Sustainability is at the heart of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup™ preparations
Qatar’s commitment to hosting a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup™ and delivering environmentally-friendly tournament facilities was discussed during a webinar hosted by the Josoor Institute.
Speakers on the all-female panel, titled ‘Delivering Environmental Sustainability for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™’, included Engineer Bodour Al Meer, Sustainability & Environment Senior Manager, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Madleen Noreisch, FIFA’s Senior Sustainability Manager, Dr Eiman Eliskandarani, Director of Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) Trust at the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), and Ruba Hinnawi, Technical Specialist, Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC). The event was moderated by Dr Talar Sahsuvaroglu, Sustainability and Environmental Subject Matter Expert at the SC.
At the heart of discussions was the Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy, which was published earlier this year by FIFA, the SC and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC. It is the first World Cup sustainability strategy to be delivered jointly by FIFA, the host country and local organisers and outlines five commitments, 22 objectives and more than 70 initiatives.
Al Meer said: “Environmental sustainability is a key part of the SC’s vision and commitment as the next hosts of the FIFA World Cup. Our joint sustainability strategy provides an excellent example of timely planning, communication and responsible decision-making from the tournament organisers. Through the implementation of environmental initiatives in the strategy, we are protecting Qatar’s delicate environment and contributing towards Qatar National Vision 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Noreisch described the strategy as one of the most ambitious in the history of the World Cup. She praised Qatar’s dedication to sustainability, particularly the strong collaboration with key stakeholders.
“At FIFA, we are committed to doing our utmost to protect the environment and were delighted to find a local partner in the SC that is equally committed to this cause,” said Noreisch.
“Together, all the key parties delivering the tournament have developed, published and are well underway towards implementing the sustainability strategy. This strategy ensures that we continue to focus our efforts on the most relevant sustainability issues, as was done for the 2014 and 2018 editions of the World Cup.”
Each Qatar 2022 tournament venue is mandated to achieve GSAS certification. The scheme is administered by GORD and approved by FIFA as the official green building rating system for Qatar 2022.
Eliskandarani said: “When it comes to environmental sustainability, the SC is leading by example with the deployment of the latest green technologies in World Cup venues. The recently launched Education City Stadium – which achieved a five-star GSAS rating – signifies a vast spectrum of possibilities for any mega project willing to embrace environmental sustainability.
“GORD is proud to play a significant role in building a sustainable future through setting green building standards supporting Qatar National Vision 2030.”
Another topic discussed was the Green Key award – an international eco-label for tourism facilities stipulated by the Foundation for Environmental Education. QGBC has been the national operator for the scheme since 2017 and believes it will help Qatar achieve its goal of delivering a carbon-neutral tournament.
Hinnawi said: “Green Key-compliant hotels in Qatar exhibit best practices which reflect a high level of responsible operation and awareness, from setting environmental policies, operational plans and targeting water and energy reduction, in addition to providing innovative solutions for staff and guest management.
“Green Key will provide a sustainable framework for hotels to ultimately contribute to achieving a carbon-neutral World Cup and to ease pressure on our country’s environment and services during the tournament.”
Josoor Institute is a centre of excellence for the sports and events sectors. Inspired and developed by the SC, Josoor Institute is a core Qatar 2022 legacy programme which aims to ensure the knowledge gained by hosting the World Cup is passed to the next generation of industry professionals across the Middle East and Arab world.
Vasco Kurkjian, Josoor Institute’s Capability Building Senior Manager, said: “Josoor Institute is committed to developing the expertise and skill sets of industry professionals in Qatar and the region to deliver the tournament and other major events, through our professional diploma and executive development programmes, workshops and research on the MENA region.”#Sustainability