London 2012 Olympic flame set to go green

The London Olympics will be the first to boast a low-carbon flame, the organisers announced this week as they sought to bolster the event's green credentials.

Under the plans, the Games' first sponsor, EDF Energy, is to investigate ways of delivering a flame that boasts limited carbon emissions.

While details of how this could be achieved remain sketchy, the energy giant insisted that it is already "exploring opportunities for a low-carbon flame that still meets the traditional qualities of this most potent symbol of the games".

The plans form the centrepiece of the organisers' new sustainability document, Towards a One Planet, which sets out the event's environmental goals.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new plan earlier this week, London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said that the games would set new standards for environmental sustainability.

"We hope to use the power of the Games to drive change – behaviourally and in the way big events are staged in the future," he said.

"Sustainability was an important element of our bid and underpins our preparations and our vision for the legacy of London 2012."

The strategy should deliver both cost and carbon savings, according to the organisers, in the form of energy efficient facilities and low-carbon transport infrastructure.

They also committed to sourcing materials with low-embodied carbon, funding climate change educational initiatives and minimising waste.

A carbon footprint study will also be undertaken for the entire project to identify and prioritise areas where emissions can be cut.

WWF chief executive David Nussbaum welcomed the plan, claiming that "while there is still much work to be done between now and 2012, this document sets London on track to deliver the most sustainable Games yet and a lasting legacy" .

By Sarah Griffiths

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