Olympic sustainability guru recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours list

17 June 2013

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17 June 2013 | Marino Donati

The man who oversaw sustainability at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Shaun McCarthy, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

McCarthy, chairman of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, has been given the honour for services to sustainability and the Games, which was hailed as the “greenest ever”.

The commission was the independent body set up to monitor and advise on the sustainability of the event, the first such body used in an Olympic games.

As chairman, McCarthy coordinated a team of experts whose remit ranged from waste management to the ethics of corporate sponsorship. The commission’s sustainability goals have been credited with inspiring sustainable practice more widely in the events industry around the world.

McCarthy, who is now a director of social enterprise Action Sustainability, is a regular blogger on the subject of sustainable procurement for Supply Management. As the work of the commission was concluded in March, McCarthy wrote: “I feel proud. In 2005, we started something that had never been done before, we made it work with a minimal budget and a tiny team.” He wrote about the commission’s achievements and also those areas it wasn’t able to “fully address”, particularly the difficult relationship between corporate interests and the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship and matters relating to ethical supply chains.

McCarthy is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, and the Institute of Directors.

He thanked his colleagues at the commission and said his role there was “one of the most challenging, and most rewarding jobs I have ever had, and that includes a stint at BAA during the construction of Terminal 5”.

Meanwhile, Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business received an MBE in the list for services to small and medium sized businesses. Orford's organisation campaigns for fair treatment of smaller businesses - including payment times.

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