Pulled from the London 2012 Olympics Sustainability report (pdf):
If everyone lived as we do in the UK we would need three planets.
Our unsustainable lifestyles have meant that for the last 30 years we have been ‘eating into the Earth’s capital’ rather than ‘living off its interest’.
The promotion of sustainable development has become one of the fundamental objectives of the Olympic Movement…through its Agenda 21– Sport for Sustainable Development.
London 2012, WWF and BioRegional have developed the concept of a One Planet Olympics.
Staging a One Planet Olympics in London would help achieve the ﬁrst sustainable Games. Sustainability has been at the heart of the London 2012 Bid and Masterplan.
The principles, goals, and legacy of the One Planet Olympics:
Developing closed resource loops. Reducing the amounts of waste produced, then reclaiming, recycling and recovering
- No Games waste direct to landﬁll – all treated as a resource
- Zero waste target a pivotal procurement driver
- Closed-loop waste management at all venues
- Public information campaign to promote high quality front-of-house waste separation
- Zero waste policies extend across East London based on high recycling rates and residual waste converted to compost and renewable energy
- Increased market for recycled products
- Closed-loop waste management to be standard practice for major sports events
Local and Sustainable Food
Supporting consumption of local, seasonal and organic produce, with reduced amount of animal protein and packaging
- Promotion of local, seasonal, healthy and organic produce
- Promotion of links between healthy eating, sport and wellbeing
- Partnerships established with key caterers, suppliers and sponsors
- Composting of food waste as part of Zero Waste plan
- Increased markets for farmers in the region
- Markets, catering and retail outlets supplying local and seasonal food
- Composting facilities integrated into closed-loop food strategy
Reducing the need to travel and providing sustainable alternatives to private car use
- All spectators travelling by public transport, walking or cycling to venues
- Low/no emission Olympic vehicle ﬂeet
- Olympic Park Low Emission Zone
- Carbon offset programme for international travel
- Individualised travel plans as part of integrated ticketing process
- Increased connectivity across and between legacy developments and neighbouring communities
- Reduced car dependency
- Car free events policy adopted for other major events
- Greater market for zero carbon transport
Continue reading How zero waste, local food, and sustainable transport are a part of the London 2012 Olympics
The official position of planet Earth at the moment is that we can’t raise the temperature more than two degrees Celsius.
Some context: So far, we’ve raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.)
Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees.
We’re not getting any free lunch from the world’s economies, either. With only a single year’s lull in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, we’ve continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year. In late May, the International Energy Agency published its latest figures – CO2 emissions last year rose to 31.6 gigatons, up 3.2 percent from the year before.
- America had a warm winter and converted more coal-fired power plants to natural gas, so its emissions fell slightly
- China kept booming, so its carbon output (which recently surpassed the U.S.) rose 9.3 percent
- Japanese shut down their fleet of nukes post-Fukushima, so their emissions edged up 2.4 percent.
Keep reading: Rolling Stone – Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
Continue reading World scientists – we can’t raise the temperature by more than two degrees Celsius
The Department of Energy (DOE/FEMP) is holding a monthly online seminar focusing on sustainability. The sessions provide support for legions of federal workers that are leading the nation into our new green economy.
The first session (of six) focuses on Executive Order 13514, commonly called the sustainable order. The following training sessions are as follows:
- Mar 4 – Energy 101
- Apr 1 – Water Efficiency Planning and Implementation
- May 6 – Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting
- Jun 3 – Advanced Metering Requirements and Best Practices
- Jul 1 – Operations, Maintenance, and Commissioning
Each session is available for free through online video streaming.
I attended the first one (virtually) and here are my notes. Also, I am keeping out the presenters emails but if you have questions and would like their contacts, please let me know.
“As the largest consumer of energy in the US economy the Federal government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies.”
The thinking behind the Order is to:
- have the federal government “lead by example”
- “take pride in agency accomplishments” (highlight work already being done)
- encourage agencies to think “integrated planning”
- push/pull/force agencies to reach across “stovepipes”
The Federal Government:
- Occupies nearly 500,000 buildings
- Operates more than 500,000 vehicles
- Employs more than 1.8 million civilians
- Purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services
Benefits to the Nation:
- Energy savings – Avoided Costs – Jobs – Innovations – Improvements to Local Infrastructure
- Establish an integrated agency strategy for sustainability, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the federal government in order to lead by example and achieve a clean energy economy.
- “really talking about practical application”
- “requires strategic perspective bringing together the right components”
- “planning is crucial”
- GHG reduction targets, energy efficiency, water use efficiency and mgmt, pollution prevention, waste elimination
- Regional and local integrated planning
- High performance sustainable Federal buildings
- Sustainable acquisition
- Electronics stewardship
- Environmental mgmt systems
Scopes in Greenhouse Gasses, asking for an absolute percentage reduction target for FY 2020, relative to FY 2008. Due:
- Scope 1-2 – jan 4, 2010
- Scope 3 – jun 2, 2010
By FY 2015 achieve a %50 or higher solid waste diversion and construction/demolition diversion
This represents “nothing less than a transformational shift in how federal governments operate”
- DOE to develop greenhouse gas accounting and reporting recommendations by April/Oct
- DOT to site sustainable locations for federal facilities
- GSA to develop local transportation logistics
- DOE to write federal fleet mgmt guidance
- GSA to pass along vendor and contractor emissions guidnace
- EPA to write stormwater guidance for federal facilities
Full copy of the briefing: Executive Order 13514 Training