Polytan: Testing institute certifies the first climate-neutral synthetic football turf

SV Niedergailbach, Niedergailbach/Saarland, Germany

With the LigaTurf Cross GTzero, sports surface specialist Polytan from Burgheim, Germany has the world’s first CO2-neutral synthetic turf for football in its portfolio. It is 100% climate-neutral without compromising on playing characteristics. This is made possible by the interaction of various measures, including a new manufacturing process as well as the use of a bio-based plastic from sustainable agriculture. The climate neutrality of LigaTurf Cross GTzero has now been confirmed by an independent testing institute.

The CO2-neutral ecological balance of LigaTurf Cross GTzero was officially certified by Fokus Zukunft GmbH & Co.KG, an industry-independent sustainability consulting company for medium-sized companies. Their portfolio of services ranges from the determination and verification of operational and product-related CO2 balance to the development and integration of an operational sustainability strategy in the core business.

LigaTurf Cross gtzero certified by Fokus Zukunft

The verification of LigaTurf Cross GTzero was carried out using ISO 14064-3, PAS 2060 and ISO 14067. The conclusion is as follows: “Fokus Zukunft GmbH & Co.KG hereby confirms the correctness of the application of ISO 14067 for the calculation of the greenhouse gas balance and the associated climate neutrality of the reference product, taking into account the specified system limits, all input materials/preliminary products as well as all internal and external processing steps. This means that climate neutrality can be communicated to third parties without hesitation, stating the system limits used.”

The climate-neutral production of a product is always a given if CO2 emissions due to fossil raw materials, production, transport and building supply etc. can be offset by CO2 savings. Polytan achieves this with LigaTurf Cross GTzero through a variety of measures:

Production at the Grefrath site was fully converted to green electricity as early as summer 2019. Furthermore, the new PolyCoat PU coating with TuftGuard contributes to the CO2 reduction because the energy requirement in the coating system decreases due to a lower coating weight, lower residual moisture and better heat absorption.

It is equally important to avoid fossil raw materials as much as possible, which Polytan achieved by replacing petroleum-based plastics with bio-based I’m GreenTM Polyethylene from Brazilian global market leader Braskem. The product is extracted from sugarcane, a renewable raw material. Another decisive environmental aspect for Polytan is that sugar cane cultivation is primarily used for food production and the production of ethanol. This ethanol is used to manufacture the bioplastic. The bagasse produced by pressing the sugar cane as a by-product is used for CO2-neutral energy production. Braskem uses the electricity produced in this way from the biorefinery for its ethanol production. Excess power is then fed back into the local grid. At 16%, the production of bioelectricity from bagasse is one of largest energy source in Brazil’s energy matrix.

Up to 70% of the fibre content in LigaTurf Cross GTzero is currently composed of the bio-based I’m GreenTM Polyethylene. This ensures an optimal environmental balance, as this proportion of bio-based raw material saves over 50 tonnes of CO2 in a football turf pitch compared to a synthetic turf made from fossil raw materials. In Germany, the first football pitches have already been equipped with it. These include sites in Lower Gailbach, Ahrensfelde in Brandenburg and most recently at Karlsruhe SC in Baden-Württemberg.

The CO2-neutral eco-balance of LigaTurf Cross GT zero increases the attractiveness of synthetic turf for municipalities and associations still further. In addition to a high level of playing comfort due to the smooth filaments and extreme durability and low-maintenance thanks to the textured filaments, the turf also offers the highest environmental standard for CO2 balance going forward. In addition, the special fibre combination and increased stitch density also ensure better retention of infill materials in the surface, optimises player protection and reduces unwanted splash.

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