Brasilia -- A joint campaign by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners to reduce food waste has received the backing of Brazil's most popular football team.
Banners promoting the Think.Eat.Save - Reduce Your Foodprint campaign accompanied players from Flamengo FC as they arrived on the pitch for a match with Sao Paolo-based team Portuguesa last week.
Think.Eat.Save is a worldwide campaign promoted by the UNEP, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), and other partners to encourage consumers and retailers to take action to reduce the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted and lost worldwide each year.
Flamengo is one of the most popular football teams in the world, and boasts over 35 million supporters in Brazil alone. More than 17,000 fans were in the stadium to watch the match with Portuguesa, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Brazilian National League match took place in Brasília at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium, which is among the arenas built for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium boasts a number of sustainable features, including installed solar panels to meet electricity needs, and a rain water collection system to irrigate the pitch. Last July, the arena was assessed by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate, offered by the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable constructions.
UNEP continues to support the Brazilian government in other greening efforts in the run-up to next year's FIFA World Cup. A sustainable procurement initiative is in place to ensure that large-scale purchases are as resource-efficient as possible, and that sustainable consumption and production practices are followed. A new version of UNEP's Green Passport - which provides participants and visitors at major sporting events with advice on local sustainable tourism - will also be released in Brazil in time for the World Cup.
Among other upcoming activities, the Think.Eat.Save - Reduce Your Foodprint campaign is set to feature at the Milan Expo 2015 under the theme 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'.