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News // Ecology & Economics: a combined Life Cycle Analysis and Eco Efficiency study for Edel Grass

Date // 5th March 2012

The Netherlands 

In 2009 Netherlands based company Edel Grass BV, the market leader for producing artificial grass pitches and sports fields, appointed Inogen Associate Oranjewoud to measure and assess the environmental impact of their products.

Edel Grass BV wanted to understand and assess the entire lifecycle of the products, from raw materials, assembling, transportation, installing the fields, in use & maintenance, through to re-use & recycling. From a geographic perspective this impact needed to be measured not only in the Netherlands but across the globe, as the products are sold and used throughout the world.

To understand and to communicate the environmental impact to all shareholders and stakeholders, Edel Grass wanted to adopt an internationally recognised and verified approach to measure the impacts, as well as meet the benefits of the customer/end user, and adopt an approach that would be economically viable.

The approach adopted included a combination of a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and a Life Cycle Cost (LCC). An Eco Efficiency Analysis (EEA) had already been published and used by BASF and accepted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Geneva, Switzerland and also seemed to be "fit for purpose".

Over 2009/10 Oranjewoud together with Edel Grass research & development team, sales & marketing team and financial team carried out several experimental Eco Efficiency studies, benchmarking existing artificial turf systems against new generation products and natural turf. The Eco Efficiency study gave a deep understanding of the benefits of the whole product lifecycle, from production up to the re-use of artificial sport fields with respect to both environmental and economical aspects.

In 2011, a joint-development project was started by the Dutch Institute of Sport Accommodations (ISA), TNO (Dutch Institute for Applied Scientific Studies) and Edel Grass with Oranjewoud, to perform a Life Cycle Analysis and an Eco Efficiency Analysis of the different pitches.

Jan v/d Riet, CEO Edel Grass, comments;

"In Eco Efficiency there is a connection between environmental impact (the LCA approach) and lifecycle costing (LCC). As a business it is this connection that gives us a magnificent understanding of environmental impact with respect to the economical aspects throughout the entire supply chain."

Both the LCA and EEA studies were performed separately but with the same set of starting principles and basic assumptions, for example nine environmental indicators, five phases of life cycle, a land use ratio of artificial to natural turf of 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3, a care & maintenance period of 10 years (top layer) and 30 years (underground/ sub base) and within the same geographical context.

Even with the use of open source data for the Eco Efficiency study, differences in outcomes between both methods where remarkably small and therefore a uniform method for sustainability on both the environmental and economical aspects lies ahead.

For further information please contact Paul van der Meer at: Paul.vanderMeer@Oranjewoud.nl

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