Whether you are a fan of Messi or Ronaldo, one thing is for sure. The World Cup is a global phenomenon that brings people of all nations together in a (usually friendly) celebration of sportsmanship and soccer. According to FIFA, the World Cup is the largest single-event sporting competition in the world. Obviously something of this magnitude is going to take a toll on the environment and in the past, that was duly noted by environmentalists around the planet.
This year though, is different. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be the first FIFA World Cup to have a comprehensive sustainability strategy. Included in FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee’s vision is the goal that their efforts will serve as a benchmark for future World Cups and other grand sporting events.
As everyone knows, when a country hosts a World Cup, there is much more at stake than just soccer. Everything from job creation to human trafficking is considered and years of planning are involved. A few examples of how FIFA is creating a more sustainable cup (according to their website) are:
Green buildings: Not only have FIFA and the LOC have been organizing sustainable training courses for stadium managers, many stadiums in Brazil have been in the process of achieving LEED certification. For example, solar panels have been installed in many stadiums to generate energy.
Waste management: Recycling practices in accordance with new regulations will be implemented.
Climate Change: FIFA and the LOC have been estimating the carbon footprint of the World Cup and have been developing practices to reduce CO2 emissions.
Reporting: According to the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), FIFA and the LOC have produced a comprehensive sustainability report.
The passion for professional soccer runs through the veins of many thicker than blood. It is anyone’s guess as to who this year’s winner will be. Let’s hope with this year’s Brazil World Cup sustainability efforts, it will be a win for the environment as well!
The FIFA sustainability Strategy can be read in detail here.
Photo Credit: Flickr/IsakFotografi