Games Monitor

Skip to main content.

Smit smitten with London 2012 greenwash

From an article on nasty Olympic sponsors in The Ecologist comes this bizarre quote:

Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project and one of six London 2012 Sustainability Ambassador says 'Without doubt these are the most sustainable Olympics and the LOCOG Sustainability team will leave behind much that will be admired in generations to come. Sustainability of the Games has not been compromised in any way by the sponsors because their engagement came without their ability to influence anything other than the stage dressing. The legacy however, is full of substance.'

One wonders how much they're paying Mr Smit (who demands up to £10K for an after dinner speech) and the other 'Sustainability Ambassadors' to spout this nonsense. The give-away usage of the 2012 cliche 'generations to come' has that distinctive ring of the Olympic PR machine.

The obvious point is that you can't separate the Olympics from its sponsors and their unethical baggage and who are using it to promote consumption of their products with unsustainable consequences.

If the credibility of sponsors is entirely irrelevant, presumably so too are the wiped out wildlife, the wholesale habitat destruction, the wastefully bungled wind turbine project, the useless £24m Prescott lock for water transport no-one's using, the demolished allotments, the extinction of communities, the rogue radioactive waste dump, the fraudulent figures of demolition waste 'recycling', the extravagent import of steel for the frivolous Acelormittal monument, the enormous environmental cost of shifting 2m tonnes of soil and chucking 600,000 tonnes into dozens of landfills... and that's before you get to the unimaginable consumption of the games themselves.

The legacy is full of substance? You've been bought or conned or both mate.

It sounds harsh, but I've been to the Eden Project and it's a great place and an impressive achievement. So it's such a shame to see Tim Smit joining the ranks of influential people used to defend the indefensible and contribute to the great London 2012 Sustainability Scam.