Sunday 04 June 2023, 14:00

Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand 2023 stadiums achieve ‘green’ building certification

  • First FIFA Women’s World Cup entirely comprised of green building certified stadia

  • Outcomes include reduction in energy and water use, added efficiencies in recycling

  • Will likely act as a catalyst for change in other sporting venues across the two nations

In a multitude of ways, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ is already assured of being a “tournament of firsts”. An increase to 32 teams and the first Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted are among some of the top-line features for Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand 2023. In a major achievement off the field, this will be the first edition of the FIFA women’s tournament to be entirely comprised of green building certified stadia. All ten venues across the two nations have achieved certification, with only two other Australian sport venues meeting the Green Building Council’s Green Star or the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard before this tournament. It is another example of the lasting legacy for Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand following the Women’s World Cup, at not only the respective tournament venues, but likely acting as a catalyst for change in other sporting venues across the two nations. In practical terms, certification will help ensure operational sustainability, reducing the venues’ energy and water use, plus efficiencies in other areas including recycling.

Mexico v Uruguay: Group D - FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015

FIFA has placed a strong emphasis and awareness on sustainability for its senior World Cups since the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. It is a process that commences at the bidding stage and includes a comprehensive set of sustainability requirements for the tournament hosts. "Stadiums are the key to staging FIFA tournaments and fostering more sustainable football infrastructure has been a focus of our attention since introducing the requirement for certification back in 2012,” said Federico Addiechi, FIFA Head of Sustainability & Environment. “We are delighted that all stadiums for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 have achieved this goal and are leading the way for more sustainable sport infrastructure in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand."

Off the field, hard work and collective commitment have created a landmark achievement that will have a positive long-term impact on major sport venues and numerous upcoming sporting competitions for both nations. “This is a huge leap forward which will have an incredible and long-lasting domino effect for the runway of major sport events ahead,” said Dr Sheila Nguyen, Head of Sustainability for Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand. “Working in sustainability can often be patchwork, but our sustainability team sought ways to move from addressing symptoms to systems issues, and the green building infrastructure project was a significant way to uplift and upgrade the infrastructure landscape to be one that prioritises sustainable performance.”

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 CEO Dave Beeche added: “As a tournament of firsts on many fronts, we have sought to push the envelope on all the ways our event can deliver for the betterment of our communities.

“Working alongside our tournament venues to achieve green building certification is an achievement that will have a positive impact on the way our Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand stadiums sustainably perform into the future.”

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup stadiums

Andrew Eagles, CEO, New Zealand Green Building Council said: “Aotearoa New Zealand is famous for its love of sport, as much as it is for its beautiful environment. With the huge opportunity of hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup, New Zealand’s stadiums have stepped up to ensure they’re playing their part in protecting the environment while providing a wonderful experience for thousands of spectators.”

Davina Rooney, CEO, Green Building Council of Australia said: “For sport stars and spectators alike, stadiums are where memories are made and legacies are created. Stadiums can also create their own legacies, and with the support of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the help of Green Star Performance, these elite stadiums spotted around Australia are doing just that. This is the start of their sustainability stories.” All training venues have also received sustainability training from FIFA, ensuring the spread of knowledge reaches deeper into our grassroots football communities.

Eden Park Night Aerial 1
Sydney Football Stadium