Sustainability efforts of an Olympic organiser questioned

13 April 2011

13 April 2011 | Lindsay Clark

The organiser of London 2012 operations to support events happening outside of the main Olympic sites has been urged to improve its sustainable procurement standards.

A report by the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 has criticised City Operations, which is run by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to manage crowd safety, live screens and other support for competitions such as the marathon and open water swimming.

City Operations urgently needs to show it can meet sustainability standards set by the LondonOrganising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog), the report said. “If it is not practicable to meet specific targets this should be clearly justified and an alternative, suitably challenging target should be set,” it added.

The Commission said it had received little reassurance that City Operations was complying with Locog’s requirements such as sustainable sourcing and diversity and inclusion targets in light of its imminent procurement programme. “While we are informed that all procurement has followed Greater London Authority Responsible Procurement Guidance, this will not ensure that the relevant London 2012 sustainability standards are built into the specifications,” the report said.

Shaun McCarthy, chairman of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, told SM that he was however encouraged that City Operations was starting to “mobilise” sustainability in signing up to a British Standard for it (BS8901).

“My big concern is that they have already let the contract for the operator of the live sites and as we all know in procurement, if you start to add in things, contractually, afterwards, that’s when it starts to get expensive and contractually difficult,” he said.

The GLA has said it would be inappropriate to sign up to some Locog sustainability standards because it does not control all activities, such as waste disposal. It has, however, employed an officer to oversee sustainability of the City Operations.

Elsewhere in its report, the Commission praised Locog’s catering contracts. “It is clear that Locog is setting new standards in its procurement of catering and that this is having an impact on the industry. Rigorous contract management will be necessary to ensure this early promise is fulfilled,” it said.


See Shaun McCarthy's blog on this subjecttoday

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