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Dr Dorte Rich Jørgensen
04 Dec 2015
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What London 2012 can teach the COP 21 about collaborative carbon reduction
The world can explore as many technical solutions as it likes to solve climate change, but to be effective, we also need to create a blueprint for collaboration to sit alongside collective carbon reduction targets.
Collaboration will – no doubt – be on an agenda during the Paris Climate Change conference, where 193 UN member states will set out to try to agree an historic climate deal with the aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the steady and alarming rise in the average global temperature to keep it below 2 °C.
Technical expertise driven by the right behaviours can affect positive, long-term change.
The 2012 Olympic Games in London showed that it is possible for thousands of engineering and construction professionals from a wide demographic group to work together to achieve collective project targets with sustainability at the very heart of delivery.
The blueprint of how London 2012 delivered a sustainable Games, a legacy of infrastructure and an inspiration for change, which demonstrates carbon reduction, was the essence of a presentation I recently gave at the Global Automated Buildings Summit 2015 in Berlin.
This blueprint was:
Each of the stakeholders involved in delivering the Games embedded sustainability specialists, like myself, within the programmes wider design teams, working collaboratively and as ‘one team’ to achieve the Games’ sustainability targets.
Throughout our preparation for the Games, there was an on-going disruption of the status quo with a development agenda running alongside the core delivery of projects. We were able to actually try out innovative solutions for carbon reduction as we thought of them, with in-situ demonstration by providers to multiple stakeholders to enable effective implementation of our ideas.
This collaborative way of working had huge results in terms of carbon and sustainability:
The sustainability blueprint of London 2012 was a game changer that raised the bar and left an inspiring legacy that is now exported widely around the world. It also gave our own team a deeper appreciation for sustainability and a firm belief that it can be achieved in practice.
My hope for COP21 is that our leaders arrive at both great technical solutions and appreciates the importance of including how to influence people, effectively engage them and enable them to work in collaboration as a collective force for climate change.
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