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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Beatriz Fernandez

Implementing Sustainability Strategies within Organisations A case study of the London Olympics Legacy

Implementing Sustainability Strategies within Organisations
A case study of the London Olympics Legacy


This work analyses and explores how the sustainability strategies are implemented within organisations. With this, the opportunities to improve their development and incorporation on the business structure are identified; which lead to deliver sustainability as a legacy. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been selected as a case study. With sustainability at the heart of the project, strategies have been placed to promote sustainable development in the environmental, economic and social aspects of the Games. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is responsible to ensure that sustainability is embedded in the planning and execution of the programme. Meanwhile, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will maximise the benefits of the Games by regenerating the east London area,
delivering sustainability as a legacy.

Through interviews with the LLDC Planning and Sustainability Project Manager and the review of the ODA’s Sustainable Development Strategy and Plan, the environmental sustainability commitments were identified. This structured the
analysis and discussion of how organisations design and manage strategies to accomplish the targets, and the impacts and challenges presented during the implementation.

By recognising the inconsistencies between the proposed environmental goals and the actual achievements, new strategies are explored and assessed through the sustainability principles. When executing the strategic plans the concept of noisolation is discussed as it is based on an effective and continuous communication with the stakeholders; which plays a key role to engage them to adapt sustainable practices. It is also highlighted the importance of audits carried out by independent 5 bodies that evaluate the performance of the organisation and efficiency of the

On the other hand, sustainability as a legacy is analysed and linked to the need of developing and putting in place strategies that integrate it as an everlasting principle. The discussion also focuses on the responsibility of the LLDC to take the experience of the ODA and use it to improve the targets and action plans.

Results from this work indicate that incorporating sustainability at the early stage of a project allows the organisation to define the objectives and to structure the appropriate strategies to meet them. Also, by evaluating their performance on a continuous basis, decisions can be made on a timely manner. The challenges presented were addressed by the ODA through innovative proposals that aimed to embrace sustainability throughout the planning and operation of the London Games. By this, the ODA demonstrated leadership on turning weaknesses into opportunitiesfor improvement. Nonetheless, recognising these opportunities is key to bring about a change.

Finally, the London 2012 Games also envisioned sustainability as a legacy. For that, the LLDC defined targets that aim to foster development and regeneration in east London and the surroundings. By building a close relationship that link the past experiences with the new legacy approaches, it will be ensured that sustainability becomes a leading principle.