London 2012 Sustainability and Procurement

London 2012 launched a sustainability plan in 2007 Towards A One Planet. With this plan they wish to set a standard for sustainable events and inspire other future events. Not only do they wish to focus on the event during its duration but to secure a sustainable development of the site and surrounding areas after the event.

The report stated that they would prioritise the need of sources, materials and goods and then continue to evaluate these on “environmental, social and ethical criteria”.

In 2007 they identified the following key areas of focus:

  1. Climate change
  2. Waste
  3. Biodiversity
  4. Inclusion
  5. Healthy living

And also mentioned key objectives to be achieved or emphasised within these categories:

  • Zero carbon
  • Zero waste
  • Sustainable transport
  • Local and sustainable materials
  • Local and sustainable food
  • Sustainable water
  • Natural habitat and wildlife
  • Culture and heritage
  • Equity and Fair-trade
  • Health and happiness

(LOCOG, 2007)

The 2nd Edition of the report was released in 2009 and stated that the 5 areas of focus would be implemented through various strategic approaches such as:

  • By having a Water and Resource Management Advisory Group and liaising with their commercial partners.
  • Composting and recycling options in London and the South East will to be reviewed at a regular basis
  • Develop Temporary Materials Handbook in order for the design teams to reduce their waste, to reuse and recycle.
  • To implement the Games Waste and Resource Waste Management Plan

(LOCOG, 2009:37)


Procuring a Legacy was also released in 2009 where they set out a London 2012 procurement plan. The plan involved:

  • Sourcing materials with low embodied carbon
  • Minimising waste at source, promoting use of secondary materials
  • Policies on eco
  • Ecologically sensitive materials: e.g Timber and Food
  • Ethical procurement and fair employment
  • Sourcing healthy materials and ensuring health and safety on site

(ODA, 2009:1)

The procurement plan is being implemented by a rigourous procurement process. All partners and collaborators will have to meet individual and overall criteria in order to contribute to the successful outcome of the plan. This will have to be made visible through product and service supply, engagement in relevant projects, promotion of behavioural change, consumers, employees and supply chains (ODA, 2009).


The procurement process

Pre-qualification stage:
Companies interested in supplying products will be assessed. They will have to fit the ODA requirements.

Tender Invitation:
Successful companies will be invited to tender for the work. The 5 key areas of the sustainability plan are involved in the invitation.

Tender Evaluation:
Depending on the company three ways of assessment are being carried out:

  • Sustainable objectives and standards
  • Sustainable impacts through a competitive process
  • Sustainable selection to recognise other features in the tender

A choice of suppliers will be made and the contract will be written. If the tender has at this stage not met the desired criteria the supplier will have to confirm in the contract that these will be met in the further process.

Engineering works:
ODA's delivery partner will run a contract management process for main engineering works onsite and they will have onsite audits.


ODA will also manage financial advice, audits and occupational health of the procurement, as well as transport related projects.

LOCOG Sustainable Sourcing Code
Through the desire to create a lasting legacy for sustainability and influence both national and international organisations, the LOCOG has set out a a sustainable sourcing code. The Code is meant for two main audiences:

  • Internal buyers and specifiers
  • Prospective suppliers and licenses

And the Code focuses on 4 main areas:

  • Responsible sourcing
  • Use of secondary materials
  • Minimising embodied impacts
  • Healthy materials

(LOCOG, 2009:4).

Overall the aim was to see the products through each step of the journey from manufacturing to package to transportation and make sure that the Code is applied throughout the whole process. They wish to meet ethical and environmentally friendly standards procured by themselves, other organisations and certification through product labelling (2009:5).

In order to carry out the Code suppliers and licensees will have to apply and go through a tender process to be approved.

  1. Presentation of plan or declaration
  2. Ethical Data Exchange
  3. Comply with minimum standards of the Code
  4. Systematically monitor their impacts
  5. Understand their impacts on the community and how they can take part
  6. Be willing to provide all information, including production, warehouse location and all product credentials.
  7. Use of subcontractors will have to be approved by LOCOG.
  8. Must hold all credentials info for their products
  9. All information must be communicated coherently to employees and partners and any complaints should be addressed, not declined.
  10. Signing up for the code includes that LOCOG will be given permission carry out audits if they believe it is necessary.



Responsible sourcing:

  • All locations, products and labour meets ethical standards (ETI – Ethical Trading Initiative).
  • All parts involved must comply with health and safety standards and legislation and LOCOG policies to reduce risks and hazards.
  • Diversity and inclusion which is one of the main areas of focus during the entire London 2012.
  • All partners must follow the sourcing guidelines in London 2012 ‘Food Vision'. Animal tested products will have to be reported to LOCOG and all meat or animal production should meet ethical standards.
  • No products made form animals that have been listed as threatened species (International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species) will be accepted.
  • Fish that has been recommended to avoid (Marine Conservation Society) or production of wild fish will be closely monitored.
  • Timber products will have to achieved certification through Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  • Printing of publications and other materials should meet standards where environmentally friendly processes are expected, such as using vegetable based ink, non-laminate finish, and bleaching without the use of chlorine. One will be able to certify this by registering or seeking advice from EMAS (ISO 14001) and BS 8555.
  • The sustainable procurement process will encourage purchase of products that has been certified with fair trade, organic and environmentally friendly labels.


Use of secondary materials:

  • Recycled and reusable products desired, including packaging.
  • Compassable products will not be allowed unless recyclable items can not be easily used and in agreement with LOCOG.
  • Suppliers and licensees must be aware of the LOCOG Packaging Guidelines when it comes to recycled content in products, if unsure seek advise from LOCOG.
  • All packaging (primary, secondary and tertiary) should be minimised and should be able to be recycled, reused or recovered according to UK standards.
  • Suppliers and licensees will be expected to hold all-information on their products and packaging and make this available for LOCOG upon request.
  • If the guidelines are not followed accordingly LOCOG can request items or packaging to be taken back.
  • Electronic equipment production and sale will have to comply with similar standards as mentioned above as informed in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006.


Minimise embodied impacts:

  • All partners will be expected to maximise their resources and be energy efficient throughout manufacturing and supply and comply with EU Energy Label Class A, A + and ++, Energy Saving Recommended (ESR) or other equivalent certification.
  • LOCOG encourages to set up Management Plans in order to secure that their business contributes to the least possible environmental impacts.
  • LOCOG encourages the use UK and seasonal products.
  • Farming products will have to meet high standards including the London 2012 'Food Vision’.
  • Equipment for cooling and chilling that are considered to have an effect on global warming are advised to be avoided.
  • Low and zero emission transport as well as energy efficient transport (I.e shorter distances) will be encouraged.
  • All suppliers and licensees are expected to contribute to the 'Low Carbon' games which is a commitment LOCOG has made.
  • Measurement of the expected emission have been made and they encourage everyone to take part to achieve their goals.
  • LOCOG has created Guidelines on Carbon Emissions of Products, a guidance for their partners on how they can reduce and measure their individual impacts.


Healthy Materials:

  • All materials used will have to comply with health and safety legislation and pre-registration of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation, representing a low risk to humans and the environment.
  • All supplier are asked to avoid any packaging containing high volumes of heavy metal or highly flammable material.
  • Information about product content and safety data will have to be available for review.


Read more on London 2012 Sustainability here.


This summary was prepared by SEA Intern for Norway & UK: Ann-Karin Både


LOCOG (2007) Towards a One Planet: Sustainability Plan. London: London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd 2007.

LOCOG (2009) Towards a One Planet: Sustainability Plan,  2nd Ed. London: London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd 2007.

ODA (2009) Procuring a legacy: A review of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s procurement specification, management and contract administration: delivery of sustainability objectives. London: Commission for a Sustainable London 2012