Greentech Lead Europe: The
London Olympic cut their carbon-emission forecast for staging the event by a
fifth after scaling back the size of venues and renting rather than building
seats, tents and crowd barriers.
The carbon footprint of the games will be equivalent to
315,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s a decline of more than 20 percent
from the 400,000 tons estimated in March 2010.
The bulk of the emission reductions stem from a decision to
rent temporary seating, barriers and other infrastructure rather than buy them
new. The organizers also cut 90,000 square meters (969,000 square feet) of
floor space in venues, saving 15,000 tons of CO2, according to a Bloomberg
Energy use in venues proved to be particularly challenging.
London 2012 has managed to find alternative solutions that ultimately are
leading to better outcomes in terms of carbon reductions, even if not by the
original means envisaged.
The Olympic Delivery Authority, responsible for building the
venues, reused or recycled more than 98 percent of the waste from demolishing
warehouses and other structures already on the games site, beating a 90 percent
target. About 99 percent of the waste created when building the venues was
reused or recycled.
The Olympic Park will get about 11 percent of its energy
from renewable sources including solar panels, biomass boilers and small wind
turbines, the committee said. The original 20 percent target was stymied in
2010 when organizers canceled plans for a 2-megawatt wind turbine at the site.
Organizers invested in more cost-effective energy efficiency
measures in 2,800 local homes and 12 schools, compensating for the shortfall.
The total volume of greenhouse gases associated with the
event over the seven years of site- clearing and construction was estimated in
2010 at 3.45 million tons of CO2. That compares with total U.K. emissions of
549.3 million tons in 2011, according to the government.