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Advanced Sports Installations Europe: sustainable sports fields

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The artificial grass sport field is today a reality all over Europe, offering a more reliable solution than real grass, better adapted to difficult weather conditions and able to tolerate more frequent use. While they may be tougher than their natural grass cousins, even artificial grass fields have to be maintained, and eventually completely removed and replaced.

Replacing an artificial grass football pitch, for example, requires the removal of the old materials - around 300 tons of rubber, plastic and sand – which is often simply considered mixed waste that has to be transported to landfill sites and disposed of. This is both expensive and a significant burden on the environment.

As a company specialising in the installation of sports surfaces with a strong focus on innovation and the circular economy, Advanced Sports Installations Europe (ASIE) have developed a new technology, the ARENA concept, which enables the reuse and recycling of all materials in the artificial grass, reducing the environmental impact by 70%.

The ARENA concept allows 100% of the materials to be recycled and reused. ”We take care of everything, from installation to recycling”, explains CEO Martin Kärner, “and we have specialized equipment. The entire process is designed with the lifecycle in mind and executed on-site. No need to transport tons of waste anywhere. There is no other comparable alternative in the market”.

At the outset, the company received EU grants for research and development purposes, in order to develop the product and produce prototypes and equipment. But a research project of this size also required that the company make a 30% co-investment contribution. In order to cover this cost, ASIE secured a loan from LHV Pank, guaranteed by EIF. “It was very important to us”, Martin explains, “without this support the project would have taken at least three more years to complete”.

The company is currently able to execute around 100 installations per year, - including, for example, Allianz Park, home of the Saracens Rugby Club in England, or Farum Park, home of FC Nordsjælland in the Danish Superliga - but aims to significantly increase that number to 600 by 2020: “We have ambitious plans, as the technology and its advantages become more well-known in the market”, Martin says.

Company: Advanced Sports Installations Europe (ASIE) (Estonia)

Type of business: Sport

EIF financing: InnovFin SMEG

Financial intermediary: LHV Pank

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Denmark, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/ee

 

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