In our 2010 annual review we said “We have always maintained that, taken in isolation, delivering and Olympic and Paralympic Games is an inherently un-sustainable thing to do. We therefore cannot call the programme truly sustainable unless the inspirational power of the Games can be used to make a tangible, far reaching difference”.
We promised that we would gather together some key players after the Games in five facilitated sessions to try to evaluate the “Olympic effect” on more sustainable practices and what needs to be done to build on the good work or to deal with issues that London 2012 was unable to tackle fully. This report is the record of those sessions, their outcomes and recommendations.
In common with all the Commission’s work, this is not a “happy sheet” celebrating all that was glorious about London 2012. We promised we would deal with some of the more controversial issues after the Games and we have. During the course of our work we have received numerous representations from stakeholders concerned about the ethical behaviour of sponsors and abuses of human rights in the supply chain. We welcomed some of those stakeholders back along with the companies that were the cause of their concerns. Although some of our corporate partners responded well, many declined our invitation to attend. This is disappointing as the Commission believes that more can be achieved through constructive engagement than adversarial activity.
This report has faithfully documented the output from the groups. This is not necessarily the view of the Commission although many of our Commissioners took part. We will use the output of this report to inform our final piece of work “Making a Difference” to be published in March 2013.I would like to thank everybody involved but in particular Andy and Mike from Change the Conversation who did an awesome job of facilitating some difficult sessions. I would also like to thank our keynote speakers; Sir John Armitt, Jackie Brock-Doyle and Rosie Boycott. I am particularly grateful to Dame Tessa Jowell, Michelle Lemaitre from the IOC and Raimundo Macedo from Rio 2016 for taking time out of their busy schedules to get involved. The Commission closes in March 2013 so we won’t be around to see if the recommendations of this report will make a difference but I was inspired by the enthusiasm and energy in the room and remain confident that the world will be a slightly better place as a result of this work.