Qatar’s efforts to host a sustainable FIFA World Cup™ in 2022 were discussed during the 2020 Green Sports Alliance Virtual Summit.
Engineer Bodour Al Meer, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s (SC) Sustainability & Environment Senior Manager, provided insight into Qatar’s sustainability projects during the summit’s keynote session – a fireside chat entitled ‘Looking Ahead to the Next Decade of Regenerative Sporting Events’.
Al Meer said: “Qatar is a small and rapidly developing country. Hosting the World Cup has accelerated our national development plans set out in our National Vision for 2030. Our vision for our country is to have harmony between economic growth, social development and environmental protections. The environmental section of the Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy is perfectly aligned with our national goals.”
“Our five strategic environmental focus areas are green building, carbon neutrality, air pollution, water management and waste minimisation,” continued Al Meer. “Two highlights of these are that all our stadiums are certified using the GSAS [Global Sustainability Assessment System] green building scheme. We will also deliver a fully carbon neutral event.”
Moderated by Nihal Mohamed Al Saleh, Qatar Foundation’s Project Manager for Sustainable Cities, the discussion also featured FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Environment, Federico Addiechi, who spoke about the collaboration between world football’s governing body and the SC.
“Qatar 2022 is going to be the first in so many dimensions. It’s the most compact of any FIFA World Cup since the first one in 1930 in Uruguay, with everything basically happening in one city,” said Addiechi. “In itself, that compact nature is going to help us in our efforts to reduce emissions from travelling while ensuring a friendly and inclusive experience for everyone attending the event. We are proud of the positive collaboration with the SC so far and of our joint commitment and work to delivering a more sustainable FIFA World Cup in 2022.”
When asked about what makes Qatar 2022 a unique sustainability story, Al Meer emphasised the benefits it will provide the country from a legacy standpoint once the tournament concludes.
“As a Qatari national, making sure the FIFA World Cup leaves a legacy for my country is very important,” Al Meer said. “We started to plan for the legacy [of the tournament] as early as the bid phase back in 2010 and our programmes are now bearing fruit. We have detailed legacy plans for each new building we construct, including our stadiums. Perhaps even more important are the social legacy programmes we are delivering. These programmes will improve our society and include sustainability awareness capacity building for youth through Generation Amazing, our football for development initiative. I think the legacy [strategy] for a host nation for mega events is going to become even more important in the future as a result of Qatar 2022.”