Social Innovation: The Legacy of the London 2012 Sustainable Games

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Social Innovation: The Legacy of the London 2012 Sustainable Games

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Monday, August 27, 2012 - 2:00pm



With the Paralympics Games set to start on 29 August 2012, it is now widely recognised by many sustainability social innovation practitioners that London did deliver a sustainable 2012 Olympic games. It has left a long-term legacy that will pass to future event organisers and suppliers: a pack of new standards and best practices in sustainable event management, construction and sourcing.

David Stubbs, head of sustainability for theLondon Organising Committee (LOCOG), has highlighted two of these standards: the new Event Sustainability Management System from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO 20121) and Food Vision, a blueprint for sustainable food sourcing. ISO standards tap into every aspect of business, yet till London 2012, there was no international, auditable standard on sustainability available to the event sector. Preparing for the games was the spark needed to finalise ISO 20121, which was officially launched in June 2012. It helped LOCOG put sustainability considerations at the heart of the planning process.

Rather than dictating specific targets or sustainability measures, the new standard enables organisers and suppliers to first identify key areas of impact that will be unique to their event. It then guides them through the process of gathering input from stakeholders, developing plans and setting goals to reduce negative impacts, measuring progress and reporting results.

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Sangeeta Haindl is a staff writer for Justmeans on Social Enterprise. When not writing for Justmeans, Sangeeta wears her other hat as a PR professional. Over the years, she has worked with high-profile organizations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from her industry. She now runs her own UK consultancy: Serendipity PR & Media.