Women’s World Cup 2011 Returns to Green Goal

Women’s 2011 World Cup Tournament kicks off next month in Germany.  The summer tournament is widely considered a top athletic event, garnering sponsorships from major companies.  After a successful men’s World Cup in South Africa last summer, all eyes will be on Germany for a repeat performance.  All eyes include environmentalist watchful gaze, which is why FIFA and other event organizers returned to the successful Green Goal initiative used in Germany’s 2006 World Cup.

Green Goal website was launched by the German soccer organization, Deutsche Fußball Bund (DFB).  Supported by one of Europe’s largest environmental based foundations, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), the Federation of International Football (soccer) Association (FIFA) and the Institute for Applied Ecology, Oko-Institute, Green Goal serves as the Cup’s resource eco-guide.  The website provides environmental tips along with eco news that relates to the tournament’s stadiums, Cup news and much more.  

Calculations estimate the Women’s World Cup will produce approximately 50,000 tons of CO2.  Green Goal works to curb waste output by focusing on five areas:  water, waste, catering, energy and mobility.  Power for the stadiums and other facilities will come from renewable sources, packaging –free services will greatly reduce waste and personal transportation will be discouraged.  On match days, game tickets can be used for local, public transport.  Working in tandem with an environmental advisory council, Green Goal will be able to give advice to DFB in the game’s pursuit for a carbon-neutral tournament.  Greenhouse gas emissions that cannot be avoided will be offset by investments in climate protection projects in developing countries.

The Environmental Advisory Council is well comprised with intelligent, innovative representatives.  Dr. Norbert Rottgen, (Minister of Environment), Claudia Rother (former UNEP executive director), Dr. Fritz Brickwedde (head of the German Green Party) and Dr. Michael Vesper (General Secretary of the German Environment Foundation) are a few of the many talented members of the council.  The Advisory Council is optimistic this year’s Women’s World Cup will set a new bar for sporting events. 

Soccer is among the most popular sports worldwide and ranks as the national sport in many countries.  The sport acts as a great base to spread the word on environmental consciousness.  FIFA is well aware of soccer’s influence in society and strives to “develop the game, touch the world, build a better future.”  Four core values are at the heart of every decision made by FIFA:  authenticity, unity, performance and integrity.  Through these core values, FIFA knows they can challenge the world to become more socially responsible in building a better future.   

World Cup organizer Steffi Jones knows Germany will be under a microscope and hopes to produce an “exemplary stance in terms of eco-friendliness.”  The Organizing Committee estimates implementation of environmentally friendly designs will cost around 800,000 Euros or approximately 1,136,000 US dollars.  DBU General Secretary, Dr. Fritz Brickwedde focuses on sustainability over costs.  Dr. Brickwedde points out that environmentally conscious decisions are becoming more engrained into central aspects of sporting events.  He hopes this year’s Women’s World Cup will act as a blueprint for future international events.

Join Women’s World Cup action June 26 – July 17.  

Photo Credit:  nashville.gov/parks/athletics/soccer.asp

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