9 August 2012

Olympic sustainable procurement helped by early planning

Early planning and setting challenge targets was key to successfully making the construction of olympic venues sustainable according to the recently released report Learning Legacy: Lessons learned from the London 2012 Games construction project from Action Sustainability. The report emphasises the importance of efficient management of the procurement process from the beginning.

Among the innovations of the newly constructed venues are energy efficient lighting in the Olympic and Paralympic athlete’s village, and the reusing of soil at the Olympic site. The waste procurement strategy stipulated a target of recycling 90 per cent of construction waste in the contract. Ensuring buildings were constructed sustainably also lead to cost savings in many instances. The reusing of soil, for example, allowed £68 million to be saved, as money was not spent disposing of it.

In its comments on suppliers, the report states that supplier engagement must involve setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals. Engagement and managerial support with suppliers is also key. The report also focused on the need to conduct thorough research to identify new innovations and sustainable solutions.

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