The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games takes place in a little over a year – the basketball arena has just become the fourth venue on the Olympic Park to be completed, and the first round of tickets has been allocated.
But it’s not just athletes and sports fans looking ahead to the Games. Mark Kiehlmann, a Team Green Britain Bike Week event organiser in Baldernock, East Dunbartonshire, is too.
Team Green Britain, a community founded by EDF Energy, aims to channel the excitement of the Games to help create a lower-carbon future. As the first sustainability partner of London 2012, EDF Energy has been encouraging people like Mark to work together with others to reduce their carbon footprint by the time the Games begin. There are now over a million people who are part of the team.
Mark is a board member of East Dunbartonshire’s Cycle Co-op, a not-for-profit community social enterprise.
“Developing a range of cycle events and festivals in partnership with Team Green Britain has been very successful for our co-op,” he says. “Not only did we get fantastic resources and event insurance, but it enabled local people to have a greater sense of purpose, knowing that we’re part of a broader effort to create change”.
This push for action against climate change is supported by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
“Sustainability underpins our planning for the Games,” says Sebastian Coe, chair of LOCOG. “It will be a key part of our legacy and Team Green Britain will, I hope, grow as we head towards 2012, and live on after the Games have gone.”
Team Green Britain also has the backing of leading athletes, including Olympic track cyclist Victoria Pendleton and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
The Team’s aim is simple: to help people do things differently when it comes to their home, travel and food, the three areas that account for more than 60 per cent* of our carbon footprint. On the Team Green Britain website, you’ll find advice and ideas to help you save energy and money. In fact, following these tips you could reduce your individual carbon footprint by up to 20 per cent, saving up to £166** a year on your energy bills in the process.
Team Green Britain members receive tips, exclusive offers and information about local events. One of these events is Team Green Britain Bike Week, the UK’s biggest mass-participation cycling event, which takes place 18-26 June and aims to get more people cycling, more often. Cycling is a low carbon form of transport that could help you reduce the carbon footprint of your day-to-day travel. Did you know, for example, that nearly a quarter of all car journeys are less than two miles***, a distance that can be cycled in less than 15 minutes?
Mark is convinced that activities supported by Team Green Britain can make a real difference: “The impact of East Dumbartonshire’s Cycle Co-op has been significant, with increased numbers of children cycling to school, and parents cycling to work. Every single primary school in nearby Bishopbriggs has made the grade for Cycling Scotland’s Cycle Friendly School Award, the first town in Scotland to do so.”
If you know someone, like Mark, who’s doing amazing work to encourage others to reduce their carbon footprint then why not nominate them as a Team Green Britain hero? Team Green Britain heroes can get tickets to London 2012. They can also win low-carbon prizes, like an EcoManager, EDF Energy’s device to help wirelessly monitor and control the energy used by electrical appliances in the home.
Nominate a hero, or join the Team yourself, at www.teamgreenbritain.org.
* Source: Act on CO2/Carbon Trust.
** Based on a typical EDF Energy customer with typical energy consumption, supplied on EDF Energy’s standard tariffs, who reduces their household’s annual energy consumption by 20 per cent through energy-saving measures. ‘Typical energy consumption’ means an energy consumption of 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas each year.
*** Source: tinyurl.com/6xftlbc