Our suppliers and licensees, and the products and services that they supply, therefore have an absolutely crucial role to play in helping us deliver a more sustainable Games and our vision for inspiring change. The Sustainable Sourcing Code is a key tool that we use to source products and services in a more sustainable manner. It helps in communicating our expectations to industry, as well as setting out a framework to ensure that we consider the relevant issues and make informed choices.
The first edition of the Code was published in November 2008 as an early indication of the areas we intend to tackle. They included reducing waste, ensuring our suppliers adhere to acceptable labour standards, and encouraging relevant suppliers and licensees to implement the new events standard BS 8901.
It was a challenge to keep the document as concise as possible, but we got there in the end. Given the breadth of topics we have to consider, the diversity of our supply chain, the interests and expectations of our stakeholders, and the speed at which this agenda is evolving, have we got it right first time? No, absolutely not...which is why we welcomed feedback and comments on the First Edition. Feedback from industry though has been very constructive, and will be taken on board as we prepare to issue the Second Edition later this year.
Most of LOCOG's sourcing activities to date have related to sponsorship deals, office-related services, merchandise licensing deals, and other spend relating to individual projects or events we have held.
One thing is clear: the sponsors, suppliers and licensees that we have bought on board so far are taking our sustainability ambitions very seriously - they see it as a significant wider business opportunity. As a result we have an ever-growing list of positive sustainable sourcing stories.
So, for example, we have agreed minimum sourcing standards with adidas who will also progressively select materials approved under their recently-launched 'Better Place' programme to provide products with sustainable content for the Games.
Other examples include using lanyard holders made from polypropylene rather than PVC at our recent World Press Briefing.
We've also agreed a number of responsible packaging measures with our merchandise licensees, such as:
There are loads more great stories that I’m not able to talk about yet – so watch this space!
We are of course asking some challenging questions of industry. One such area relates to our desire to get greater visibility of where products are sourced and manufactured and the environmental and labour standards that are in place at those locations. Clearly Sedex is a great tool to help us achieve this – but it is also clear that we are pushing hard on parts of the supply chain that have never been pushed before.
However, our suppliers and licensees are responding to this challenge positively and I believe this presents another exciting opportunity – if we can raise industry awareness of the importance of supply chain transparency then this can be a great legacy.
Sourcing activity at LOCOG will ramp up towards the end of 2009, and we anticipate serious volumes as we move into 2010. To reflect this, in the second edition of the Code we intend to be more explicit in stating our requirements for particular industries or spend categories, or in other words, which bits of the Code will apply to what categories. Links will be made to other supplemental policies and strategies we are currently working on to support the Code, such as food, packaging, and temporary materials. Specific policy clarifications and updates will also be included, e.g. carbon and the recent Olympic Board policy statement in respect to the use of PVC fabrics.
A range of other subjects may also be covered, including supply chain auditing protocol and procurement timescales. Yes, there’s a lot for us to fit in!
In the meantime, the London 2012 Business Network is your point of call for all key 2012 updates. From here you can access the CompeteFor system, where all relevant Games business opportunities will be advertised.
- Using small amounts of recyclable card for our official lapel pins rather than using polyethylene
- Using tags for official mugs rather than boxes at the Visa London 2012 Party