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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.

TFI
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

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