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Houston cooperates with Council for Resposible Sport to support sustainable event delivery

The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee today announced a first-of-its- kind cooperation with the Council for Responsible Sport, the world’s leading responsible sport certification program.

The cooperation reinforces Houston 2026’s commitment to delivering a World Cup of the future in America’s city of the future. The candidate city is taking significant steps to establish itself as a leader in responsible sport and to deliver the most sustainable matches for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

For the first part of its collaboration with the Council for Responsible Sport, Houston 2026 has commissioned a team of graduate students at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business to conduct a comprehensive feasibility assessment against the Council’s Standards for Organizations. The assessment will help identify the viability of achieving responsible sport certification for Houston 2026.

Houston 2026 President Chris Canetti said:

“Houston’s 2026 FIFA World Cup bid is centered on legacy, and this collaboration with the Council for Responsible Sport and the University of Oregon will ensure that we can and will deliver on our promise to have a positive impact on our communities, as well as the global soccer landscape. Importantly, the Council’s rigorous verification and reporting process will also increase the transparency of both our planning and achievement.”

The six-week feasibility assessment kicked off this month as a part of the ‘Greening Sports and Events’ management course. The students are pursuing their MBAs in either Sports Marketing or Sustainable Business Practices and will present their findings from the feasibility assessment when the project concludes in early June, at which point Houston 2026 will seek independent certification of its preparations and execution as a host city through the Council’s Certification program.

Shelley Villalobos, Council for Responsible Sport Managing Director, said:

“Performing a feasibility assessment of a successful Responsible Sport Certification bid for Houston 2026 is not only the most practical way to begin, but also an exciting opportunity for the University of Oregon students to take on real issues and gain experience with a real-life organization. This collaboration will lay the foundation for Houston 2026 to organize and integrate sustainability efforts as it seeks certification from the Council.”

Houston 2026 will in turn use the Council’s framework to further shape its World Cup preparations, focusing on key successes in environmental, social and economic responsibility. The bid committee will adopt the five pillars of the Council’s globally recognized standards around Planning and Communications, Procurement, Resource Management, Access and Equity, and Community Legacy, providing the basis for integration of sustainability thinking throughout its work.

About the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee

The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee is leading the South Texas region’s efforts to host the FIFA World Cup 2026TM. It is a subsidiary of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. The FIFA World Cup 2026TM will be played in 16 cities across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Houston is among 17 cities vying to become a U.S. host city. A final decision is expected in late 2021.

About the Council for Responsible Sport

The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014.

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