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USOC Announces Green Ring Sustainability Program

July 09, 2012, 2:09 p.m. (ET)

Numerous Team USA sustainability projects underway, including carbon neutral travel
for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams to 2012 Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The United States Olympic Committee today announced a new sustainability program - the Green Ring - already underway and manifesting in a number of Team USA projects around the country. The USOC worked with partner Deloitte to initiate the program with the help of its sustainability practice leaders. Among the Green Ring projects now in progress are:

 Green Ring
* Carbon neutral travel for all members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams to the London Games courtesy of BP

* Integration of sustainability practices and products into the U.S. Olympic Training Centers

* Creation of electronic medical records for all 2012 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians

* Carbon neutral USOC vehicle fleet

* USOC headquarters built to LEED certified silver standards

* Anheuser-Busch water conservation efforts

"The Green Ring program aims to mitigate the USOC and our athletes' impact on the environment through a number of sustainability efforts, an area that is a passion for many of our athletes," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "Through the Green Ring, we hope to contribute to sustainability while using our platform to educate and inspire our constituents to do the same. Our focus is more action, less carbon."

The mission of the Green Ring is to provide U.S. athletes with training environments in which they can thrive athletically and inspire pride. To do so, the USOC is committed to optimizing its athlete training environments with sustainable choices, efficient use of resources, recycling and waste reduction. The Green Ring also offers USOC partners with opportunities to participate in the program and contribute to the USOC's efforts. Current Green Ring contributors include Anheuser-Busch, BMW, BP, Deloitte, Dow, GE and McDonald's.

The projects of the Green Ring are centered on four focus areas:

Green Ring

Carbon Neutral Games Travel (Energy, Greenhouse Gas)

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams will be the largest delegation traveling carbon neutral to London for the 2012 Games. BP is providing carbon offsets through its not-for-profit Target Neutral program for the entire U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams and the full delegations traveling to London. For the U.S. Olympic Team, this consists of approximately 530 athletes and 550 support staff. For the U.S. Paralympic Team, this consists of approximately 220 athletes and 200 support staff, in total offsetting Games travel for approximately 1,500 members of Team USA. More than 12 million miles of athlete travel will be included in the program, with more than 4,500 tons of CO2 offset through Target Neutral. This is the equivalent of neutralizing the emissions of every car in Colorado Springs for a whole day.

The carbon offsets for Team USA's travel will contribute to carefully selected sustainability projects on six continents, including a dairy farm in Wisconsin that turns waste into electricity. For more information, contact Scott Dean of BP (scott.dean@bp.com).

Olympic Training Centers (Energy, Greenhouse Gas, Water, Waste)

New sustainability products and practices are being implemented and considered for the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Chula Vista, Calif.; and Lake Placid, N.Y. A significant number will take shape in Colorado, where the USOC is undergoing a phased renovation to include a new sport services venue with an agility field and indoor training track; expanded strength and conditioning facilities; advancements in the sport science, medical and recovery centers; improvements to the athlete center; and enhancements to the visitor center, including an education center. Among the sustainability projects underway are:

* BMW vehicle fleet audit

* New BP fuel station - where all fuels dispensed are now 100 percent carbon offset - that has new energy-efficient LED lighting, reducing power consumption by 50 percent; lower maintenance costs; new facades and canopy; and education materials on reducing, replacing and neutralizing emissions from driving

* Deploy expertise from Dow agro-science to understand and limit the environmental impact of fertilizer solutions for the Chula Vista OTC

* Deploy expertise from Dow and use Dow building and construction materials to support energy-saving objectives, such as insulation

* GE renewable energy integration through product opportunities (south-facing solar roof area, energy star and/or EPEAT gold equipment, energy automation controls, motion detectors, occupancy sensors)

* Low-emitting interior materials (paints, coatings, adhesives, flooring, composite wood)Green cleaning products program

* Water efficiency (automatic bathroom designs, low-flow toilets and faucets)

* Thermal control (radiant heat/cooling, energy management system)

* Natural lighting

*Recycling program

* Hybrid boiler (energy-efficient instant heat)

* Building commissioning with outside experts

Electronic Medical Records (Greenhouse Gas, Waste)

The USOC will use electronic medical records for the first time for managing athlete care at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USOC will use GE's Centricity* Practice Solution, an integrated EMR and practice management product, to manage the care of more than 740 U.S. athletes at the Games as well as for 3,000 additional staff and volunteer records maintained by USOC staff. The technology will replace reams of paper records historically shipped on large pallets by the USOC to the Games and will provide doctors with faster access to athletes' medical records.

Carbon Neutral USOC Vehicle Fleet (Energy, Greenhouse Gas)

The full USOC fleet of vehicles operating at its three Olympic Training Centers is now operating 100 percent carbon neutral, courtesy of BP. The USOC provides mileage records to BP, which offsets the emissions by contributing to sustainability projects in the U.S. and around the world. See above for details on the projects.

USOC Headquarters Building LEED Certified Silver (Energy, Greenhouse Gas, Water, Waste)

Construction of the USOC's headquarters was completed in April 2010 in downtown Colorado Springs. The building is LEED certified silver, a rating system for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The headquarters includes a number of sustainable elements, including a light-harvesting system that reduces the use of artificial lighting in order to reduce energy consumption. The building also utilizes motion and occupancy sensors; water compensating devices; and a building mechanical control system (HVAC) that automatically manages the mechanical equipment of the building such as heating and air conditioning during occupied and unoccupied hours, by occupancy loads, floor and zone. This results in diminished electrical and gas consumption, reducing the USOC's carbon footprint 365 days of the year.

Anheuser-Busch Water Conversation Efforts (Water)

The staff of the USOC participated in Anheuser-Busch's "Grow One. Save a Million." water conservation campaign as a part of the United Nation's World Environment Day on June 5. Nearly 100 USOC employees put down their razors and shortened their showers for two weeks in June. For every shave skipped, roughly 3-10 gallons of water are saved. Based on their efforts, the USOC participants pledged to save 15,298 gallons of water through growing beards, shortening showers and using less water while brushing their teeth. Through the pledges made by its employees and consumers across the country, Anheuser-Busch's "Grow One. Save a Million." campaign saved more than 1.2 million gallons of water for World Environment Day.  

Bike Station at USA House (Energy, Greenhouse Gas)

USA House is the official hospitality center for U.S. athletes, sponsors and VIP guests during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Located across from Hyde Park in Central London, the house is within cycling distance of a number of Games venues and major landmarks. For the first time ever, to encourage guests to reduce their emissions while at the Games, the USOC and BP are providing a bike station stocked with BMW cruiser bikes and helmets for guests to use free of charge.

The Origins of the Green Ring

The concept for the Green Ring came about through conversations with America's athletes, who are passionate about reducing their impact on the environment. USOC sponsor Deloitte took their feedback and conducted a comprehensive audit of the USOC's sustainability opportunities, resulting in the recommendation that the USOC create a sustainability program open for sponsor contribution.

The program then took root at a sponsor summit in New York in January 2012, moderated by Deloitte, for which six USOC sponsors came together to create the Green Ring sustainability review and planning council. Anheuser-Busch, BMW, BP, Dow, GE and McDonald's lent sustainability experts to help share best practices, create the mission statement and shape projects fitting for the USOC's footprint.

The Green Ring will continue to grow with additional sponsors expected to come on board. Future projects include a McDonald's food chain nutritional audit with investigation into farm-to-table options at all three Olympic Training Centers, and an Anheuser-Busch water management audit.

The International Olympic Committee has designated three dimensions of Olympism: sport, culture and the environment. All three are fundamental objectives of the worldwide Olympic Movement, and the IOC encourages all National Olympic Committees to take responsibility in promoting sustainable development.