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?!