Glasgow 2014: Green & Gold

The 2014 Commonwealth Games are well underway in Glasgow, and our green & gold army is at the top of the medal tally, with England not far behind. The real ‘Green-Medal’ winner of these games, however, is the city of Glasgow which has made headlines in the lead up to, and during the games because of its focus on sustainable outcomes.

Rather than starting from scratch and building an all-new home for the 2014 Games, Glasgow designers instead decided to recycle and renew its existing infrastructure. This not only saved time and money, but reduced the environmental footprint of growth by upgrading existing developments.

In addition to these green buildings, Glasgow has also committed to recycling and reusing 80% of food/drink waste throughout the 11-day event, converting it into compost and biogas; during the construction and development phase this recyclable material was composted and used to create the turf that athletes are currently competing on. Renewable energy has also been integrated into the games, with solar power being a major source of heat and power for the Athletes Village, and other venues.

commonwealth-games-arena
The 2014 Glasgow Games Arena, an upgraded green facility built around the old Hampden Park Stadium.

It is fantastic to see a strong focus on sustainable development in such a visible global forum, and it shows how progressive this Scottish hub has become. This comes partially from Glasgow’s obligations to host a environmentally responsible and sustainable games, but also from the city’s desire to become one of Europe’s most sustainable cities within 10 years.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and lollipops though, Glasgow has apparently fallen short in delivering on emissions targets. Initially promised ‘Low Emission Zones’ for certain areas of the Games were found to be unfeasible in the lead-up, so were scrapped. Some groups, like Friends of the Earth Scotland have lashed out at organisers for ‘breaking their promise’, however Sustaining People sees that the cumulative impact of a ‘Sustainable Games’ definitely outweighs this issue. Glasgow’s determination to hold a Green Games will have lasting effects on future Commonwealth and Olympic Games, other peaceful international forums and the wider global community.

See a more detailed run down of Glasgow’s developments after the jump, and enjoy the short film above, produced by the Glasgow Games organisers to promote its sustainable goals in the lead up to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.