The USOC today announced it will launch a sustainability program called the "The Green Ring" that will see it work with its corporate partners to adopt environmentally-friendly practices. The most significant initiative of the new program is the result of a partnership with BP that will see the oil and energy company provide carbon offsets for Team USA's travel to the London Games. In addition to that, the USOC will adopt sustainable practices at its three Olympic Training Centers. Dow, an IOC TOP sponsor, will analyze fertilizer used at the center in Chula Vista, Calif.; GE will provide products like motion detectors to control electricity use; and the organization will develop a recycling program and add water efficient toilets and faucets. The USOC's fleet of vehicles at the training centers will be carbon neutral as a result of offsets provided by BP. USOC partner Deloitte worked with the organization to develop "The Green Ring" program. The organization expects more sponsors to participate in the future, including McDonald's, which will investigate farm-to-table options for food at training centers, and Anheuser-Busch, which will undertake a water management audit.
While NBA Commissioner David Stern will consider implementing an age restriction for the U.S. men's Olympic team for '16, USA Basketball “isn’t quite ready to roll over,” according to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. TIMES. Stern last month said, "I think we got a lot out of the Olympics. We helped grow the game. The result has been extraordinary. But I think it's appropriate to take a step back and take stock of everything." USA Basketball Chair Jerry Colangelo said, “I don't want to change anything, because I like what we have. We take care of our players and I think we do the right things.” Stern "wants to make the Olympics a 23-and-under event, basically returning it to the college kids and NBA players with only a few years of pro experience." Colangelo: "You need a lot of things to fall into place in order for all of this (age restriction) to happen. You need the cooperation and the votes and support of a lot of people. So when I hear something like this, I say it may happen. The real question is when. Is it '16, is it 2020?” Lakers G Kobe Bryant, who is also a proponent of the current structure, said, "I hope it continues to go that way, because it's good for the game. ... If I'm an owner, I would want my player to play (internationally) because I understand that they're going to be playing anyway, going to be playing pickup basketball in the summertime, and I'm not going to be able to know where they are” (L.A. TIMES, 7/9).