Berlin/Nairobi, 3 July 2006 - A pioneering initiative to make the 2006 FIFA World Cup not only entertaining but environmentally-friendly is proving a winning team, it was announced today.
The ‘Green Goal’ project--the inspiration of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2006 FFIA World Cup and the German Ministry of the Environment—aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transport and electricity generation during the month long tournament.
Other aims include defeating the waste mountains normally associated with large scale public events as well as using rainwater for pitches and creating environmental public awareness among fans.
A preliminary snapshot indicates that the ‘Green Goal’, which is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and private business, is meeting if not exceedingly expectations.
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC), whose President is the German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, had hoped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically-- partly by encouraging 50 per cent of the estimated 3.2 million fans to take public transport and partly by alternative energy projects in India and South Africa.
Initial estimates are that this is well on track with some 70 per cent of journeys being made on foot or by train, bus, coach and bicycle with only 30 per cent by private car.
‘Green Goal’ is also scoring in other areas of the park, for example in the area of waste reduction at the 12 stadia. This is partly as a result of ideas like the ‘Cup of the Cup’.
In order to avoid waste, fans are required to pay one Euro for a special drinks cup with the containers the only ones allowed inside the grounds.
Surveys indicate that the initiative is paying off with only the occasional paper serviette used for sausages marring what have become virtually litter-free zones.
Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director, said: “Environmental considerations have been making a first and very welcome appearance at a World Cup. And according to initial assessments, they appear to be well on the winning side”.
Klaus Toepfer, the Green Goal Ambassador and former UNEP Executive Director, said: “We will have to wait until the final whistle to fully gauge the ‘Green Goal’s’ success. But the various tactics, from those aimed at encouraging public transport to the ones designed to minimize waste, appear to be hitting the net. The only losers so
far appear to be car parks with some only half or semi full,” he added.
Mr Steiner added: “I hope and am confident that the ideas and strategies put in place for this tournament can be adapted and developed for other mass audience events from football to pop concerts. I think the local organizing committee, the Oko Institute and the companies involved should be given a big hand, maybe a Mexican wave, for conceiving this first ever Green Goal,” said Mr Steiner.
Horst R. Schmitt, first Vice President of the LOC stated: “This FIFA World Cup sets up records nearly every day: top viewing figures, visitors at the Fan Festivals and sold out stadiums. That is why we are extremely happy that for the first time we were able to achieve environmental objectives. The share of spectators who leave their cars behind is sensational.”
The preliminary data, supplied by the Oeko-Institute which is advising the LOC on their environmental programme, is based on information from sources such as the German Police and Deutsche Bahn AG, the German railway operator.
On average, 55 per cent of spectators have been using public transport to travel to and from the stadiums.
Some cities have exceeded expectations. For example Munich had estimated that 30 per cent to 40 per cent of fans would take public transport. So far an astonishing 60 per cent have used the underground train.
A significant proportion of fans have also been walking to matches especially in Dortmund, Hanover, Kaiserslautern and Leipzig.
For example at the first match in Dortmund, around 10,000 spectators enjoyed the fine weather to walk the 45 minutes from the train station to the ground to see Sweden versus Trinidad and Tobago.
During some matches up to 500 fans have arrived by bicycle. Meanwhile, between 100 and 200 coaches are bringing fans to matches. Environment-wise, coaches are considered equal to trains and buses.
The peak usage was observed at the Japan versus Brazil match in Dortmund on 22 June where 376 coaches were used, equal to a fifth of all fans attending the game.
Overall the preliminary figures indicate that 70 per cent of fans are coming to matches by means other than private motor cars.
The Oeko-Institute cites the introduction of the Kombiticket as one reason for the success. The ticket allows spectators to travel free on public transport on match days.
Notes to Editors
Various pictures covering public transport use up to and litter-free stadia are available at www.unep.org
A film on the carbon offset project in South Africa is at http://www.myclimate.org/downloads/myclimate04.m4v
More about the aims and intentions of Green Goal can be found at greengoal.fifaworldcup.yahoo.net
UNEP’s Sport and Environment initiative http://www.unep.org/sport_env/
For More Information Please Contact Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, Office of the Executive Director, Tel: + 254 20 7623084, Mobile: + 254 733 632755, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Thomas Hackbarth, Local Organizing Committee, Media Department responsible for the Green Goal, Tel: +49 69 2006 2620, E-mail: email@example.com