Sustainable Timber – Olympic Gold

Sep 10, 2012
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It would seem that London 2012 was a complete success all in all. With minimal crime statistics, no grid lock on the streets of London and only a handful of the quintessentially British faux-pas (that we’re all very much used to!) you could almost say that it was hic-up free.

But aside from Olympic Gold’s, new world records, great urban re-generation and the world’s biggest McDonalds; there were other successes at this year’s Olympic event. The ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) achieved its commitment of ensuring that London 2012 was the greenest games in history. It gained this accolade by using 100% of the wood and wood products from sources certified as sustainable and legal. From the tracks themselves, to arty installations, and from the cladding of buildings to the trussed rafters – environmentally friendly timber was sourced for use across the board.

The project was a joint venture by the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and the FSC (Forestry Steward Council) and has successfully highlighted the sustainability credentials of timber. The global market for wood products accounts for over £200 billion per year and in recent years, considerable amounts of pressure has been put on companies and individuals to source their wood from ethical and sustainable sources.

With all of the eyes of the world watching upon the bight lights of London, there was a demand – both from the Olympic Committee, environmental groups and British Governmental figures to show the rest of the planet that Britain is a progressive and environmentally forward thinking nation.

Many industry experts would have preferred to see more whole building created from timber, with less of a reliance on concrete. But none the less, it was great venture – one that will hopefully be followed by the Olympic Games’ of the future. It was great to see the television studios of the BBC decked out in timber, whilst the beautiful use of the redwood timber cladding on the McDonalds building will surely push others to think along those lines. The chain is due to begin upgrading various UK branches so let’s keep our fingers crossed that the trend continues.

Now that the ball is rolling on such a grand stage, let’s hope that it continues. With a growth in the awareness of individuals in terms of sustainable sourcing of goods, together with the great examples of the width of timber’s usage, there is hope in the fight against the illegal sourcing of wood.

Let’s hope this is the first of many examples in the future success of sustainable sourcing.

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