Glowball against Glowbal Warming climate initiative


FIFA World Cup climate neutral thanks to LED retrofit project & Climate Hero education program
The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be a climate neutral event thanks to an energy saving LED light retrofit program by Lemnis Lighting. The highly efficient LED lights will replace incandescents and CFL’s and will thereby compensate some 900,000 tons of carbon emissions.

In liaison with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) together with the Department of Energy (DOE), the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Central Energy Fund (CEF) and Eskom have selected this program to help offset the national footprint of the World Cup under the Green Goal program. Part of the project is teaching some 300,000 children with the education program “how to become a Climate Hero!” and supplying an equal number of children with a Glowball, a unique soccer ball with the Earth’s signature print on it.

Sophia Schmidt, founder of this international climate project which recently kicked off in the Netherlands: “The Glowball is a unique soccer ball. It has a message written across the glow-in-the-dark equator: “Glowball against Global”. While playing soccer the children also come across this ‘message in a ball´. The balls will be free of charge to children who cannot afford to buy one. For each ball a child in South Africa will be trained ‘How to become a Climate Hero’. This education program is implemented by South Africa´s Food & Trees for Africa.

In October 2009, the principal partners of the Glowball initiative (Maurits Groen, Sophia Schmidt and Camille van Gestel) took it upon them to find mutual ground between their ´message in a ball´ and FIFA´s 2010 Green Goal program per introduction by what is now called Pharox Lumens Africa.
When discussing the possibilities this promotion had to offer to the local organisation, the discussion focussed on offsetting the carbon footprint of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With the Glowball promoting sustainable products and developments, the idea was born there and then to use highly efficient LED lighting to save the environment from hazardous greenhouse gasses and to provide for a solution to offset the carbon footprint of the World Cup. With Lemnis Lighting being the front runner in the LED industry, the choice was easy to join forces with them.

During the Copenhagen Climate Summit last December, international environmental entrepreneur Maurits Groen introduced the project to Dutch Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning mrs. Jacqueline Cramer. She discussed it with her South African colleague Minister of Environmental Affairs mrs. Buyelwa Sonjica, which shared her enthusiasm.

The compensation of the World Cup domestic emissions will be done in accordance to UN approved regulations. Carbon consultancy firm Do.Inc in conjunction with South African Global Carbon Exchange will ensure that proper procedure is followed, resulting in the generation of so called CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) carbon credits. Instead of selling all of these credits, a substantial part (up to 900,000 in total) is to be donated by Lemnis Lighting to the DEA for the Department to retire and by doing so, offsetting the national carbon footprint of the World Cup.

The balance of the carbon financing, together with the actual energy savings will be used to finance the entire project. End-users are responding enthusiastically to the possibility of contributing to the project and saving energy and costs at the same time.

“I am extremely proud that we are an official 2010 Green Goal project” says proposal coordinator Camille van Gestel. “Contributing to a better world as the eyes of the world are upon the World Cup in South Africa is a great opportunity for LED lighting technology in general, for the environmental education of many, many children and for the Glowball campaign which was the reason to embark on this journey in the first place.”

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