Sustainability in football: greening the game

Sustainability in football: greening the game

Published on 26 April 2020

From organic pitches and recycled turf to footstep power and energy efficient lighting, new technology is taking football closer to its sustainability goals

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Transcript
00:01
Sustainability in Football: greening the game
00:02
Muhammad Yusuf Osman
00:07
Football may be the beautiful game, but it can make for a grisly picture environmentally
00:12
To keep football pitches and stadiums going can often end up requiring unsustainable levels of energy, water and raw materials
00:17
But new technologies are beginning to bring about a slow greening of the game
00:24
Here we look at a handful of football’s most exciting infrastructure innovations
00:32
Footstep Power
00:36
A substantial proportion of residents in Rio de Janeiro’s slums power their fridges and illuminate their lights by liberally “borrowing” from the national grid.
00:41
These ad-hoc connections are not only illegal, but dangerous too
00:44
Pavegen is demonstrating the potential of an alternative, renewable option: power-storing tiles
00:49
The London-based tech firm has installed 200 of its “kinetic-harvesting” tiles into a local football pitch in the Rio’s Morro da Mineira neighbourhood
00:53
The 56mm tiles sit under the pitch’s Astroturf surface and flex fractionally every time a player takes a step
00:57
Each footstep generates around five watts per second
01:00
The system is supplemented by solar panels, which together help light the pitch and surrounding area for up to ten hours a night
01:08
Organic Pitch
01:12
Gloucestershire-based football club Forest Green Rovers recently became the proud owner of the UK’s first organic football pitch
01:17
Over the last three years, the club has succeeded in eliminating all nitrogen-based fertilisers and chemicals from its ground maintenance
01:22
In their place, the club is using a range of plant-derived products, from compost tea and coconut wetting agent through to seaweed fertiliser
01:26
Charcoal is also added to the pitch to provide a carbon base for bacteria and fungus
01:29
“Some organic treatments are more expensive, but this process saves money in the long run by having healthier soil”, says the club’s chief groundsman, Stewart Ward
01:35
The additional up-front costs of going organic are offset by savings on the club’s energy bills thanks to the installation of 170 photovoltaic panels, which boast a capacity of 45kW
01:39
Off the pitch, Forest Green Rovers’ commitment to reducing the use of harmful chemicals also extends to its laundry policy
01:44
The team kit is washed in phosphate-free washing powder
01:51
Recycled turf
01:55
Back in 2012, Real Madrid upgraded its 11 training pitches with a new generation turf produced by Dutch cradle-to-cradle pioneer, Desso
01:59
The pitch’s green credentials are bolstered by the fact they never need to be watered, mown or doused with pesticides
02:02
Manchester United is also experimenting with recycled materials for artificial turf pitches
02:05
In partnership with India-based Apollo Tyres, the UK club recently installed a pitch at its Old Trafford complex made from around 2,200 recycled tyres weighing about 10 tonnes
02:14
LED light show
02:17
FC Bayern Munich, one of Germany’s top-ranking football teams, is installing 380,000 energy-efficient LEDs to create a huge “light show” at its Allianz Arena stadium
02:23
According to Phillips, Bayern Munich’s official “lighting partner”, the project will be 60% more energy efficient (representing a saving of about 362 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year) than the conventional lighting currently used
02:27
That's All. Thank you!
02:28
Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/oct/02/sustainability-football-green-game-sport