British Paralympic Association and EDF Energy go for sustainability gold

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Partnership hopes London 2012 preparation camp will achieve world beating standard for sustainability.

EDF Energy, an official partner of London 2012, is working with the British Paralympic Association (BPA) to help the ParalympicsGB Pre-Games Preparation Camp achieve a gold standard for sustainability.

The Camp, taking place from August 18th — September 2nd, is held at the University of Bath and is the final preparation base for the athletes before they compete at London 2012. Paralympic teams from 10 sports including wheelchair tennis, archery and sitting volleyball will attend the camp. All will be encouraged by EDF Energy, Britain’s largest producer of low carbon electricity, to live a lower carbon lifestyle when training, competing and at home.

Last year saw EDF Energy help the 2011 Simulation Camp become the first multi-day sporting event in the world to be accredited by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS), achieving a silver accreditation for the event.

In 2012, EDF Energy is aiming for gold through collaboration with the BPA and other organisations involved with the Camp. In partnership they aim to improve the environmental impact of the Preparation Camp in a number of ways, from encouraging athletes to reduce the emissions of their travel to putting in place a full recycling programme to reduce waste. Shower adaptors and ‘save a flush’ devices will also be distributed to help athletes and staff reduce water use.

New for 2012 is a photography competition which invites athletes to show how they see sustainability by submitting images under the theme of ‘My Perfect World’. The photos will be published on social media channels for people to vote for their favourites. EDF Energy has also developed a programme of education on sustainability issues for ParalympicsGB athletes and support staff. For example, everyday energy efficiency advice will be provided in welcome packs and in daily camp newsletters.

Team EDF member and Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer Ellie Simmonds attended the Camp last year and is backing the drive to make ParalympicsGB a leader in sustainability as well as sport. Ellie said: “It’s great that EDF Energy is engaging with athletes to help them become more sustainable. Having such a strong focus on sustainability at the Preparation Camp definitely encourages us to think about what we can do to help the environment. We’re all really competitive and will do whatever we can to be the greenest team possible.”

Gareth Wynn, EDF Director, 2012 Programme, said, “Last year EDF Energy helped Paralympics GB achieve a world first when their training camp became the first multi-day sporting event to be accredited. At that time we achieved silver standard. But we are right behind Paralympics GB in their quest for gold on and off the field of play in 2012.”

EDF Energy is working with sustainability expert and professional long-distance triathlete Toby Radcliffe to help the camp meet the sustainability standards required to gain the gold accreditation from CRS.

Toby said: “London 2012 will provide a great opportunity for us to encourage positive attitudes towards changing behaviours. To achieve a gold accreditation we’re working to improve the camp’s environmental and social impact, taking into account waste, water and energy use. What’s also really important is educating the athletes on green issues. As role models who will be watched across the world this summer they can really help us to show individuals and other organisations how they can reduce their environmental impact.”

ParalympicsGB is also EDF Energy’s charity partner. Since the partnership began in 2010, employees have raised over £200,000 with each pound matched by EDF Energy. In total, they aim to raise £600,000 for the charity and recently, ten employees from Gloucester cycled to Paris, raising £40,000. Twelve EDF Energy staff will attend the 2012 Camp as volunteers, supporting the teams with their training sessions.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO, British Paralympic Association said: “ParalympicsGB is dedicated to being the best it can be, and that extends from the field of play to becoming a sustainable team. This year we are going for gold on both counts. Working with EDF Energy the BPA is able not just to help athletes and staff to consider their own environmental impact at the camp, but to take the sustainability message to their communities and the wider public too.

“We are also extremely grateful for the efforts of EDF Energy staff with their volunteering and fundraising for the British Paralympic Association. It is only with support like theirs that we have been able to announce a team of such a high calibre to represent Great Britain at London 2012.”

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