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About the author

Nuno Bacharel
Nuno Bacharel

Hi everybody, I’m back after a short break for holidays, with a lot of new insights to discuss with you. During my holidays, I´ve followed the Olympic Games. In fact I think that all the eyes of the world are on London right now, following thousands of athletes in the biggest sporting event in the world!

Well, I´m a big fan of sports, but I´m also (as you may already now) passionate about sustainability. And London is without any doubt merging these two concepts, creating the greenest Olympic Games in history!



The city has since the beginning been determined to play a key role regarding sustainability; they knew this when they made a “radical proposal to the International Organising Committee”. Working together with BioRegional and WWF, London developed Towards a One Planet 2012 – a sustainable Games guided by “the principle that the world should live within its means.” (Have a look, to learn more about the One Planet Olympics action)

The expectations are high, and London wants to serve as a model to the more than 200 countries participating in  the Olympic Games,  through six  major pillars:

1. The Olympic Park – Featuring the most sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Stadium ever built, the Olympic Park was completed on time and budget and to high sustainability standards.

2. Carbon management – London 2012 is the first Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to measure its carbon footprint over the entire project term.

3. Sustainable transport – Our commitment to delivering a 100% public transport Games means nine million spectators will experience sustainable events like never before from the way they travel

4. Food vision – London 2012 is the largest peacetime catering operation in the world. As of 2011 all caterers are on board and meeting the revolutionary Food Vision standards LOCOG has set, the first Games ever to set such a policy.

5. Waste – Our commitment to delivering a zero-waste-to-landfill Games is another first for the Games and has required detailed planning. We’ve exceeded our targets to date, achieving 98.5% reuse and 99% recycling of materials in demolition and construction.

6. Standards – In 2011, LOCOG became the first Organising Committee to be certified to the British Standard 8901: Specification for a Sustainability Management Systems for Events. The standard was inspired by the London 2012 bid, and is proof of how deeply sustainability has been embedded into our organisation.

Learn more:


But how is Chemistry contributing to Olympic goals?


Dow, “Official Chemistry Company” of the Olympic Games, is providing solutions to make this the most sustainable Games ever.

From the famous Stadium Wrap that encircles London’s Olympic Stadium, to the roofing and flooring solutions, the surfaces and innovative materials, Dow’s innovative products, chemistry and technologies are being put to work to “help athletes perform their best, to improve the comfort and safety of spectators and to lessen the impact on our environment.”

Discover more about Dow solutions:




Solvay Vinyls is also helping the Olympic Games meet its sustainability commitments, thanks  to its VinyLoop recycling technology for PVC composites.

Serge Ferrari, a global supplier of architectural tarpaulins and a VinyLoop partner, has delivered 80% of the PVC-coated technical textiles used by the London Olympics.  Romain Ferrari, CEO of the Serge Ferrari Group, said: “This unique process jointly developed with Solvay provides a second life to vinyl textiles and makes them 100% recyclable.”

“Some of the PVC-coated textiles temporary used at London 2012 venues will be re-employed in football stadiums currently under construction in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Others will be converted into gym mats for schools, with the remainder recycled at VinyLoop’s Ferrara plant” the company explained.

Discover more about VinyLoop Technology:


BASF together with shoe designers has developed an innovative ventilation system that allows fresh air to circulate through a shoe – the Elastollan.

 “Elastollan works by creating special openings in the sides, toes, heels, and soles that allow fresh air into the shoes exactly where it is needed, thereby creating a cooling effect. In fact, this technology delivers a 20 percent reduction in heat generation, and that means greater comfort for runners.” says Stephane Morin, Senior Market Development Specialist.

This new breathable-shoe technology is used by adidas in its ClimaCool™ line of athletic shoes. Other well-known makers of sports shoes such as Reebok and Nike are also using Elastollan TPUs to help make their shoes more durable, ergonomic, and comfortable.


Discover more about BASF Elastollan:


UK’s National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials (NNFCC) and the British Printing Industries Federation are ensuring that  compostable food packaging is part of the event, by using bioplastics.

An estimated 6.5 million people will attend the London Olympics in the space of just 17 days and will generate over 3,300 tonnes of food packaging waste, Bioplastics will be used in fast-food wrappers, sandwich boxes and drink cartons, the NNFCC said.

Discover more about bioplastics:




The Olympic Games, or as I prefer the call them, the sustainable Games, will last  for just two  weeks, but I´m sure  these Games will be remembered for decades to come as the ones with the most positive impact on people, industry and the planet.