Fully committed to protecting the environment, Brasilia’s Estadio Nacional is also reaping the rewards of its respect for construction workers, having been awarded the SA 8000 international certification standard, awarded to companies and organisations demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility.

Speaking at a lunch with the project’s 3,000 construction workers, held at the stadium canteen on Saturday 3 March, Federal District Governor Agnelo Queiroz said: “I’ll be going to the USA to present this construction project as a benchmark for environmental protection. The award of SA 8000 certification is proof that we’re complying with pay standards and providing a safe and healthy workplace.”

SA 8000 certification is awarded to companies and organisations meeting requirements in the following areas: the prohibition of child labour and forced labour; health and safety in the workplace; freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of gender, colour, political opinions or national origin; and suitable remuneration and working hours.

Based on the norms of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the certification standard is similar in nature to other international standards, such as ISO 9000 and 14000.

“Last week President Dilma Rousseff signed an agreement safeguarding employment conditions for construction workers,” added the governor. “This certification shows that we’re already doing that here.”

The Estadio Nacional management team have also applied for Leed Platinum certification, an internationally recognised standard awarded to highly sustainable buildings. The use of recyclable materials and materials recovered from the old stadium are just some of the measures that have been adopted in the construction project, and there are also plans to install solar energy and rainwater harvesting systems at the stadium.