Climate neutral and sustainable: Environmental Programme a proven success
© Getty Images

The FIFA Women's World Cup 2011™ Environmental Campaign Legacy Report, published at German FA (DFB) headquarters on Friday, 18 November, confirmed that the tournament succeeded in its bid to host an environmentally friendly and climate neutral event.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter explained in the foreword of the report: "A modern first-class FIFA World Cup must also consider the environment and devise a corresponding programme to reduce and compensate for any negative effects on the environment, something the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Environmental Campaign did a great job in."

A sustainable environmental management system was implemented in eight of the nine stadiums used at Germany 2011. "This shows that Germany not only grasped the opportunity to present itself as a hospitable and enthusiastic host once again, but also to stage an environmentally-conscious and climate neutral tournament," said DFB President Dr. Theo Zwanziger.

Emissions compensated for
With the help of a comprehensive environmental management system, the tournament was able to develop several solutions in the five core areas of energy, water, waste, mobility and catering in order to reduce negative effects on the environment and also help fans to understand and get involved in environmental initiatives. "Thanks also have to go to FIFA," said Claudia Roth, Chairwoman of the German Green Party and environmental advisor to the DFB, who was also present at the official Legacy Report presentation.

Aided by FIFA, the Organising Committee and the DFB invested a total of 600,000 euros to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the FIFA Women's World Cup. The funds were distributed across five projects in developing countries which will compensate for around 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. By the end of 2011, all emissions produced by the tournament will have been completely compensated for.

Eight of the nine FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 stadiums were certified with ECOPROFIT environmental management systems. Over the course of five workshops, staff at the stadiums were informed about ecological and economical measures to reduce energy and water usage, as well as avoiding and reducing waste. The introduction of ECOPROFIT has already seen around 50 individual measures implemented, with another 20 set to follow. This should result in around six million KWh being saved by stadiums every year.

'An effect on the whole community'
At the Frankfurt World Cup Arena, a staggering 24,000 organic bratwursts were sold during the tournament, where at least one organic product was available at every stadium. A reusable cup system, use of public transport and switching from air to rail travel were further positives to emerge from the report. All potential measures, large or small, were capitalised upon in the quest to make Germany 2011 the greenest FIFA Women's World Cup ever. "This was a tournament which had an effect on the whole community," said Ulrich Wolter, General Coordinator of the Local Organising Committee.

All in all, the world-renowned Institute for Applied Ecology was able to draw some very positive conclusions. As initiators and supporters of the campaign, the DFB, world governing body FIFA and the German Environmental Foundation were all pleased with the end result. "The FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Environmental Campaign wasn't the start," said Markus Gladys from the Augsburg World Cup Arena, "but it was the catalyst which really got things going. We're definitely going to press on from here."

Important experience for the future
While the DFB will actively continue in its pursuit of more eco-friendliness in stadiums and clubs in Germany, environmental sustainability will now be promoted on a global level as well. "The experience we've gained from this campaign will be hugely important with regard to future tournaments and gives us plenty of encouragement," explained FIFA Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Federico Addiechi at the Legacy Report forum in Frankfurt.

Addiechi's ambition of leaving behind a sustainable legacy certainly appears realistic, though he did point out: "There are of course differences from one country to the next, so we need to be aware of that." Environmental consciousness is certainly developing in football, not least thanks to the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Environmental Campaign, which has set a precedent for climate neutral events and provided vital experience.

"Now we have the framework," added Addiechi. "There are currently five core areas of energy, water, waste, mobility and catering to the environmental programme. In 2014 we'll have six: Water, waste, energy, transport, procurement and climate change. They will all be prevalent at future World Cups."

Some 125 days on from Germany 2011 and with exactly 937 days to go until the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil, the Legacy Report undoubtedly confirms that some major environmental steps have already been taken.