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The Olympic Games provide a window through which we can examine ideas of sustainable development, environmental attitudes and planning for a greener future. In the early 1990s, sustainable development became the third pillar of the Olympic Movement after sport and culture.

Sustainable development describes growth that meets the needs of today’s population without compromising the needs of future generations.  This calls for the balancing of economy, society and environment through careful use of natural resources. 

The natural environment is now an important part of the Olympic process from bid to legacy and London’s 2012 Olympic bid was won on the strength of the city's commitment to sustainability. 


Environment and society

Environment and society [12KB]

The Olympic Games is a spectacular mega-event that has become an important part of our society’s culture. However, hosting such a colossal event places huge demands on the natural environment.

Sport and sustainability

Broxbourne landscaping [11KB]

As researchers look back through the history of the modern Games it is evident that sustainability hasn’t always been at the forefront of the Olympic charter.

Olympic impacts

Olympic building site [12KB]

Each stage of the Olympic journey, from building, staging and concluding the Games interacts with the natural environment at a number of points.

London's green Games

Green environment [10KB]

The organisers of London 2012 have included an environmental agenda in every aspect of the Olympic journey from bid to legacy.

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Social sciences at the British Library

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