Unleashing a clean sports facility


“Cleaning and waste management may be perceived as behind-the-scenes roles, but they are the backbone of sustainable event management. ”


Filed under
Facilities Management
April 25, 2024
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 Unleashing a clean sports facility

My career began about 10 years ago, where I was introduced to the intricacies of waste management and sustainability in the realm of sporting events. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, I witnessed firsthand the meticulous planning and execution required to ensure the cleanliness and efficiency of venues hosting events of global significance. 

Prior to relocating to the Middle East, I was based in the United Kingdom where I embraced the challenge of overseeing the cleaning and waste management operations at some of the world's most prestigious events taking place in Premier League Stadiums such as Chelsea FC, Tottenham Hotspurs FC, Arsenal FC and the home of England, the infamous Wembley Stadium. I was also lucky enough to be involved in the planning and execution of horse racing events attended by royalties such as Her Majesty the Queen of England at The Royal Ascot and The Cheltenham Festival which required meticulous attention to detail.

My personal favourite, however, was the Formula 1 British Grand Prix in Silverstone. Amidst the height of activity and excitement, I navigated the complexities of managing various waste streams, deploying teams of approx. 500 employees and ensuring seamless execution of sustainability initiatives were always achieved. 

The journey in the Middle East

My journey in the Middle East began with an opportunity to be involved in the Expo 2020 Dubai being part of the cleaning and waste contractor responsible for managing 1,800 cleaning operatives on a daily basis. The cleaning operation involved a 24/7 detailed schedule using advanced technology to monitor performance and productivity of our team. We provided a comprehensive training program to ensure our employees were well equipped with the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage waste, promote recycling, and maintain a clean and safe environment throughout the event. By implementing colour coding for waste segregation and incorporating biodegradable consumables into our daily operation, we could increase recycling, minimize cross-contamination, and promote sustainability among all attendees, vendors and guests.

My years within the event industry has been a remarkable odyssey of learning, growth, and unforgettable experiences. I have had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's most prestigious events, 

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stands as a crowning moment in my career, a testament to the transformative power of teamwork and dedication. As part of the cleaning and waste management team, I played a pivotal role in maintaining the pristine condition of stadiums that would soon become the stage for sporting history. From implementing innovative waste segregation techniques to coordinating with international stakeholders, every aspect of our work was driven by a shared commitment to excellence.

Cultural sensitivity

One of the most profound lessons from my experience has been the importance of adaptability and cultural sensitivity in navigating diverse environments. Working across continents, I learned to appreciate the nuances of different cultures and traditions, leveraging this understanding to forge meaningful connections and collaborations.

Moreover, my journey has underscored the critical role of leadership and effective communication in driving positive change. Whether coordinating with international teams or managing high-profile events, clear communication and strategic planning have been instrumental in overcoming challenges and achieving shared goals.

Yet, amidst the glamour and prestige, there have also been moments of introspection and humility. Cleaning and waste management may be perceived as behind-the-scenes roles, but they are the backbone of sustainable event management. Every piece of litter collected, every recycling initiative implemented is a testament to our commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible citizenship.

As I reflect on my journey, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities and experiences that have shaped my career. Growing up in Jaguaré-ES a small country town in Brazil, with a population of just 20,000 people to managing an event with 400,000 guests attending each day is a gentle reminder of humble beginnings which taught me to embrace opportunities, overcome challenges, and continuously strive for growth and success.

Looking ahead, I am inspired by the prospect of continuing to make a positive impact in the world of events, bridging continents and cultures in pursuit of a more sustainable future. 

About the author:
Brener Farias is a highly motivated professional with 10+ years’ experience in Major Sports Venues and Major Events within the cleaning and waste management industry.