Sustainable procurement on track for 2012 Games

9 March 2010

9 March 2010 | Helen Gilbert

The body staging the 2012 Olympics is on course to boost sustainable procurement, despite concerns last year it was not ready for the challenge. 

A report into the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) by the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL) found that the group had put processes in place to “ramp up” sustainable procurement throughout 2010.

It follows a CSL review into Locog last year, which said the organisation was not ready to face challenges such as the sheer diversity and volume of its supply chain. 

Shaun McCarthy, chairman of the commission, said the issue was raised with Locog senior management in June last year. “We were advised of planned changes within Locog and by September 2009 many of our concerns expressed in spring/summer 2009 had been addressed,” he said. 

During that time, responsibility for procurement changed hands from the financial to the commercial directorate and former CIPS president Gerry Walsh was appointed CPO. Locog also published a revised edition of its Sustainable Sourcing Code. 

McCarthy said: “Locog will still face challenges in ensuring that the goods and services it procures, the merchandise it licenses and the partners it brings on board all meet its sustainability standards, but the processes and plans it has put in place are set up to meet these challenges.” 

However, the CSL review did point out that more could be done to ensure sustainability requirements are incorporated into contractual arrangements. Some of the wording in the current sourcing code may give the impression that sustainability is a secondary issue and not an intrinsic requirement, it said. For example: “We may give consideration to carbon emissions associated with production, storage, transportation, use and ultimate disposal or recycling.”

Locog is yet to respond to SM’s request for comment.

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