Green FIFA World Cup™ strategies are highlighted during Qatar Sustainability Week
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) played a prominent role in the sixth edition of Qatar Sustainability Week, a national campaign organised by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) which aims to engage the public through a series of workshops, activities and exhibitions. Events took place across the country from 23 October to 1 November, and saw a number of key stakeholders showcasing the efforts made by different sectors in providing the support, coordination and expert advice needed to achieve Qatar’s sustainable development goals.
Representatives from the SC discussed Qatar’s commitment to hosting the first carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup™, along with other tournament themes, including green hospitality and sustainable merchandising.
“Raising awareness is a key part of our sustainability efforts,” said Engineer Bodour Al Meer, the SC’s Sustainability Director. “By working in the community, we are able to share our plans with our most important stakeholder: the general public. Ultimately, it will be their involvement at a societal level that will ensure Qatar 2022 has the long-lasting impact we desire.”
The SC hosted a series of workshops about green hotels and events. With more than 1 million visitors expected during the tournament, the SC has worked closely with FIFA and the QGBC to promote green practices in the local accommodation sector.
“Working closely with our partners in the hotel sector will help us deliver our promise to host a carbon-neutral tournament and set a benchmark for future mega-events,” said Al Meer.
The SC also outlined its sustainable construction practices during the event, including the commitment that all stadiums achieve certification from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) – the first performance-based system in the Middle East region developed for rating green buildings and infrastructure. GSAS certifications include design and build, construction management and operations. Every Qatar 2022 stadium is on track to achieve a full suite of GSAS certificates.
Orjan Lundberg, SC Sustainability Expert, said: “Being able to implement the highest sustainability measures across a vast built environment for a tournament the size of the World Cup is remarkable. Not only does it ensure we are able to minimise the carbon footprint of Qatar 2022, but we are also effectively changing the way tournaments will be organised in the future by building confidence that sustainability is scalable and achievable no matter how big the event is.”
Another key theme outlined by the SC is plastic neutrality. The SC recently announced its ambition to deliver a plastic-neutral tournament, with tournament organisers committing to plastic waste reduction plans and offsetting any plastics used in the tournament by removing plastic waste from rivers and oceans.
This project was discussed during an online seminar attended by Dr. Talar Sahsuvaroglu, SC Sustainability Expert.
“Plastic neutrality is one of the many ways we are ensuring the World Cup is a green tournament. With plastic waste posing such a serious threat to marine and birdlife and human health, this initiative is extremely important, and one that we wanted to involve the public in through raising awareness,” said Sahsuvaroglu.
With the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ only a few weeks away, the tournament’s sustainability features were discussed during a talk by Jose Retana, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC Senior Sustainability Manager.
“As the final test event before Qatar 2022, the Arab Cup provides us with an important opportunity to test many of the operational elements of delivering a sustainable tournament,” said Retana.
The FIFA Arab Cup™ will have provisions put in place for air quality monitoring and an extensive recycling programme for the tournament which will kick off in Qatar on 30 November.
The SC also participated in a sustainable street fair, where the models of all eight Qatar 2022 stadiums were displayed. In addition, Engineer Abdulrahman Al Muftah, SC Sustainability Expert, discussed the importance of the event on local radio.
“The environmental sustainability legacy of Qatar 2022 will be felt for generations. Long after the final whistle blows, people from Qatar and the region will look back at the World Cup as a watershed moment that brought the importance of issues related to our environment to the attention of millions,” said Al Muftah.