FIFA and the Environment

FIFA and the environment

Discussion and Insights:

FIFA has paid noticeable attention to the environmental impact of the World Cup since the 2006 World Cup and green management has increased with every World Cup since with the biggest plans already staged for years 2018 and 2022.

The Green Goal environmental program has been in effect since 2005 when FIFA partnered with Local Organizing Committees (LOCs) in order to champion green initiatives. This program has been adapted for every World Cup since. The program combines the resources of host cities, governmental departments, local environmentalists and international partners.

Now, FIFA is implementing green initiatives into the bidding process for 2018 and 2022 by requesting information pertaining to the reduction and control of negative environmental impacts from bidders prior to making a decision on where to host the World Cup.

In my opinion, FIFA has adequately worked towards environmental sustainability over the past ten years and has powerful plans to continue and improve green initiatives going forward. Previously, the indoctrination of the Green Goal program in 2005 laid the foundation for green goals and growth. Each subsequent World Cup has relied on a Green Goal program to set and measure environmental initiatives.

Also, FIFA has already begun working on the Green Goal for 2018 and 2022 by requiring potential host destinations to incorporate environmental sustainability into the management structure of the mega-event. Management is required to set measurable objectives in six key areas: water, waste, energy, transportation, procurement and climate change. In addition, potential host destinations are required to plan and explain how they will incorporate stakeholders and the community via an Environmental Advisory Board. All of these aspects must be outlined in the bid submitted for consideration by FIFA and will be weighed heavily during the host location decision process.

FIFA’s decision to use involved green standards as part of the bidding process for World Cups 2018 and 2022 is ingenious. The rigorous standards and expectations eliminate cities that are unwilling or unable to do the research and prep work required for the environmental concerns associated with such a large and prestigious event. However, these same circumstances caused increased competition between the remaining cities and come with some sort of financial cost.

The increased competition between potential host cities and the associated higher costs pertaining to the implementation of green strategies may be seen as negatives to involved commercial/government entities and community conservatives. The following comparison explains how this may be so.

Companies often design buildings with minimal closets despite having a large need for storage space. The philosophy behind this is “closets don’t make money.” On the contrary, entertainments space (i.e. Casinos), larger sales floors (i.e. Car Dealerships) and management offices are all spaces in which money is generate and therefore income is maximized by maximizing the “money-generating space” and minimizing spaces (i.e. closets) that do not do so. Similarly, green initiatives guarantee extra expenses and do not generate a significantly increased income. Some entities may view green initiatives as “closets.”

In conclusion, FIFA is a powerful force in the green initiative campaign. The organization has worked tirelessly the last 15 years to implement and improve environmental initiatives related to the World Cup. Despite the outside chance that a significant portion of the population will view green initiatives as costly non-necessities, I believe that FIFA’s Green Goal program will be a success. It provides an expanding platform for each subsequent Word Cup by requiring environmental initiatives to be implemented at the management level and begin at the earliest point possible: with the bidding process.



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