way will be improved for the local population as well as wildlife.
  • Rubbish was removed from 8.35 kilometers of waterways running through the Olympic Park
  • 45 hectares of wildlife habitats will be left on and around the Park after the games


While the athletic events are the priority this summer, behind the scenes, London is doing what it can to protect its environment from any negative impact. Its dedication to sustainability indicates the direction of future Games and sets the bar for future Olympics hosts.
Game on!

Aylin Erman currently resides in Istanbul and is creator of plant-based recipe website GlowKitchen.