Key points: Artificial Turf Webinar 2021

On 12th of January IAKS Nordic held a webinar with some of the most knowledgable experts on the field of artificial turf in the Nordic countries. We had almost a hundred participants and ended the great line-up with some very relevant questions, comments, and discussion points.

You can find the entire webinar on our YouTube Channel right here.
If you want to hear a specific speaker, the video is divided into sections, so click on the minute numbers in the description or directly on the timeline.

Beneath here you find a run-through of the main points from all speakers. Although we recommend to watch the full presentations in the webinar video, also to have graphic examples and proper explenation of details.

Thanks to all who took their time to make this webinar a great and insightful event!


Artificial turf webinar key points, IAKS Nordic 12-01-2021

The webinar was hosted by IAKS Nordic, BeKoGr (Sweden), KG2021 (Norway) and the Danish Foundation for Culture & Sports Facilities

Key points from speakers

Pernilla Holgersson
Coordinator, Customer Group Artificial Turf (BeKoGr), Sweden

  • The customer group works with procurement organizations for more sustainable turf systems and less pollution from artificial infill material
  • They have decreased refill of infill in total from 1200 ton (300 fields) to 500 ton (400 fields); made sure that 75% of their members have sustainability strategies; helped municipalities test new sustainable systems, and connected projects with experts and scientists
  • Website:


Maria Losman
Expert in environmental and circular requirements in public procurement, Ecoplan in Medio

  • Ecoplan has a guide with relevant questions for the procurement process, in order to gain sustainability. In Swedish only – find it here
  • Key points: Demand documentation for contents and substances; ask questions and claim answers: E.g. on durability, play hours, playability in the long run etc
  • Concern: Not possible to get information even on a basic level of chemical content, and how suppliers follow European REACH legislation


Peter Bengtsson
Facility manager, sports and leisure department, Växjö Municipality

  • Overall goals (succeeded): Decrease amount of infill added to fields per year from 2 tons to zero -  done by rebuilding; separating fields for practice and matches; granulate traps; information work; routines for tools/machines; collaborations with clubs
  • They reuse sand and granules and have a requirement of new fields being made of 99% recycled materials
  • Information is key! They use sensors and transceivers about where and how much snow there is on fields – used by coaches and maintenance staff. In the future to be connected with booking system to alert players if a booked field is closed


Tomas Rydberg
Expert in LCA and Assistant Director, IVL (Swedish Environmental Research Institute) 

  • Analysis on climate impact and socio-environmental damage cost in production and waste management of different field systems (find graphs in the webinar-video). Results are preliminary and does not include full life cycle and maintenance (!)
  • Suggests a requirement for LCA-based Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) to be part of an improved strategy (more information:
  • By using EPD’s, the buyers and the suppliers can help each other to get more information on the contents of the materials and thereby enhancing sustainability


Bjørn Aas
KG2021, senior engineer, Centre for Sports Facilities & Technology, NTNU

  • Norway is facing large increase in fields needing renovation, creating huge increase in waste and an equal need for investmens
  • Research confirms numbers from other reports: There is a substantial annual loss of microplastic from fields. No compaction of infill is identified
  • NTNU Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis based on tenders and cost numbers from the Norwegian market, shows that artificial infill has a higher LCC in a 10 year perspective than organic infill types. Non-infill pitches are somewhere in between
  • Heavy rain fall is expected in the future – important to design pitches for higher hydraulic capacity in the future, than what we have seen

Roger Nilsen
Teie Idrettsforening (Teie Sports Club, Norway)

  • An introduction to what is probably the world’s first almost 90% recycled pitch system
  • The club reused an old outdated SBR system to rebuild their two new pitches. Fiber, backing, SBR granules has become components of a new fully molded PAD. Sand is reused as backfill
  • The two new pitches has sand and olive pits as infill


Holger Kortbek
Member of the Management Committee of IAKS International, Head manager of Sports Facilities, Gladsaxe Municipality, Denmark

  • 3 ½ football pitches in the municipality are outdated and the municipality has decided on a policy to get rid of pitches using SBR infill. Their new artificial turf systems will be without infill or only sand as infill and they have included the players in the test of several different types of artificial grass
  • Seven “stamp” testing fields (pieces of turf placed on the same shockpad) were evaluated by the users, focusing on the player experience. Of the seven “stamps” four were chosen to be further tested on smaller pitches (multi courts)
  • The key point is the questionnaire that was used to evaluate the pitches, which collected detailed information and lead the players to be detailed and critical in their observations


Notes from questions and discussion

  • Gladsaxe Municipality are planning to use e-layers instead of foam pads for their new pitches as a long-term investment, as it can be reused for at least two lifetimes of pitches
  • In the procurement process it is possible to ask for recycled material, and it is possible to be responsible about the waste, but in the end the owner of the pitch has to take responsibility when it comes to handling the waste of the outdated pitch
  • ESTC (EMEA Synthetic Turf Council) and the European industry will be coming out with documentation, guidelines, and reference documents for the whole turf industry to access in the coming months
  • Important to distinguish between community fields and fields for the elite soccer players when discussing the standards of the fields
  • The whole turf industry is in a transition, moving from a supply of virgin raw materials of the finest quality to a call for recycled and sustainable systems from the market