Creating a sustainable world at the World Cup

Wed, 2013-06-05 10:36

With the FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds going on this summer for the World Cup 2014, there has been a lot of buzz about the magnitude of the upcoming tournament. The 20th running of the FIFA World Cup will be held in Brazil, a country that has recently put its focus toward improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy resources. A large portion of Brazil’s energy production comes from hydroelectricity and ethanol already. Previously, FIFA said that one of the main objectives of the 2014 FIFA World Cup was creating a sustainable event. This particular objective has raised questions on how the country will be able to handle the millions of soccer fans that will flock to the city next summer.

A recent article revealed that green building would play a key part for the 2014 World Cup. Last week, architects Vincent Mello and Ian McKee, who head the Copa Verde plan in Brazil, revealed the names of three stadiums that were built using green building techniques.


fifa 2014The facilities that have been revealed are the Mane Garrincha National Stadium, the Pernambuco Arena, and the Arena Fonte Nova. The Mane Garrincha was originally built in the mid-1970s in the national capital of Brasilia and was demolished in 2010 in order to make way for a new and upgraded incarnation. The rebuild of the stadium was built using materials from the demolished version. The stadium also has various ranges of sustainable measures that have been implemented in the rebuild. It has solar power facilities onsite and rainwater collection systems and also has a photocatalytic membrane that the two architects say, “keeps fans cool and is capable of lowering pollution by an amount equivalent to that produced by 1,000 vehicles per day.” The Pernambuco Arena located in the city of Recife, has its own solar plant, which organizers of the project claim can produce one megawatt of electricity. The power generation that it will create is enough to satisfy the average consumption needs of 6,000 people.

The third stadium, the Arena Fonte Nova, has been modeled after the Ajax Stadium in The Netherlands and is currently applying for LEED certification. It also features a membrane roof that contains 30 percent less steel than similar structures its size, water harvesting and recycling installations, and maximum air ventilation for the comfort of the spectators.


FIFA has said that it will spend a total of $20 million to make the 2014 World Cup the first with a comprehensive sustainability strategy. Not only is this a huge budget that focuses solely on sustainability but also this will be the first time an event of this capacity will make one of its primary goals sustainability. FIFA’s ultimate goal of making sustainability an issue for the 2014 World Cup is a big step for global and international events that are often associated with pollution and high carbon footprints. The legacy that these actions of sustainability seek to create will change the way that organizers look at large events and will hopefully change the impact as well.

By Nick McAndrew