SustainAbility Newsletter

The 2012 Olympic Games and Sustainability

The most spectacular sporting event in the world has the power to bring together the aspirations of the finest athletes on earth and the efforts of hundreds of thousands of individuals who create the stage for their performances. It has the power to revitalize communities and shoulder the hopes and dreams of billions of people around the world who will be watching with bated breath. The

2012 Olympic Games

 vision the organizers had from the onset was to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change.

For six weeks in the summer of 2012, the eyes of the world will be on London. But for seven years before, and for many years afterwards, the organizers will be changing the way they had an impact on the people, industry and the planet.

Sustainability has been a key consideration for the London 2012 Organizing Committee (LOCOG) since London started to bid for the Games. Major achievements include the creation of the Olympic Park, which is the largest new urban parkland created in Europe for one hundred and fifty years; and the construction of the Olympic Stadium, which is touted as the most sustainable Olympic stadium in history. 

In addition, London 2012 will be the first Olympic Games to measure its carbon footprint over the entire project term, and is also the first Games to commit to a zero waste-to-landfill target through the strategic Zero Waste Games Vision.

To bring the approach to life, the organizers focused on four areas that directly relate to the 2012 Olympic Game Experience for individuals who visit the games but also for people watching on television. 

Behind the scenes, there are some very interesting ways that the 2012 Olympic Games where planned, built and delivered with sustainability at the core – from the transformation of the Olympic Park and the building of world class venues, to the everyday decisions that are made at London 2012. 

All the venues at the 2012 Olympic Games in London are designed to ensure that the athletes perform to the best of their ability while also pushing the boundaries of sustainability from a knowledge and design perspective.

Where possible existing venues where used – Wimbledon, Excel, Lords and Earls Court are examples of existing facilities that are in essence being “recycled“.  Where there is a legacy need the developers built new venues - the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the Velodrome are examples.  Where there was no need, they built temporary venues in iconic places such as Greenwich Park, Hyde Park and Horse Guards Parade.

With millions of people on the move at the same time and extra people travelling each day in and around London, it is imperative to get everyone to their venues on time. By working with Transport for London and other partners to ensure that London’s public transport is ready these people can safely get to and from their destinations with relative ease.

London is also in and upon itself a great city for walking and cycling. They have a program called the “Active Travel Programme” which works to ensure that individuals have access to walking and cycling routes across the capital and co-host cities during the Games.

Most spectators at the London 2012 Games will want to have a bite to eat and a drink. The key aims of the food vision are to ensure that they offer affordable food that offers choice and diversity, and that they have healthy food and can cater for special dietary and cultural requirements too.

Contractors are required to serve food in compostable packaging and to source food in a way that has as low an environmental impact as possible.  For many of them this has meant implementing a fundamental change in how they source products and packaging –and is something they plan to adopt long term.

With so many people descending on London and the UK at the same time, the organizers need to ensure that  have thought long and hard about managing all that extra waste.  They created a revolutionary system for the Games, which will make it easier for us to ensure that no waste is sent to landfill during Games-time.

London 2012 seeks to optimise the opportunities to design out waste, while maximising the reuse and recycling of material arising during demolition, remediation and construction of the venues, as well as during the Games themselves. The Games and the lead-up to them present an opportunity to inspire change in waste-management practices in the events and construction sectors.

To learn more about the sustainability aspects of each venue visit





References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles 
The International Sustainability Council 

Sustainable Demonstration Project Blog

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games

Scotland Yards Golf Club

Audubon Outdoors

Love and Dodson

Green World Parth

Turf Feeding Systems

The Dodson Group      

To learn about sponsorship opportunities please call us at: 727-733-0762
This Issue of the SustainAbility Newsletter sponsored in part by:

The Dodson Group

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Critter of the Season - Big Cypress Fox Squirrel

Fox Squirrel

The Big Cypress Fox Squirrel is a species in decline through much of its former range.  While this critter is dwindling in numbers, it is commonly seen on golf courses, particularly in Southwest, Florida.  Some of the healthiest populations of the squirrel are to be found on the fairways and habitats of the links in Lee and Collier Counties, Florida.

The scientific name of the Big Cypress Fox Squirrel is Sciurus niger avicennia. The genus name Sciurus is from the Greek words skia (shadow) and oura (tail), a reference to the bushy tail which casts a shadow on the squirrel. The Latin species name niger (black) refers to the black color phase which is common in this species.
Common name
Fox squirrels may have earned their name from their gray and red fur coat that resemble that of a gray fox, from their comparatively large size and thick bushy tail, and/or from peculiar way of running along the ground which gives the appearance of a small fox.
Fox squirrels live from four to seven years of age on average in natural conditions. One individual lived to 18 years of age in captivity.
Home range
Ranges vary from 8-32 acres depending on habitat conditions. Fox squirrels have large overlapping home ranges and are non-territorial.
Geographic Range
Fox squirrels are found throughout most of Florida except in the Keys. There are three subspecies of fox squirrels in Florida. The Big Cypress Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger avicennia, is found from the Caloosahatchee River in Lee county south and then east to the southern part of Dade county. Sherman's Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger shermani is found throughout most of the peninsula. The Carolina Fox Squirrel is found in the panhandle and northwards.
Contrary to two common names sometimes given to the Big Cypress Fox Squirrel -- Mangrove Fox Squirrel and Everglades Fox Squirrel -- it is not common in either mangrove or Everglades habitats. It is most common in open pinelands, live oak forests, and stands of bigger bald cypress.
Fox squirrels are found throughout the eastern and central United States, south into northern Mexico, and north into Canada. They have been introduced into urban areas in western North America as well.
Big Cypress Fox Squirrel: threatened species
Sherman's Fox Squirrel: species of special concern
Fox squirrels spend more time on the ground than gray squirrels and are slower moving. They forage for acorns, nuts, fruits, insects, mushrooms, buds and tubers, so they require habitats with an open understory. These include open pine flatwoods, sandhills, mixed pine-hardwood areas and rangeland interspersed with trees. In Florida, the fox squirrel may also be found in cypress stands and occasionally mangrove swamps.
Further north, fox squirrels are found in a diverse array of deciduous and mixed forest. Areas with a good variety of tree species are preferred due to variability in mast production.
Physical Characteristics
Fox squirrels weigh from one to three pounds, and exhibit color variations which range from a buff color to gray, and in some instances black. The under parts are usually lighter, and typical specimens have white noses with black faces and feet. They are noted for their long, bushy tails and for their strong hind legs which allows them to leap easily from place to place.
Fox squirrels have both a summer and winter coat, and therefore molt twice each year. The spring molt begins in March and may last for weeks, left, whereas the autumn molt begins in September. But the tail only molts once each year during the summer.
Fox squirrels have four sets of whiskers located above and below the eyes, on the underside of the head in front of the throat, and on the nose. Whiskers, also known as vibrissae, are touch receptors that provide the animal with information about its immediate surroundings.
Fox squirrels have very good eyesight even in dim light, and a wide field of vision. They also have a well developed sense of smell and hearing.
The skull of the fox squirrel has 20 teeth (gray squirrels have 22 teeth). Squirrels have upper and lower incisor teeth followed by a gap called a diastema. The diastema is where the canine teeth would normally be found in carnivorous animals such as cats or dogs, or omnivorous animals such as monkeys. Behind the diastema are the cheek or grinding teeth which consist of premolars and molars.
As with other rodent species, the incisors continuously grow to compensate for the enormous amount of wear that comes from a herbivorous diet.
Young squirrels have milk teeth which are replaced by permanent teeth when they are between six and twelve months old.
Fox squirrels are highly adapted for climbing trees and fatal falls are rare. Adaptations for climbing include sharp recurved claws, well developed extensors of digits and flexors of forearms, and abdominal musculature.
Tails are used for balance when running and leaping between trees, and held over the back of a resting animal.


References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:
Audubon Lifestyles 
The International Sustainability Council 


Ford Motors

Girl Scouts of America

Austin Ranch

Turf Feeding Systems

The University of Michigan

The Dodson Group      

To learn about sponsorship opportunities please call us at: 727-733-0762
This Issue of the SustainAbility Newsletter sponsored in part by:

The Dodson Group

$25 Annually $100 Annually $250 Reg / $100 Annually


Sponsors are a critically important part to the success of ISC-Audubon. As a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating sustainability, we offer all of our programs to our members free of charge, and are publicly available for download on our website.

ISC-Audubon is proud to extend the opportunity to select businesses and organizations to become sponsors of our sustainability education and advocacy programs. As a sponsor, your business or organization can realize significant value.

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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