Latest News

Back to Latest News back


FSB to explore sustainability in sports facility and playground construction

FSB to explore sustainability in sports facility and playground construction
October 20, 2023

Set to commence next week, FSB, the International Trade Fair for Public Space, Sports and Leisure Facilities, is turning the spotlight on sustainability.

Being held in the German city of Cologne from 24th to 27th October, organisers describe sustainability as being “of great relevance to society as a whole given today’s omnipresent social challenges, including worsening climate change, coupled with the associated extinction of species, loss of biodiversity and extreme weather events”.

Working closely with its cooperation partner TFI Aachen, the European institute for the research, testing and certification of construction products for the furnishing and design of interiors, the industry’s leading trade fair carried out a comprehensive survey of the exhibitors at this year’s edition.

Examining sustainability of construction products, the research findings reveal groundbreaking insights into the future of the industry showing that the construction sector, which is responsible for around 40% of all CO2 emissions, faces enormous challenges.

The research advises that as a result of continuous construction projects, there is a considerable need to renovate buildings and raise energy efficiency standards, with a real ‘revolution in the construction industry’ required in order to respond to these pressures and support the transition to a ‘circular economy’.

Koelnmesse, the organisers of FSB, advise “it’s not only resource efficiency and energy savings that are important here; opting for environmentally friendly building products that put human health first also has a role to play.”

FSB also point to changing policy frameworks and the importance of publishing sustainability-related information.

Here it cites the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and policies aimed at supporting sustainable construction projects are an additional contributing factor.

Navigating the tangle of sustainability labels
FSB organisers also note that the plethora of sustainability labels available today can be confusing. Nevertheless, clear and verified information is needed in the planning process to aid the selection of suitable and compliant construction products. This information must be easily accessible and readily understood even by those who have no expertise in the field of sustainability certification.

In this context, TFI Aachen has worked with a pilot group to develop the Product Passport Sustainability.

The tool translates existing information such as emissions and material ecology into the criteria specified in the sustainability certificates in order to provide a clear overview of a construction product’s key properties, verified by the TFI, and facilitate communication between the manufacturing companies and planners.

In cooperation with the TFI, Koelnmesse is embarking on an analysis of the sports facility construction products segment at FSB 2023 and will continue to explore and expand this theme in the years to come.

With this in mind, an initial baseline survey of all FSB exhibitors has already been carried out for FSB 2023 with the findings to be presented at the trade fair and set to be a topic of discussion at the IAKS Congress.

FSB 2023 sustainability survey: status quo and future prospects in sports facility and playground construction

Just how sustainable are companies operating in sports facility and playground construction today?
The results of the sustainability survey jointly carried out by FSB and the TFI show that the topic is now on the agenda in the various sectors – but they also reveal a knowledge gap.

Around 120 exhibiting companies took part in the survey answering questions that covered aspects of sustainability such as climate change mitigation, resource efficiency, protecting health and the environment, and sustainable supply chains.

The following segments were identified from the responses and grouped together as clusters:

  • Fall protection + recycling
  • Manufacturers of artificial turf + flooring
  • Playground equipment + sports equipment
  • Sports and leisure facilities

Within these four industry clusters, around 30% of the companies surveyed have given a great deal of thought to sustainability issues and have already obtained a number of certificates. What this shows is that these companies are already exploring alternative material compositions in the context of sustainable product design and using construction materials made from renewable resources.

Furthermore, they are all working on measures to reduce CO₂ emissions, shorten supply chains and increase the use of recycled materials.

In addition, through its participation as an exhibitor at FSB 2023 and in the IAKS Congress, the TFI will provide further information about the survey and enter into discussions with stakeholders.

The dialogue process will be continued by the various parties with the aim of providing the exhibiting companies with regular information and increasing their familiarity with the topic. The goal for the next few years is to build up a directory of sports facility construction products that will help stakeholders from municipalities, planning bodies and clubs reach decisions when awarding tenders and make it possible to classify certain products within the framework of sustainability criteria and certificates.

The institute is dedicated to the research, testing and certification of construction products for interior applications. TFI Aachen will be represented at FSB 2023 with its own stand in Hall 10.2 and will use this opportunity to promote the Product Passport Sustainability.

This topic area will be discussed further during the IAKS Congress in the session entitled ‘Challenges for the Environment and Climate’, starting at 1:30 p.m. on 25th October 2023.

Click here for FSB event details in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Images show scenes from FSB and the IAKS Congress. Credit: FSB.

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Co-founder and Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor and co-founder of Australasian Leisure Management.

Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

18th October 2023 - Artificial turf innovator SYNLawn to showcase sustainable products at FSB 2023

7th October 2023 - European Commission confirms restrictions on uses of microplastics

20th September 2023 - IAKS Congress to chart path to building resilient communities through sports facilities

19th September 2023 - FSB 2023 to present public space, recreation and sport industry’s major international trade fair

8th September 2023 - Aquanale international swimming pool and wellness forum set for anniversary

26th July 2023 - FSB 2023 trade fair to focus on sustainability in global sport and recreation

12th July 2023 - World Athletics questions European Court of Human Rights decision on Caster Semenya

25th May 2023 - European Commission to restrict use of rubber infill in synthetic sport pitches

27th January 2023 - IOC, IPC and IAKS launch 2023 international architectural awards

2nd October 2022 - New sport equipment recycling scheme looks to collaborate with sport and recreation facilities

26th April 2022 - IAKS expands Australasian events and networking

14th January 2022 - IAKS and FIBA agree collaboration to help better basketball facilities around the globe

14th November 2021 - IAKS releases project case studies from aquatic centres around the world

9th November 2021 - Asian architects and projects get recognition in 2021 IOC, IPC and IAKS Architecture and Design Awards

9th July 2021 - Golf ball recycling initiative supported by Australian Golf Industry Council

11th May 2021 - Matta Products’ softfall surfacing protecting children and the environment

30th January 2021 - IOC, IPC and IAKS launch 2021 international architectural awards

16th October 2020 - Germany’s FSB Trade Fair commits to October dates in 2021

24th April 2020 - Otium Planning Group’s Yvette Audet appointed IAKS Ambassador for Australasia

7th February 2020 - IAKS Japan welcomes knowledge exchange on sports facilities

27th July 2015 - Massive European FSB show presents the future of recreation

19th September 2013 - FSB to present global forum on synthetic turf

30th August 2011 - FSB presents ‘the future for the world of recreation’

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues



A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


Links Modular Solutions

Links Modular Solutions are a leading provider of high-quality, innovative software solutions for leisure facilities. Our software suite includes modules such as POS, Classes, Members, Facility…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology


Gladstone MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues


Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness



Stadiums and venues around the world recognise that success hinges on more than just what happens on the pitch. More than ever, fan engagement within each facility is a critical part of the overall…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Venues


Altitude Training Systems

ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology


Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business