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LOCOG’s Sustainable Procurement Code ofConduct: An Emerging Trend in the Olympic Games

April 14, 2009

Firms who wish to do business with the London 2012 Organizing Committee (LOCOG http://www.london-2012.co.uk/) will have to meet relatively strict performance standards as outlined in its ‘Sustainable Procurement Code of Conduct’.

Similar to Vancouver 2010’s ground breaking ‘Supplier Code of Conduct for Social and Environmental Compliance,’ LOCOG has set requirements based on the following 4 principles:

  1. Responsible sourcing
  2. Use of secondary materials
  3. Minimising embodied impacts
  4. Healthy materials

Under each of these principles, the Code lays out preferences related to sustainable product specifications. Examples include requesting that a given product hold a third party eco-certification (see http://ecolabelling.org/).

The Code will be used by internal buyers as well as prospective suppliers and licensees to guide the procurement process in a way that will help to ensure the sustainability of the 2012 Games and set precedence for future games.

The initial priority categories on which the Code will focus include:

  • branded products;
  • products sourced from overseas, and;
  • labour providers

Procurement’s approach to sustainable sourcing will be based on the following questions:

1. Where does it come from?

2. Who made it?

3. What is it made of?

4. What is it wrapped in?

5. What will happen to it after the Games?

The answers to these questions will help the organizing committee determine how it will source specific products and sources. A trend is emerging in the Olympic Games in terms of sustainable purchasing and it will be interesting to see if other Olympic organizing committees will integrate similar questions into their approach to sustainable sourcing.

Related to verification of compliance to the Code, no specific action will be required on the part of suppliers and licensees beyond reading and understanding the Code. However, once a contract has been awarded, LOCOG may use various methods to ensure practices are aligned with the requirements of the tendering process.  Methods may include using ‘Supplier Ethical Data Exchange’ (https://www.sedex.org.uk) to disclose supply chain information as well as independent audits.

Thanks in large part to the work at VANOC, sustainable procurement has become an embedded component of the Games’ overall sustainability strategy. The LOCOG Code has definitely built upon this good work. VANOC, however, requires all
of its Licensees to be audited on a regular basis. LOCOG’s approach to verification seems somewhat less stringent. Reeve
Consulting will be interested to see how this all plays out and how it will influence other Olympic organizing committees in years to come.

For more information and to review the LOCOG Code, please go to:
http://www.london2012.com/news/archive/2008-11/london-2012-publishes-sustainable-sourcing-code.php

For moreinformation and to review the VANOC Code, please go to:http://www.vancouver2010.com/dl/00/55/84/-/55842/prop=data/3o3aaq/55842.pdf

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