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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
February 21, 2007

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ODA sets targets as EU gets tough on ‘green crimes’

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has outlined its sustainability targets for the 2012 Olympics project, with low carbon, low waste, green transportation, and high re-use of materials during construction figuring prominently.

The Authority hopes the strategy will ensure that the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are both built and remembered as the “greenest games in modern times”.

Key parts of the strategy include:

– minimising carbon emissions associated with the venues, reducing them by 50 per cent by 2013;

– reducing waste through design – 90 per cent of demolition material is to be re-used or recycled, and at least 20 per cent of materials used in permanent venues is to be recycled;

– ensuring efficient water use, with a target for a 40-per-cent reduction in the demand for potable water in permanent venues, and a 20-per-cent reduction target for residential development; and,

– green transport plans to build more than 80km of walking and cycling routes; 50 per cent of construction materials to be transported by water and rail.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced plans to harmonise EU-wide environmental regulation, as governments become increasingly concerned over climate change. If negligence is proved in proposed ‘green crimes’, company directors may be disqualified from holding their positions, and forced to clean up.

Tighter UK regulations mean companies will face heavier fines than in the past. Company directors could be held personally liable for pollution and face jail terms, or anti-social behaviour orders, if they breach environmental regulations.

The previous system of fines was thought to be ineffective, as many companies chose to pay the small fines and were still able to make a profit.

Crimes against the environment will include:

– discharge, emission, or introduction of a material that causes death, serious injury to any person, or damage to the quality of air, soil, water, animals, or plants;

– unlawful operation of a plant in which dangerous substances are stored or used, which causes death, serious injury, or substantial damage to the quality of air, soil, water, animals, or plants;

– illegal shipment of waste;

– manufacture, treatment, storage, use, transport, export or import of nuclear materials, or other hazardous radioactive substances, which cause death, serious injury, or substantial damage to the quality of air, soil, water, animals or plants;

– possession, taking, damaging, killing, or trading of protected wild fauna and flora;

– damage to a protected habitat;

– trade in, or use of, ozone-depleting substances.

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