The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be rightly remembered for some stunning sporting performances, but its true legacy is likely to be away from the sporting venues.
The Games had an ambitious aim to be the most sustainable edition yet, indeed, to set a benchmark for any major event. These were to be the first Games to expressly target leaving a carbon-neutral legacy.
For these aims to be achieved, the Birmingham 2022 Sustainability Team had to work closely with suppliers and partners. It was essential that sustainability was at the heart of every relationship and that those who worked on the Games, in any capacity, did so in a way that reduced their own carbon footprint and that of the Games overall.
The benefits of these relationships and how they worked are detailed in our full Sustainability Report.
With no blueprint to follow for how to create a carbon-neutral legacy, it was necessary to innovate and embrace emerging technologies were practically possible. Merely doing things as they have always been done would not create the change sought.
One such innovative partnership was with Adelan, who augmented the Games’ fleet of vehicles with fuel cell powered hydrogen vehicles.
Overall, the fleet of vehicles used by Birmingham 2022 was 40% lower than the previous 2018 Games in the Gold Coast. Of 812 vehicles overall, 42% were low-emission, a figure which would have been higher but for supply-chain problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 10 hydrogen cars were a part of this fleet, alongside EV vehicles, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid.
Against this backdrop, The Commonwealth Games Future Mobility Automotive Sector Day was held at UK House, shining a spotlight on the next generation of transport technology. There was a focus on the UK’s role in bringing together policy makers and business leaders from across the Commonwealth. The Games provided a backdrop for change.
With transport responsible for around a fifth of global greenhouse emissions, the importance of making the sector more sustainable is clear.