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Blog Archives

Rio de Janeiro Faces Challenges in Cleaning Water for 2016 Olympics

A recent Associated Press investigation revealed that Rio de Janeiro still has major efforts to undertake in order to ensure safe water quality for athletes that will be competing in Olympic and Paralympic swimming and boating events at next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The investigation, which involved four rounds of water tests from sites planned to host Olympic competition, has revealed high levels of bacterial and viral contaminants that have resulted in athlete illnesses during training sessions.

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

The water contamination is related to the lack of an integrated sewage system in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Several plans have been floated to deal with the issue from a health and safety standpoint. One suggestion has been a relocation of events into open water from Guanabara Bay. The Brazilian organizers introduced plans to improve city sewer infrastructure, though those projects have been largely overlooked in the struggle to prepare the Olympic sites on time.

In many ways the levels of pollution are dependent on weather patterns. During last summer’s test event, favorable southerly winds and zero precipitation allowed for eco-boats to largely clean up the visible trash in the waters of Guanabara Bay. Such conditions cannot be guaranteed, though the International Olympic Committee and international water sports federations have been working together to formulate contingency plans.

“If the bay is polluted and it becomes obvious that the racing will be unsafe and unfair, then we have to consider [moving one or more lanes outside Guanabara Bay]. We are dearly hoping that won’t happen,” said Scott Perry, an ISAF (international sailing federation) vice president and technical director. “This is a Plan B.”

 

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Adidas Utilizes Open-Source Concepts to Improve Sustainability

The January edition of Corporate Knights magazine named Adidas third on its list of the top 100 most sustainable corporations, reaffirming the athletics and apparel company’s commitment to integrating sustainability throughout its operation. Drawing upon concepts more commonly associated with tech corporations like Google, the German sports conglomerate has expanded upon the open-source innovation that is at the heart of its research and development to integrate sustainability throughout its supply chain.

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Adidas’ commitment to sustainability begins internally, with the company identifying supply chain inefficiencies and committing to reduce carbon emissions in its operations by 30 percent over an eight-year period concluding at the end of 2015. Adidas also extends that commitment to sustainability with its footwear suppliers, contracting mainly with ISO-certified suppliers and promoting reduced carbon dioxide and water usage in the manufacturing process.

Adidas is also committed to external improvements on both environmental and social sustainability. The company has partnered with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit focused on removing and eliminating plastics from the ocean, to incorporate reclaimed ocean waste plastic in the design of products to be launched beginning in 2016. In recognizing the impact of social and governmental issues on environmental sustainability, Adidas has also started promoting grassroots programs that utilize sports as the framework for teaching life skills and values in low-income and high-crime neighborhoods, a commitment that originated with the Ginga Social project created in advance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Adidas recognizes that their programs have both sociocultural and sound business value. “Consumers make decisions based on the brands they prefer. Sustainability and innovation are two of the key criteria of selection,” said director of sustainability Alexis Haass. “Successful companies in the future will be those where sustainability is well integrated in terms of core values, operations as well as consumer acceptance.”

 

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Dreams of a Hip, High-Tech Sacramento Hinge on Kings’ New Home Court

From The New York Times

SACRAMENTO — When it opens for the Sacramento Kings’ first home basketball game, the Golden 1 Center — which will have the capacity to hold 17,500 fans and is designed with online graphic and social media interfaces — will be more than the newest and most technologically advanced arena in the National Basketball Association.

The arena, which will cost about $500 million, will have aircraft hangar doors on its north side that open onto a public plaza anchored by a luxury hotel. There are also plans for more than one million square feet of retail, recreation, office and housing space.

The four-block development — total price about $1 billion — was previously occupied by an underperforming indoor shopping mall built in 1971. Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento sees it as the catalyst for efforts to convert California’s capital into a hot spot for jobs, housing and entertainment.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, left, and Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, center, at the site of Sacramento's new sports arena.  Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, left, and Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, center, at the site of Sacramento’s new sports arena.
Credit Max Whittaker for The New York Times

“It’s an amazing moment for Sacramento,” Mr. Johnson said during a ceremony in mid-June to announce that Golden 1 Credit Union, the Sacramento-based banking cooperative, had purchased the rights to the arena’s name for $120 million over 20 years. “We’re in a new era called Sacramento 3.0, where we do things differently and where we control our own destiny. It’s bigger than basketball. We’re revitalizing our downtown. It’s about civic pride.”

Read the full article from The New York Times.

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