Organisations That Planned For Olympics Reap The Benefits

Tue, 04 Sep 2012
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Organisations who planned for Olympics disruption benefited from altering their work and travel patterns, according to new research.

Environmental charity Global Action Plan GAP, launched a charter for businesses in the run up to the London Games, which provided advice on how to keep functioning during the Olympics.

Businesses that adopted the charter found they not only avoided any disruption to their services, but benefited as well. Shutting down their offices for one day each week, introducing flexible working hours, and holding more meetings online led to increased productivity, decreased costs and a reduced impact on the environment.

Trewin Restorick, GAP CEO, says: “It’s been a win-win situation for both employers and employees. But while athletes can take a well-deserved rest, business must ensure old work and travel habits do not return.”

An example of this is O2 Telefonica, which eliminated 100,000 commuter miles, saved 30 tons of carbon and prevented 600 hours of commuting. Due to the benefits of the changing working practices during the Games, O2 is now adopting the measures in the long term.

Bill Eyres, O2 Head of Sustainability, says: “Working with Global Action Plan helped us prepare for the expected Olympic disruption. But changing our work and travel patterns did much more than ensure we were not adversely affected by the Games.

“We reduced the amount of miles and time our employees spent commuting, increased employee productivity and reduced the impact our business has on the environment. The business benefited, and so did our employees who saved money and got to spend more time with their families. The benefits have convinced us to implement these changes longer term so we can work smarter, travel less and live better.”