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Green Is The New Black

Russia FIFA World Cup Sustainability – Scoring Goals Beyond The Pitch

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No, we’re not talking about the 5-0 Russia vs Saudi Arabia game. We’re talking about sustainability goals. FIFA is taking world cup sustainability seriously in Russia and are scoring goals beyond the pitch.

Over the past few days, you’ve been watching people battle it out on the manicured grass in Russia’s Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which is the main venue for the highly anticipated World Cup 2018. But did you know, that very stadium passed the BREEAM international certificate, one awarded to infrastructure and buildings for their sustainability efforts. It’s not just the Luzhniki Stadium that has to obtain this certificate, every arena used for FIFA has to be “green” certified under their new regulations. The BREEAM certificate consists of strict sustainability criteria, as it sets more absolute targets rather than percentages – possibly stricter than the latest 10-step Korean beauty routine.

Why is sustainability important for FIFA 2018?

Hosting an event as big as FIFA, which is the largest single-sport event in the world, usually means the construction of major infrastructure, large generation of waste, increased transportation and so much more. Something this big will inevitably result in some sort of impact on the environment and communities of the host country. Hence, Russia, after being passed the baton to host FIFA, recognizes their responsibility to the environment and communities and is taking action.


What exactly has FIFA World Cup Russia been doing?

Talk is cheap, but this is not all talk and no action. Russia is focussing on 3 aspects of environmental sustainability, from green-building standards to management of energy, emissions, waste and transport to finally risk management and conservation. To save you from having to scroll through 28 pages (and many more supplementary documents) on what they have been doing, here are some nuggets of information for you to chew on:


1. Ease in transport
With increased proximity to accessible modes of public transport, people may travel less on private vehicles to reduce exhaust emissions and reduced carbon footprints. Plus, food options and cash machines are found in some arena’s to prevent additional transport to these essential amenities.


2. You can’t reduce what you don’t measure
FIFA teamed up with carbon management experts to calculate the carbon footprint of the 2018 World Cup. In response to that, FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) will then compensate for the emissions with carbon credits that they have obtained from low-carbon projects locally or overseas.


3. Segregate yo’ waste
A waste management programme was set up by the LOC to segregate and recycle their waste. With 20% of their waste brought to recycling, they also took measures to prevent mixing of waste like using different colour bags and different coloured trash bins.


4. More energy saved means more profits
LED lamps were installed at the Luzhniki Stadium to allow an electricity saving of 70%.


5. You live and you learn 
Seminar and workshops are being conducted for construction workers, for fans to learn about healthy living and tobacco-free events as well as round table discussions on anti-discrimination. Conferences and seminars have been conducted by FIFA and LOC to raise awareness about best practises in their move towards sustainability.


If FIFA can do it, so can you. 

FIFA is taking massive steps towards making the World Cup a more socially responsible event. So how can you be socially responsible fans? Here are a 5 #littlegreensteps where you can amp up your FIFA experience:


1. Ditch the plastic. Sip on that large Coca-Cola with a metal straw
This FIFA season may involve some take-out for soccer-viewing grub. But when you do, take your own container, say no to single-use plastic and skip the straw. If you’re ordering in, Deliveroo now has an option to opt out of disposable cutlery (missed this news? check out our Conscious Scoop to find out). You’re at home so there’s no need to ask for disposable cutlery.


2. BYOB for your bulk snack purchases.
No, this is not BYO-Beer, but BRING YOUR OWN BAG! From popcorn to Lays Sour Cream and Onion, they give the best crunch while cheering for your favourite team. As you make your way to your nearest supermarket or convenience store to stock up that snack cabinet, remember to bring your own bag.


3. This calls for a party.
Watching the World Cup is not the same without your friends. Save on all that energy by bunking in with a pal for a Fifa Viewing Party or take a bus down to your nearest coffee shop or bar and catch the action with tons of fans (maybe you’ll even make a new friend or two). It doesn’t get more communal than this.


4. Need to keep awake for that 4 am game?
Time zones suck, but caffeine always does the trick. If you’re itching for a cuppa to keep you awake for that 4am game, remember to bring a flask! You not only save some cash, you are also saving the Earth.


We are all about the FIFA fever. If FIFA is going green, so should we! So which team are you rooting for? We are always rooting for the Earth.


Don’t let your conscious journey end here! Get a weekly dose of inspiration, knowledge, and action delivered right to your inbox, join the conscious movement here.

Cover photo from The Hacker News. 

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An environmentalist, avid baker, and a dreamer with a goal to open the world of conscious living and responsible consumerism to Singaporeans and hopefully the rest of the world! She’s currently an undergraduate who’s hungry for an exciting adventure - or mostly just hungry. She hopes that by the time she graduates, she can help herself and her community leave green footsteps on this Earth we call home.