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Call for sustainable Government procurement

Sustainable procurement in the UK is being held up by inadequate Government action and insufficient independent oversight, according to the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012.

The commission, which will be wound up at the end of the month, has published its final report on the London 2012 Olympics and concluded that the Games’ inspirational impact on other worldwide events has “outweighed any negative impact of London’s decision to host the Games”.

The Making a Difference report lays out recommendations for Government and industry to ensure a sustainable legacy from the Games:

  • The Department of Business, Information and Skills (BIS) should facilitate more coordinated research into sustainability in construction - and the Government could lead by using sustainable models for procurement of construction projects.
  • Future major infrastructure projects are subjected to independent strategic assurance, leaving a legacy of knowledge, as the Olympic Delivery Authority did. A body similar to the Commission for a Sustainable London could add value to any large-scale event or project.
  • The London Food Board should consider a long-term legacy initiative built on the lessons from the Food Legacy Pledge, including food waste commitments in partnership with WRAP.

Shaun McCarthy, chair of the commission, said: “London 2012 was the first Games to be monitored by an independent sustainability body. We’ve proved that the concept works, and now we’re seeing evidence of commission-style assurance being used on large-scale private developments around the world.

“However there is some way to go before the model is embedded in the UK public sector. London and the UK are looking to host a number of high profile events in the coming years and are well placed to take advantage of London 2012’s sustainability successes and lessons learnt.

“It’s up to Government and the private sector to adopt Olympic best practice and ensure the legacy lives on.”


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