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Partnership hopes London 2012 preparation camp will achieve gold standard for sustainability

16 August 2011

EDF Energy, the first sustainability partner of London 2012, is working with ParalympicsGB to help their pre-Games training camp set a new standard for sustainability.

The training camp, August 15th —28th, is held at the University of Bath and comes just before the ‘one year to go’ mark for the London 2012 Paralympic Games on August 29th. Paralympic teams from 12 sports including wheelchair tennis, archery and sitting volleyball will attend the event. All will be encouraged by EDF Energy, Britain’s largest producer of low carbon electricity, to live a lower carbon lifestyle when training, competing and at home.

EDF Energy used last year’s event as a pilot for methods to create more sustainable residential training camps. The information collected in 2010 is now being used by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) to create a new sustainability accreditation for multi-day sporting events. EDF Energy and ParalympicsGB hope this year’s camp will become one of the first events in the world to receive a gold rating for this new sustainability accreditation from CRS once it is launched, inspiring other sporting organisations to think more about the sustainability credentials of their events.  

To meet this goal EDF Energy is working with ParalympicsGB and other organisations involved with the Camp to improve the environmental impact of the athletes’ stay in a number of ways - from promoting shower timers and recycling facilities to helping make sure food is locally sourced. EDF Energy has also developed a programme of education on sustainability issues for athletes, coaches and visitors. For example, everyday energy efficiency advice will be provided in welcome packs and in daily camp newsletters.

Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer and EDF Energy ambassador Ellie Simmonds, is backing the drive to make ParalympicsGB a leader in sustainability ahead of the Games.

Ellie said: “There is of course a lot of anticipation as we get to the ‘year to go’ milestone and the Paralympic Games will be here before we know it. Amongst all the excitement it’s really important to remember the bigger picture and think about how we can use the Games to inspire people to think about things other than sport – as EDF Energy are doing with sustainability. It’s great to see so much happening at the camp this year to make ParalympicsGB top of the podium not just for sport, but for our environmental achievements too.”

The focal point for EDF Energy’s activities at the camp will again be the Low Carbon Arcade, where visitors can use touch screen games and pedal and hand-powered stationary bikes to learn more about sustainability. A fully electric MINI E vehicle, one of 35 EDF Energy has leased from fellow London 2012 Sustainability Partner BMW Group, will also be at the camp to demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles as a low carbon form of transport.

EDF Energy is working with sustainability expert and professional long-distance triathlete Toby Radcliffe to help the camp meet the sustainability standards required to gain the gold accreditation from CRS. Waste, water consumption, transport, community responsibility and engagement are all assessed.

Toby said: “Working with ParalympicsGB to make this year’s camp a gold standard in sustainability has involved looking at the environmental impact of the camp in real detail, from assessing the power supply of the buildings and sports facilities we’re using, to trying to ensure that event materials are printed on recycled paper.”

Gareth Wynn, EDF Group Director, 2012 Programme, said “The athletes, coaches and management team at Paralympics GB are a real inspiration for all of us, so it is great that they want to work together with EDF Energy to be champions of sustainability as well as sport. As the first sustainability partner of London 2012, EDF Energy is using its involvement with the Olympic and Paralympic Games to encourage people to make changes in their daily lives to reduce their impact on the environment. The training camp in Bath is a great opportunity to show the actions which organisations and individuals can take to reduce the carbon impact of their activities.”

Tim Hollingsworth, ParalympicsGB CEO, said: “The training camp marks a key milestone for us as we enter the last year of preparation for the Games and our elite athletes focus on the goals ahead. We’ve been working with EDF Energy to ensure that this final year ahead of London 2012 sees us make real progress not just in the sports but in reducing the carbon footprint of our activities. Hopefully we are inspiring other organisations to think about how they can improve the sustainability of their operations, helping us contribute to a positive legacy of sustainability for the Games.”

ParalympicsGB is also EDF Energy’s charity partner. Since the partnership began in 2009 EDF Energy has given over £200,000 to support the development of Paralympic Sport in the UK. The company’s employees have raised over £100,000 through their own fundraising which has been matched by the company. Eighteen EDF Energy staff are at the camp as volunteers, supporting the teams with their training sessions. 

EDF Energy is founder of Team Green Britain, a growing movement of over a million people aiming to reduce their carbon footprint ahead of 2012. Working together with partners including London 2012 and supported by Olympians and thousands of schools, Team Green Britain is inspiring people across the country to think and act green. For more information visit www.teamgreenbritain.org.

Ends  

Note to editors:

For more information, please contact:

Hannah Stewart

Ph: +44 (0) 207 067 0326

e-mail: Hstewart@webershandwick.com

Mike Stuart

Ph: +44 020 7089 0315

e-mail: michael.stuart@edfenergy.com


EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-sixth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework. These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Sustainability Commitments, EDF Energy has launched one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company and the company has since been awarded the highest ranking of Platinum Plus in Business in the Community’s 2011 Corporate Responsibility Index, the UK’s leading voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility.

EDF is the official energy utilities partner and a sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company is also helping its customers and others use energy more sustainably through products and initiatives such as Team Green Britain, smart meters and electric vehicle research.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

ParalympicsGB

ParalympicsGB’s, mission statement is to send the best prepared team to every summer and winter Paralympic Games. We work closely with all 20 summer and 4 winter sports to achieve this. Only the very best athletes from our sports are selected to represent ParalympicsGB at a Paralympic Games.

We are proud of our tradition of outstanding performance at the Paralympic Games: Britain has finished second in the medals table at the last three summer Paralympic Games and brought home from Beijing 102 medals, 42 of them gold.

With the next summer Games on home soil, ParalympicsGB are exploring every possible option that might have a positive impact on the performance of British athletes in 2012 enabling them to achieve their personal best when it matters most. We recognise that the British team’s performance will have an impact on changing perceptions of disability sport and influencing attitudes towards disability.

ParalympicsGB is the brand and trading name for the British Paralympic Association.

Council for Responsible Sport

The Council for Responsible Sport is about inspired innovation and unprecedented collaboration. As a Council, we were founded in 2007 to empower producers of sports events with a valuable roadmap and the resources necessary to incorporate tenets of social and environmental responsibility into their organizations. The mission of CRS is to partner with and empower stakeholders in the sports industry as catalysts for sustainable change. 

From half marathons to football games, lacrosse to snowboarding, the Council believes athletes and spectators alike have the opportunity to encourage sports to adopt sustainable practices.  In addition to administering a certification for sports events, CRS also offers peer-to-peer learning communities and access to online tools, case studies and strategic partnerships to assist the myriad of leaders and businesses actively engaged in the sports industry with their efforts in going green. 

A complete listing of CRS Certified events can be found at: http://www.councilforresponsiblesport.org/certification/certified-events/

For more information, contact: Marisa McGilliard, Executive Director, Council for Responsible Sport at Marisa@councilforresponsiblesport.org