The Dutch industry association BSNC is working on a life-cycle analysis tool for outdoor sports flooring. The trade association uses DuboCalc, a tool that is also used by, amongst others, Dutch governmental departments, to determine the LCA of items and projects.
life-cycle analysis will become the new buzz word in the coming years, as government and industry want to get a better picture of the sustainability and environmental impact of, among other things, synthetic turf systems. Everyone agrees that, in order to compare the components of synthetic turf systems, an unambiguous objective system of weighting is needed. A good example of what many try to achieve is a classification system like the energy labels for washing machines or televisions.
“Following an investigation, it emerged that there is a national need for these types of labels. This ties in seamlessly with the Dutch Roadmap for Sustainability in Sport, which provides a joint implementation agenda to bring the sports sector to a low-carbon, circular and healthy sports environment by 2050,” the statement read.
An important condition for sustainability calculations is the establishment of a database with LCAs of synthetic turf components. This will now be achieved during the pilot phase. BSNC has asked the largest manufacturers and suppliers of synthetic turf pitches to share the required data. Once the database is finished, an LCA is drawn up free of charge. The data serves to fill the National Environmental Database (NMD) with high-quality LCAs.
LCA at European level
The total environmental impact of a synthetic turf system is currently also being examined at European level. The EU Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEF-CR) project has been running for two years. Synthetic turf is one of five products that has been selected for drafting the rules. A Technical Committee representing the industry, including representatives from UEFA, Tarkett, TenCate Grass, Polytex, Re-Match, Sport & Leisure Group and the EMEA Synthetic Turf Council, is currently working on a first version of the database.
The aim is to realise a digital dashboard where everyone can read the results, based on the parameters submitted. If the Technical Committee succeeds in this, there is a good chance that the tool will become the European standard.