Brazil has offset more than nine times the estimated direct carbon emissions generated by the country's hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Minister of Environment Izabella Teixeira said today during a press conference at the João Saldanha Open Media Centre. According to Minister Teixeira, Brazil is aiming to break new ground and be the first country in the world to offset 100% of greenhouse gas emissions – both direct and indirect - generated by the FIFA tournament.
So far, emissions of 545,500 tCO2eq (tons of carbon equivalent, the standard measurement unit used for gases that affect global warming) have been neutralized. This is significantly higher than the estimated 59,200 tCO2eq of direct emissions, those generated by the construction work, electricity used in the stadiums, official vehicle movements and other activities directly related to the organization of the World Cup. The total 545,500 carbon credits are equivalent to preventing the deforestation of 1,124 hectares (about 1,124 football fields) of Amazon Rainforest.
Additionally, Brazil intends to compensate all indirect emissions from the tournament, which derive mostly from international flights to and from the event. Brazil is the first country to try to compensate all the emissions from a World Cup, she said. The 545,500 tCO2eq that were already neutralized correspond to 39 percent of total estimated direct and indirect emissions from the tournament.
The goal now is to transfer the technology to the 2016 Olympic Games, said Izabella Teixeira. “We now hope to have a dialogue with the Olympics organizers and translate these gains, also with the Ministry of Sport, to be able to certify everything environmentally.”
The numbers are the result of the "Low Carbon World Cup Initiative", launched by the Brazilian Ministry of Environment to encourage companies operating in Brazil to donate carbon credits that can help offset the emissions generated by the country's hosting of the World Cup. The minister said that so far 16 companies have joined the public call for carbon credit donations, but stressed that the deadline for entry of new entities remains open until 18 July.
The donation does not require any financial transaction, and the participating companies receive a Low Carbon Seal. The Minister also highlighted actions taken by states and host cities to mitigate emissions, such as the LEED Certification of the arenas, the Waste Management and Recycling Plans, urban mobility initiatives such as bike paths and the use of cleaner fuels (biodiesel and ethanol).
One initiative of highlight in the area of sustainability is the Gol Verde (Green Goal) program, developed in Salvador, which pledged to plan 1,111 Brazilian Atlantic Forest seedlings for each goal scored in the city's Fonte Nova Arena - after 32 goals, more than 35.000 new trees will be planted in a park of the Bahia capital.
Another successful sustainability initiative during the World Cup is the Green Passport program, coordinated by the Brazilian Ministries of Environment and Tourism and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The program encourages locals and visitors to be a part of future with sustainable consumption and production patterns. Focusing on the World Cup as the immediate target but aiming for long term results, the action engaged Brazilians and foreign businessmen and tourists.
With the slogan "I take care of my fate", the Green Passport campaign has received about 1,000 hits per day in its new website, mobile app and social media profiles. Structured within the state and municipal governments of the twelve host cities, the green passport tour list offers over sixty choices that encourage visitors to experience sustainability during their free time.
“The Green Passport Campaign in Brazil is a pioneer in the work of UNEP internationally,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner during the press conference. He added that hopefully Brazil will become a model for sustainable consumption and production, and in the development of this information tool.
The Green Goal and Green Passport are two of the many campaigns developed under the Operational Plan for Environment and Sustainability of the 2014 World Cup, coordinated by the Brazilian Ministries of Environment (MMA), Sport (ME), Tourism (MT), Social Development and Fight against Hunger (MDS) and Agrarian Development (MDA) together with the UNEP and in partnership with the host cities and their states.
Another such campaign is the Waste and Recycling Management Plan, developed under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment, which made possible the hiring of 2.400 wastepickers and selective collection of more than 182 tons of recyclable waste in 12 World Cup host-cities.
Brazil also launched the Conscious Consumption Campaign during the World Cup to promote organic products and family farming in the country. The campaign worked on two fronts: on one side, the 18,000 volunteers hired by the Brazilian Government's Volunteer Program (Brasil Voluntário) to work outside the arenas received a non-perishable organic food kit purchased by the Ministry of Social Development in an unprecedented mode of institutional buying. On the other front, the campaign set up kiosks selling organic and family farming products in the host-cities. The kiosks were then used by about 60 groups and associations that represent around 25,000 family farmers throughout the country. The goal, beyond the sale of the produce itself, is that the campaign may leave as a legacy an increasingly organized and structured supply chain for organic and family farming products.
This will also be the first World Cup in which all stadiums were built following sustainable building and management practices eligible for international sustainability certification. Of the 12 arenas, six have received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification, an internationally recognized seal awarded to sustainable buildings. They are: Castelão, Fonte Nova, Arena Pernambuco, Arena da Amazônia, Maracanã and Mineirão.
Donations of carbon credits
Check below the list of companies that have already donated carbon credits or signed the Partnership Agreement, together with the respective amounts donated:
ESTRE AMBIENTAL S.A. » 5,000
RIMA INDUSTRIAL S.A. » 5,000
TRACTEBEL ENERGIA S.A. » 105,000
RHODIA – A COMPANY OF THE SOLVAY GROUP » 100,000
ARCELORMITTAL BRASIL » 70,000
GERDAU S.A. » 70,000
USIMINAS – USINAS SIDERÚRGICAS DE MINAS GERAIS S/A » 70,000
SINOBRAS – SIDERÚRGICA NORTE BRASIL S/A » 35,000
APERAM SOUTH AMERICA » 35,000
VALLOUREC TUBOS DO BRASIL S/A » 20,000
BUNGE BRASIL » 5,500
WAYCARBON SOLUÇÕES AMBIENTAIS E PROJETOS DE CARBONO LTDA. » 5,000
PLANTAR CARBON AMBIENTAL LTDA. » 5,000
SOLVI PARTICIPAÇÕES S.A. » 5,000
INICIATIVA PESSOAS PELO CLIMA (P4C) » 5,000
GET2C BRASIL. LTDA » 5,000