Yingli to leave 'solar legacy' in Brazil following World Cup

China’s national team may have missed the World Cup football tournament t in Brazil, but Yingli Solar has been a ubiquitous presence at the event as one of its leading sponsors along with such major brands as Coca Cola, Visa and McDonald’s.

The company’s omnipresence at the World Cup matches is increasing its brand recognition in Brazil and around the globe as it seeks to expand its international operations. Yingli announced on Friday at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro that it planned to supply 400 to 600 kW for a "solar legacy" project in Brazil that said was expected to be among the largest solar energy systems in the country.

Yingli has already set a benchmark by becoming the first ever carbon neutral World Cup sponsor.

Yingli has been working with international football association FIFA in order to leave solar legacies in the host countries of the World Cup since the 2010 competition in South Africa, when the company not only became the tournamentÂ’s first Chinese sponsor, but also the first renewable energy sponsor. As part of its legacy projects, Yingli provided customized solar solutions to 20 Football for Hope centers throughout Africa through the Football for Hope, Energy for Hope program, which focuses on improving the social environment for disadvantaged children in Africa.

As part of this yearÂ’s plans to become carbon neutral, Yingli says it is offsetting all carbon emissions generated through its onsite sponsorship activations in Brazil for the tournament’s duration. The company has invested in carbon emissions reductions certificates generated by two factories operating via biomass in the Caatinga region of Alagoas in Brazil, thereby helping prevent deforestation and protect Brazil’s biodiversity.

"Sustainability is one of the key tenants in our vision for the 2014 FIFA World Cup," Federico Addiechi, head of FIFA Corporate Social Responsibility, said on Friday. "Environmental initiatives such as the one presented by our sponsor Yingli today are contributing to increasing the positive impact of the FIFA World Cup on society and the environment. We are grateful to Yingli and their local partners for helping us leave a lasting legacy in Brazil."

Markus Vlasits, country manager of Yingli Green Energy Brazil, added, "Our solar legacy project will not only be an important legacy of the FIFA World Cup, but it will also be a boon to the country’s emerging solar energy industry. We are pleased to deliver a high-quality reference project that we hope will drive demand for similar projects across the country."