London 2012: Most Sustainable Olympic Games To Date [Corporate Conscious Wednesday]

Okay, so we’re cheating a bit on this week’s Corporate Conscious Wednesday post. This week, we feature not a company working to alleviate social and environmental struggle but an entire event. We mean, of course, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England!


It was London’s goal to create the most sustainable Olympics yet, and they’ve happily achieved that with the 2012 Summer Olympics. In the areas of greener structures, eco-friendly packaging for food (Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are two stand-out brands adhering to the Olympics’ guidelines), and facilitated transportation to Olympic events, London has done its part in the movement toward more sustainable Games.

Of course, there is some controversy on the “green-ness” of the London Olympics. For instance, though bikes and fuel-efficient taxis have been in use for transportation throughout London, the Games draw spectators from all over the world who will use less-efficient means of transportation to actually get into the city. Even if goals were not entirely met, the efforts of this year’s Games have set the bar for further improvement.

Have you seen some of the buildings at the Olympics this year? Both well-designed and functional, here’s a quick list of the 6 most sustainable structures of the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Wish I could see these in person!)


The 6000-seat London Velodrome uses natural ventilation and minimal artificial light in its structure, and as part of the Velopark bicycling center, the Velodrome houses a sleek curved track within similarly sleek walls of wood paneling.

london basketball arena olympics

Next, the Basketball Arena makes its mark by being the Olympics’ largest temporary venue. Designed specifically to be taken down and reused (possibly in the next 4 years for the 2016 Summer Olympics!)

Aquatic centre

There’s more to the Aquatic Centre than it’s appropriately constructed wave-inspired ceilings.  It was made of precast concrete, allowing builders to reduce emissions during construction. Also, the stands are made of recyclable products and most of the materials used to construct the interior of the building were delivered by train, keeping transportation emissions at a minimum.

copper box london

Shining like a new penny, lighting efficiency, rainwater harvesting structures, and recycled copper materials make the “Copper Box” a sustainable treasure of the Olympic Games. Called “one of the most interesting and sustainable Olympic venues,” this building will lend itself to local community events after the Olympics come to a close.

olympic shooting rangeThen, we have the Shooting Ranges at the Royal Artillery Barracks. These venues were built temporarily for the Games and are meant to be recycled at the end of the summer. If they didn’t look strange enough next to the Royal Artillery Barracks’ 200-year old frame, the Shooting Ranges feature various openings similar to octopus suckers that are used to ease natural ventilation throughout the structure!

energy centreThe Energy Centre rounds out this list (as it should!). Jokingly called “the least sexy of the Olympic venues,” the Energy Centre is a LEGO-like building used to provide heat, water, and power to the this year’s Olympics. This crucial structure can increase its capacity as needed by the city.

READ MORE: Awesome Olympics-themed evaluation of London’s green efforts!

So, what do YOU think of labeling London as the “Most Sustainable Olympics?”

According to GreenBiz, London will carry the notable title until 2016, when Rio de Janeiro plans to out-green this year’s Games. Hey, the world can only benefit from countries fighting to become most sustainable, right?!

Popular Landmarks and Your Next Incentive Trip or Meeting

We know that planning an incentive trip can be exhausting so we are here to give you some help and share some great ideas! Traveling across the world to cities like Rome and London are really unique experiences. Rome, one of Italy’s most famous cities, offers travelers the opportunity to take in ancient sites and priceless artwork, while London boasts great sightseeing and beautiful architecture.

 Trips to Rome can offer a wide variety of activities for every personality. The Colosseum, completed in the year  A.D. 82, allows visitors to experience and learn about the rich culture of the ancient Romans. At this 513-foot amphitheater guests discover the brutal world that the gladiators fought in and explore artifacts and other remnants of the Colosseum’s past. A ticket to the Colosseum also allows entrance into the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum area, making this ticket very worthwhile.

Just a twenty minute walk from the Colosseum is Vatican City, which offers a different side of Rome, one that is beautiful and unique to people of all religions. To see Vatican City at its best, skip the large line at St. Peter’s Basilica and pre-book your tickets or pay for a tour, which is worth its price. This ticket, similarly to the ticket at the Colosseum, permits entrance to other sites, including the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. These sites offer memorable experiences for everyone. Everything from the sheer size of St. Peter’s Basilica to the artwork in the Vatican museum will supply a plethora of activities. The Vatican museum alone has so much art that it would be nearly impossible to see it all in a week. Seeing paintings up close in the Sistine Chapel along with other works from Michelangelo and Rapheal will be an experiences unlike any other.

Another location abroad that holds some of the world’s most popular and entertaining landmarks is London. This city, home to the 2012 Summer Olympics, is where Big Ben and the Swiss Re Building can be found. London is a vibrant city that offers a wide variety of sightseeing opportunities like the London eye, where you can take in a view of the whole city. From up there, decide if you want to go explore the exceptional architecture of the Houses of Parliament, the British museum, or the London Tower. Additionally, London is a great place for shopping, entertainment, food, and the many pubs that provide an exciting nightlife. No matter what you choose to do on your incentive trip, you can find something for everyone in London.

If you think that abroad may be too far to travel, there are plenty of great cities in the United States that are worth visiting, like Chicago and San Francisco. Chicago is home to great places, people, and cuisine. Chicago’s Millennium Park is a great place to relax or explore; the park is home to a multitude of art sculptures, gardens and trails for biking. Good food can be found almost anywhere in the “Windy City” – one of our favorites is Gino’s East where the deep-dish pizza is one of a kind.

San Francisco is another great place celebrated for its food and landmarks. Enjoy the beautiful weather on a walk or bike around the harbor and the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’re looking to learn about one of America’s most famous prisons and get picturesque views of San Francisco, take the ferry to Alcatraz. The tour of the prison is interesting and definitely memorable. For San Francisco’s best food you have a lot of choices, but if we had to suggest one place to stop by it would be the Ghirardelli Chocolate factory located right on the San Francisco Bay.