On July 28th 2022, the 22nd Commonwealth Games will open in Birmingham.

Top class athletes from 72 nations and territories will compete in a competition known globally as 'The Friendly Games'. Friendly they certainly are, but no previous Commonwealth Games has committed itself so fully to genuine sustainability.

Birmingham 2022 has not only declared itself the first carbon neutral games, but has detailed its commitments to carbon reduction, rather than offsetting, wherever possible. Additionally, in the true spirit of sustainability, it has vowed to make the venues employed in the games available for community use to support a future which is fairer, greener and healthier . 

It will also be the first Commonwealth Games to be accompanied by a Social Values Charter, a statement of commitment to sustainability, well-being, inclusivity, human rights, and local benefit.

I admit to significant bias here as a Birmingham native and very proud Brummie, but the focus of the games committee on immediate and ongoing environmental and social impact should be applauded. 

The motto of the city of Birmingham is one word only - 'Forward' - it is as simple and honest a statement of intent as these difficult times demand.