Qatar, FIFA present joint World Cup 2022 Sustainability Strategy
January 21 2020 10:16 PM
The five pillars of the Sustainability Strategy.
The five pillars of the Sustainability Strategy.

*Developing human capital, safeguarding workers' rights and delivering innovative environmental solutions among the commitments outlined

Developing human capital, safeguarding workers' rights and delivering innovative environmental solutions are among the commitments outlined in the first-ever joint FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy presented by Qatar and FIFA.

The issues and initiatives that form the framework of the strategy, which was published on Tuesday, were identified with the help of a thorough and continuous consultation process with local and international stakeholders, and thematic experts through surveys, workshops, meetings and the circulation of drafts, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and FIFA said in a statement.

Throughout the process, over 100 national and international governmental, non-governmental and private sector organisations were consulted. Further, the development process for the strategy also included a full human rights salience assessment, a first for a mega-sporting event.

"In less than three years' time, the FIFA World Cup will be held in the Arab world for the first time, in a fast-growing economy and in the most geographically compact area since the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1930. Qatar presents... unparalleled opportunities to leave a lasting positive legacy beyond the event," the statement noted.

The path to achieve that ambitious goal started five years ago, when FIFA and the SC began to develop and implement the event's Sustainability Strategy – the first to be planned and delivered jointly by FIFA, the host country and the local organisers, represented in this case by the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC (Q22).

The associated policy applies to all functional areas and projects involved in the preparations for and staging of the tournament, in addition to post-event activities.

Eight stadiums will be used for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

To deliver on that shared vision, five sustainability commitments have been defined: to develop human capital and safeguard workers' rights; to provide an inclusive tournament experience; to catalyse economic development; to deliver innovative environmental solutions; and to set an example of good governance and ethical business practices.

On that basis, a total of 22 objectives have been described in detail, together with more than 70 concrete initiatives and programmes to deliver the strategy and achieve the objectives set.

"When Qatar bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, it did so with a vision to use the tournament as a catalyst for sustainable, long-term change in Qatar and across the Arab world. From the start, we believed in the power of football and the FIFA World Cup to inspire innovation, to build bridges between cultures and peoples, and to accelerate positive social transformation. Our measure of success for the tournament in Qatar will ultimately be the legacy it leaves behind. This strategy will help Qatar realise that vision and ensure its success," said Hassan al-Thawadi, SC secretary-general and Q22 chairman.

"The FIFA World Cup offers us a unique opportunity to bring about positive change – one that FIFA and Qatar cannot, and will not, let slip away. All critical topics related to the event have been identified and duly addressed in this strategy, such as workers' welfare, human rights, non-discrimination and environmental protection. The document is also in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and we are committed to contributing to those through the power of football and of the biggest single-sport event on the planet," added Fatma Samoura, FIFA secretary-general.

Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), said the BWI recognises the commitment and efforts made by the SC and FIFA to improving the working and living conditions of construction workers building the 2022 tournament projects in Qatar.

"The SC, in particular, has taken the risk and broken new ground by going far beyond declarations to form a partnership with the BWI in order to conduct joint safety inspections and train elected workers' representatives. This is action on the worksite and not mere words and promises of reforms. It is making a difference for construction workers," Yuson continued.

"In the strategy, FIFA and the other tournament organisers commit to expanding these efforts to cover workers in other sectors involved in delivering the tournament. We know that this work has already begun. The workers' rights legacy of the 2022 tournament will be more meaningful once these initiatives are implemented for all workers in Qatar – in construction and beyond," he added.

Explaining the commitment to develop human capital and safeguard workers' rights, which is part of the Human Pillar of the strategy, the document says: "We are committed to safeguarding the rights and welfare of workers engaged on FIFA World Cup 2022 sites and promoting their rights in projects and supply chains directly linked to the FIFA World Cup, leaving a legacy of world-class standards and practices for workers in Qatar and internationally. We also aim to leverage the unique platform provided by the FIFA World Cup 2022 to develop a capable and motivated workforce and empower young people across the region."

Regarding the Social Pillar, which envisages providing an inclusive tournament experience, it says: "We will deliver an inclusive FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament experience that is welcoming, safe and accessible to all participants, attendees and communities in Qatar and around the world. Through this, we will leave a legacy of cultural understanding, accessible infrastructure and services, and associated expertise among the local population."

On the Economic Pillar, which pertains to catalysing economic development, the document states: "We aim to catalyse economic growth and diversification in Qatar and the region by linking local businesses to FIFA World Cup 2022 value chains and innovation opportunities. We also aim to facilitate the development of tournament sites, related infrastructure and services that enable future events, attract new business ventures and address relevant community needs."

With regard to delivering world-class environmental solutions, part of the Environmental Pillar, it says: "We are committed to delivering a fully carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup and aim to set a benchmark for environmental stewardship by implementing leading sustainable building standards, waste and water management practices and low-emission solutions. Through our work, we will leave a legacy of world-class environmental management expertise, technologies, businesses and standards in Qatar and the region."

Under the Governance Pillar, which is about setting an example of good governance and ethical business practices, the document says: "We take responsibility for addressing the impacts of the FIFA World Cup 2022 from our own activities as well as those linked to our business relationships and value chains. We establish a culture of compliance based on legal requirements and organisational policies, and demonstrate transparency and accountability to our stakeholders in relation to our sustainability decision-making and performance."

Sustainability commitments

* Human Pillar: To develop human capital and safeguard workers' rights

* Social Pillar: To provide an inclusive tournament experience

* Economic Pillar: To catalyse economic development

* Environmental Pillar: To deliver innovative environmental solutions

* Governance Pillar: To set an example of good governance and ethical business practices

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