As the world’s biggest single sporting event, the FIFA World Cup™ has a wide-reaching responsibility that extends far beyond the tournament itself. It is for that reason that sustainability in all areas of society and ecology will play such a significant role at Brazil 2014.

Leading officials highlighted the issue’s importance at a press conference at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium on 18 June 2013 during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013.

“It began at Germany 2006, was continued at South Africa 2010 and we will carry it forward in Brazil,” said Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Together we have developed strategies and we will work with dozens of organisations across the whole country. We want to involve the entire community.”

In the run-up to FIFA’s flagship tournament next year, guidelines have been drawn up on the topics of ecological construction, waste management, volunteer training, community support, climate change, basic and further education and reporting. “There are a lot of activities,” Addiechi continued. “For example, next week we have a Football for Hope forum and numerous other events besides that. We want it to be a World Cup for everyone. There are a lot of projects on renewable energy in order to produce clean energy. The FIFA World Cup has an enormous effect on society. We should take advantage of that.”

Ricardo Trade, CEO of the Local Organising Committee, also stressed the extent of the efforts being made. “It’s a great experience for all of us and we’ll do our best. The volunteers are doing a fantastic job and know what they need to do. Sustainability is an important issue, and that includes inside the stadiums. We have specially trained volunteers who are responsible for waste separation. We have eight million tons of recyclable waste per game per stadium.”

Also present at the press conference were the Special Advisor to Brazil’s Environment Ministry, Sergio Margulis, and the country’s Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Luis Fernandes. “Sustainability is a topic that the government takes very seriously,” Margulis said. “We need to make people aware of its importance. We are proud to say that in that respect we’re an international reference point for FIFA.”

Fernandes added: “This is a terrific opportunity for us and sends a strong signal to everyone. We’ve made a good start but we’re nowhere near finished yet. I would also like to praise the relationships between the stadiums and the host venues. They hold meetings at least every three months in order to analyse the latest developments.”