Besides municipalities, more and more clubs and managers of sports facilities are working on sustainability and savings. However, clubs often encounter bottlenecks and do not know exactly where to start.
The KNVB has set up The Green Club with the aim of making all sports clubs in the Netherlands more sustainable. This initiative focuses mainly on energy saving and green energy. The Green Club supports clubs by implementing a step-by-step plan so that energy-saving measures can ultimately be taken. This is a great initiative in which many clubs are already participating. Besides saving energy, an association can of course do more to become more sustainable.
On 23 January 2020, the sports sector took an important step in its contribution to the climate agreement by signing the Route Map for Sustainable Sport. This was signed by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, NOC*NSF, the Association of Sports and Municipalities, the provinces and the platform for enterprising sports providers. In addition to this roadmap, three other partial agreements were signed, including the circularity partial agreement. Stefan Hofman and William van Diemen co-signed this sub-agreement on behalf of GreenMatter. With this roadmap, the sports sector sets to work on CO2 reduction, circularity and environmentally friendly management.
Sustainability is more than just energy transition. The Route Map for Sustainable Sport also includes objectives for circularity. An important part of this is, for example, the recycling of artificial grass pitches. A circular sports sector starts by redesigning the procurement processes. The end result is that by 2030, circularity will be the basis for 50% of all procurement processes and by 2040, 100%.
With GreenMatter, we have taken the lead in reducing the artificial grass waste mountain and setting a circular raw material flow in motion by manufacturing products from recycled artificial grass. In our infographic we show that it is possible to recycle every worn out artificial grass fibre on or around the sports park. With our extensive range of park benches, picnic sets, side boards, flower boxes and brush mats, among others, there is plenty of choice. Before we can be 100% circular, the necessary steps have to be taken. If it is up to us, we will take on this challenge together.
At the moment, two schemes can be used that relate to making artificial grass more sustainable:
This stimulation of construction and maintenance of sports facilities (BOSA) is intended for amateur clubs that incur costs for materials and construction/maintenance of the accommodation. In the BOSA scheme, a number of investments related to sustainability are additionally subsidised. The standard subsidy for sports facilities amounts to 20% of the costs of the eligible activities up to a maximum of EUR 2,500,000 per calendar year. For priority activities such as circular measures for artificial grass (such as edge boards and brush mats made from recycled artificial grass), it is possible to receive an additional 10% subsidy.
This scheme (specific allowance for stimulation of sports) can give a subsidy of 17,5% for the budgeted amount of activities for construction and maintenance of sports activities to municipalities or municipal sport companies if no BOSA subsidy can be applied for and if no VAT or turnover compensation is possible. This arrangement does not yet include sustainability measures. In the context of agreements on corporate social responsibility purchasing with municipalities, it is conceivable that SRP is applied to the purchase of the pitch. Or that the subsidy amount will then be higher.