Firstly the stadium itself was a step in the right direction. It was made from a lot of recycled steel. The circle around the stadium was made from, not new virgin steel, but recycled old, abandoned gas pipes. 2 thirds of the steel used in the roof was also made from recycled steel. Compared with Beijing, only a tenth of the steel used their was put to use in London. The velodrome too used timber from sustainable sources and natural light ventilation. Also, most small buildings (like the BBC coverage hub) are only temporary and will be removed post- games. Carbon dioxide emissions have been kept very low as well (compared with if this sort of event was done as per usual). The Olympic Delivery Association (ODA) cut emissions by 47%, with a combination of using renewable energy resources and other green electricity suppliers.
Food and drink in the park was kept under strict regulations and the outlets (all 800+ of them/most temporary) were made to source only food from local suppliers and environmentally friendly sources. The packaging was made to be biodegradable and contain little or no plastics as well. However, perhaps the most incredible feat the London organising committee did (in terms of maintaining sustainability), was divert 97% of the waste from construction from landfill. Also LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) kept re-cycling in the Park extremely high (up in the 70% range). Whereas in most events of this magnitude and nature – only about 15% re-cycling would take place.
The London 2012 came with an ambitious idea on ‘Legacy’. This was the idea that the Olympics should achieve more than just a one-off sporting event ; but instead extend that to restoring parts of Eastern London. The Lee valley park is one of these areas. Firstly, a massive regeneration effort was put into the park. It was first extended (so the River Lee reaches down to the Thames) to 2.5 square kilometres. Contaminated soil (brown field sites) was also washed clean and wildlife in some areas of the park were relocated to better areas for them to live. 52 electricity pylons were removed and instead, mains lines were introduced underground, removing any visual pollution. In there place some 4,000 trees, 300,000 wetland plants, 150,000 perennials and 60,000 bulbs were planted. Thus, providing a sort of ‘Green Lung’ for the Olympic park and even Eastern London when the games finish.
The government also pumped money into projects such as ‘streets for growth’. These projects were inspired by the idea that everyone in and around where the Olympics were taking place, should get a say in the regeneration of their area. These projects helped to improve the environment by reducing the use of non-renewable resources and helping to create sustainability, combat climate change and help the capital towards its target of reducing London’s CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2025. Pest-control services are also introduced in Newham now as well. Finally, when the Olympic park was chosen to be in Stratford, ‘bad neighbourhood industries’ were forced to relocate away from the park and re-establish themselves where the land is cheaper to buy as well.