London Olympics Green Professional Visits Israel

December 1, 2011  

The Israel Green Building Council held its second green building conference at the Avenue Convention Center near the Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday.

The conference dealt with such issues as groundbreaking green building, sustainable urban planning, innovative application of green building principles and greening existing neighborhoods. It featured Dan Epstein, Director of Sustainability on the 2012 Olympics in London.

“We’ve been thinking in London about the green agenda since 2000,” Epstein told Arutz Sheva. “The mayor of London, who was on the board of the Olympic team, wanted a green Olympics, and this is actually much more than being green. This is about social sustainability, environmental sustainability and about economic sustainability.”

The challenge, according to Epstein, was how to take this thinking and turn it into practice. He said he hopes that the visitors who come to the 2012 Olympics in London will notice the green aspect.

“I think you’ll get a sense of a fantastic park,” he said. “It’s the biggest new park created in London in 150 years. This park will be really an ecology park in many ways. Half of the park is dedicated to ecological habitat, so you’ll get a real sense of greenery.”

In addition to the park, other green aspects of the Olympics will include public transportation for all participants, avoiding the need to use polluting vehicles. As well, the vehicle sponsors who provide the vehicles for the athletes and their families will provide fuel efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

Epstein said that the people who are leading Israel’s green agenda are “very bright people and very smart people so they are making quick progress.”

“There’s obviously a lot of passion here [in Israel],” he said. “There’s a beginning of a realization that this is important. I think you’ll see big change quite quickly, because Israel is technologically very advanced, it has smart industries, good architects, good designers and good engineers.”

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