18 Jan 12

EDF Energy helps British Paralympic Association set new standard for sustainability

Council for Responsible Sport accreditation for training camp is a world first

EDF, the official electricity supplier of London 2012, has helped the British Paralympic Association (BPA) achieve a world first - with the ParalympicsGB 2011 Simulation Camp becoming the first event of its kind to receive a global accreditation for sustainability.

The Camp, held at the University of Bath, is the first multi-day sporting event anywhere in the world to achieve a silver accreditation for sustainability from the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS). EDF Energy has been working in partnership with the BPA since 2010, helping them become a greener team ahead of London 2012.

EDF Energy worked with a number of organisations involved with the 2011 camp including the BPA, the University of Bath and waste management specialist M.J. Church to improve the environmental impact of the athletes’ stay in a number of ways - from promoting recycling facilities and low carbon transport to helping make sure local, organic and fair-trade food was available to the athletes. BP, through its not-for-profit programme Target Neutral, has offset the carbon emissions from staging the Camp.

The work done by EDF Energy and the BPA at the Camp will now be used by CRS as a pilot to help formalise criteria for a separate, dedicated award for multi-day sports events.

The Camp was the second in a series of three at the University of Bath aimed at preparing the athletes hoping to be selected to ParalympicsGB for London 2012. The 2011 Camp took place in September with over 240 attendees including athletes and coaches from 11 Paralympic sports such as wheelchair tennis, archery and sitting volleyball.

All attendees were encouraged by EDF Energy to live a lower carbon lifestyle when training, competing and at home. EDF Energy worked with sustainability expert and professional long-distance triathlete Toby Radcliffe to help the 2011 Camp meet the sustainability standards required to gain the CRS accreditation. The Camp was assessed in sustainability areas such as waste management, energy efficiency, water consumption, transport, sustainability education, and health promotion.

The focal point for EDF Energy’s activities at the Camp was the Low Carbon Arcade, where visitors could 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, was at the camp to demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles as a low carbon form of transport.

Gareth Wynn, London 2012 Programme Director at EDF said: “The athletes have thrown themselves into doing their bit for sustainability alongside their training. It is very rewarding for us to see our best athletes preparing not only to compete and win in their sport but also to be part of the greenest team. They are great role models for all of us on and off the field of play.

“EDF is using its partnership with London 2012 and the emotional power of the Games to encourage people to change the way they think about and use energy so it’s fantastic to have helped achieve a world first with the silver accreditation from CRS. Obviously we now want to go one better by going for gold in 2012 for the Camp that takes place just prior to the Games”.

Tim Hollingsworth, BPA CEO, said: “I am delighted that we have achieved the silver accreditation. This achievement is the result of a very successful partnership which has developed with EDF Energy and is proof that we have made real progress in our goal of making the BPA and ParalympicsGB a leading force in sustainability as well as sport. 2012 is obviously a huge year for us and we’re hoping for continued progress and success across the board, including with our efforts to become a greener team; work that will contribute to a positive legacy of sustainability for the Games.”

Ellie Simmonds, Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer and a member of Team EDF* said: “I wasn’t training at the Camp in 2011 but I attended with EDF Energy to see the activities underway to help make the Camp more sustainable. I’m really passionate about helping the environment so I hope that the award of a silver accreditation from CRS will mean even more people will see what we’re doing and be inspired to do their bit for a lower carbon lifestyle”.

Catherine Humblet, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport added “It has been a pleasure to work with the BPA, EDF Energy and sustainability consultant Toby Radcliffe on this certification. All the hard work this team has done will benefit other groups who are committed to bringing sustainability to multi-day sporting events tremendously. The innovative approach to athlete and visitor education was particularly impressive, with the Low Carbon Arcade being my favourite – watching Camp visitors use a hand-powered stationary bicycle, knowing they were experiencing something about what it takes to compete as a Paralympian while learning about generating power for electricity was a great lesson in connecting the dots.”

The BPA is also EDF Energy’s charity partner. Since the partnership began in 2010 EDF Energy has given £300,000 to support the BPA with the green team project and in its mission to use the power of London 2012 to deliver lasting change in Paralympic sport in the UK. The company’s employees have raised £150,000 through their own fundraising, providing vital funds to help provide the best preparations for ParalympicsGB in London 2012 and beyond.

*Team EDF is a sponsorship initiative that supports athletes in their efforts to qualify and participate in the London 2012 Olympic Games