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London on track for green Olympics

Despite fears over the impact of the credit cruch, Olympic organisers insist all environmental commitments will continue to be met

The London Olympics will not shy away from its commitment to be the first "sustainable" games should budgets become stretched, organisers promised today.

The London Games has made a series of environmental commitments, including generating 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources and transporting at least half of all construction materials to the site by water or rail.

However, with speculation mounting that tightening credit conditions will increase pressure on the Games' already stretched budgets, the organisers have today insisted the green measures are not under threat.

Speaking at a roundtable event earlier today, Simon Wright, director of infrastructure and utilities at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), insisted many of the site's environmental commitments are not at loggerheads with cost commitments.

"Many of the plans go hand in hand and cost factors will not cause us to shy away from sustainability, particularly as many contracts are already agreed," he said.

For example, the ODA plans to cut water use by 40 per cent through the use of low-flow taps and rainwater collection systems, while materials will be locally sourced where possible and any concrete used will consist of at least 20 per cent recycled materials.

The site will also operate a closed-loop waste management system to ensure that waste materials are sent for reprocessing back into high-grade products.

Meanwhile, buildings will be "enveloped" with special insulation to reduce heat loss by 15 per cent, and the renewable energy target will be fulfilled by an onsite wind turbine and a wood chip-fired combined heat and power plant.

The organisers claim any further renewable infrastructure investments would not be cost effective as many of the buildings will only be temporarily in place for the course of the Olympics.

These temporary buildings will be deconstructed and then used elsewhere after the Games have finished - many building parts, including heating equipment, may also be hired.

Wright said the organisers are also aiming to discourage car travel to and from the venue.

"There will be no parking onsite, though there will be some park-and-ride facilities," he said. "The ticketing is specifically designed to encourage people towards public transport access, and we hope local people will walk and cycle to the site through specially provided green corridors."

An independent scrutiny body - Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 - has been set up to monitor progress against sustainability targets.

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