2016 will be a game changer for sports infrastructure in Russia. Early this year, as part of massive preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, the 'RUSO. The Football Stadiums' standard was drawn up by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and with the support of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC). 'RUSO. The football stadiums' was developed solely for football stadiums certification in accordance with the principle of 'green' construction.

Creating a national standard tailored to Russia was a big step forward in the current legislation, making sure the country keeps up with international green-building standards and legal frameworks. The new standard takes into account FIFA World Cup and international standards, Russian legislation, and construction regulations. It is based on the alignment of the football stadiums with the requirements in terms of architecture, construction, engineering and the site plan, as well as on Russian environmental regulations. The certification also takes into account the energy efficiency and environmental compatibility of the venues.

"Certifying stadiums in accordance with the recognised environmental standards is one of the key aspects of our sustainability strategy”, declared the LOC's Head of Sustainability Milana Verkhunova. “The task of the team was to take the FIFA World Cup needs and goals into account and draw up a fully functioning certification system adapted to Russian specifics and requirements. Building sporting facilities in accordance to green-building standards will have a big impact on their effective use in the long run, especially in regards to reducing expenditure on water and energy.”

With the aim to present the new Russian standard to representatives of the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities, stadium managers, contractors and design agencies, a workshop took place in Moscow on April 19th 2016. They also were able to get acquainted with requirements in terms of 'green' certification world best practices and examples of innovative design implementations on FIFA World Cup stadiums. BREEAM and LEED, international standards of 'green' certification, were also presented to the participants, as well as their specifics in relation to stadiums certification. 

“The sustainability of FIFA World Cup stadiums is key in our efforts to stage a successful event. I am very glad that we have again been able to bring together the stadium authorities and relevant parties to discuss the ongoing work and best practices for football stadiums in Russia. We will continue our support and collaboration with all parties”, said Federico Addiechi, FIFA Head of Sustainability.

All venues undergoing construction or renovation are to be certified with the Russian or one of the international green-building standards. As of today, the projects of five stadiums (Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Samara Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Volgograd Stadium and Saransk Stadium) have already been certified in accordance with BREEAM standard.