Two days before the Preliminary Draw, Saint Petersburg has hosted an important milestone on the road to Russia 2018 with the launch of the FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy. FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) will implement a broad range of activities to ensure that the planning and delivery of this mega-event reduces the potential negative impact and maximises the positive effects on people, the economy and the environment.

“The FIFA World Cup is the biggest single-sport competition in the world. Organising it in a sustainable manner is a major challenge. The scale of the event inevitably has an impact that must be evaluated and mitigated, but also represents a unique opportunity to contribute to a positive legacy in Russia,” said FIFA’s Head of Sustainability, Federico Addiechi.

Experiences from past FIFA World Cups and international standards have helped to define the priorities for the event in Russia. These were then reviewed by key stakeholders, including representatives of NGOs, UN agencies, commercial affiliates, host cities, regions and various government agencies.

“The FIFA World Cup and this sustainability strategy will drive innovative standards and practices forward in many different areas. Our holistic approach covers social, economic and environmental matters,” said the LOC’s Head of Sustainability, Milana Verkhunova.

“This process has been an inclusive one, closely involving stakeholders in the strategy’s development. On racism and discrimination, the World Cup represents a great opportunity to raise awareness and implement initiatives that can have a real impact,” added the Chief of the Anti-Discrimination Section at the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Yuri Boychenko.

FIFA and the LOC will invest over USD 20 million in order to implement various projects emanating from the strategy. For a list of the activities planned, a background paper with further details as well as the complete strategy are available on FIFA.com.