Racing to the top: 10 green Olympic facts

Editor's note: As the London Olympic games opens Saturday, the spotlight will be on the world's top athletes as they compete for what is perhaps sport's greatest honor: a gold, silver or bronze medal. Just as notable, though, is the sustainable features of the venues and services supporting the event. Business Green highlights 10 features here. Numbered items are not ranked.

1. The world's first recyclable stadium

The 80,000 seat stadium was constructed with less than half the steel used in comparably sized stadiums, making it the lightest Olympic Stadium to date. It includes more than a third recycled content and is expected to require 60 percent less water compared to its counterparts. The ring beam that supports the roof is also made of reclaimed gas pipes.

2. Cycling's sustainable surface

The VeloPark, which can seat up to 12,000 people, was constructed using mainly timber and has a lightweight roof that reduces its embodied carbon emissions by limiting the use of steel. It also has rainwater harvesting capabilities that will help cut water consumption by 75 percent. Best of all, the timber (including that used for the track) all came from certified sustainable sources.

3. A greener feed

London has set a new standard for Olympic food sourcing by becoming the first country to publish a "food vision" for the 14 million meals that will served during Games time. It includes requirements on caterers such as McDonald's to source food to high environmental, ethical and animal welfare standards.

Photo of Olympic rings lit up at night provided by Sergei Bachlakov via Shutterstock

Next page: Serving up eco-uniforms, real-time energy monitoring