January 11 - The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has been awarded the gold global accreditation in sustainability from the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) for its work with EDF Energy at its London 2012 preparation camp.
More than 200 attendees, including athletes and support staff from ten Paralympic sports such as wheelchair fencing, archery and sitting volleyball, at last year's camp, held at the University of Bath just before the Paralympics, adopted a sustainable approach to their training and the running of the facility to achieve the gold standard.
From promoting recycling facilities and low carbon transport to helping make sure local, organic and fairtrade food was available to the athletes, the BPA and EDF worked to limit the environmental impact of the athletes' stay at the camp.
The carbon emissions from staging the programme were also offset by BP, through its not-for-profit programme Target Neutral, with all camps in total now having saved nearly 105t CO2eq in energy consumption, travel and waste diversion.
"I am delighted that we have achieved the gold accreditation," Tim Hollingsworth, BPA chief executive said.
"It is only the second time that this has been awarded for a multi-day sporting event anywhere in the world – and we have scored the highest marks yet.
"Our partnership with EDF Energy has been incredibly fruitful, helping the BPA and ParalympicsGB become a leading force in sustainability as well as sport.
"EDF Energy brought the necessary expertise and rigour to help us become more sustainable.
"It is now vital that we build on the successes of 2012 including continuing to become a greener team.
"Further, our partnership with BP Target Neutral helped educate our athletes about carbon offset as well as offsetting all our emissions from our preparation camps."
Meanwhile, the camp educated the likes of Paralympic medallists archer Danielle Brown, table tennis player Will Bayley and boccia star David Smith on the importance of living lower carbon lifestyles when training, competing and at home.
"It's great to see the work between EDF Energy and the BPA over the past three years culminate with the highest recognition from the Council for Responsible Sport," London 2012 gold medallist Brown explained.
"As an athlete, your approach to training is all about focusing on clear goals and consistently getting the small details right, something which was certainly evident with the experts at the training camps who were working to make them as sustainable as possible.
"For me, it was apparent in things like the promotion of sustainable behaviour to the athletes and the fantastic recycling facilities across the venues."
EDF has been working with ParalympicsGB since 2010 as part of its Greening the Team initiative, which is helping the BPA become a more sustainable organisation.
As part of the London 2012 preparation camp, the energy giant worked with sustainability expert and professional long-distance triathlete Toby Radcliffe to help the camp meet the sustainability standards required to gain the CRS gold accreditation, building on work started in 2010.
"Sustainability has gone hand in hand with sporting success for the BPA," Paul Spence, EDF Energy director of strategy and corporate affairs, said.
"We are delighted to have worked with athletes, coaches and everyone at the BPA to help them win this sustainability gold.
"As the first sustainability partner and electricity supplier for London 2012, our goal was to use the emotional power of the Games to change attitudes to energy use and saving.
"As they did at the Games, our Paralympians have led the way.
"We are proud to have helped them deliver the international gold standard."
Keith Peters, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport, added: "The BPA, EDF Energy and their sustainability partners definitely went above and beyond this year.
"In fact, they could have taken full advantage of the silver certification they earned in 2011, which was valid for two years, but they wanted to go into the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a gold-level sustainability effort, and they did.
"It is a credit to all involved for their commitment to this project."
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August 2012: British Paralympians and EDF Energy team up to go for sustainability gold
January 2012: Sustainability award for British training camp at Bath University