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EU announcement starts debate on the dispersal of microplastics from artificial turf pitches with rubber granulate as infill

The EU Commission has now started the political debate about the use of rubber granulate in artificial turf pitches. During the process prior to the Commission recommendation, different committees under the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have been asked to provide their assessments, including the RAC (Risk Assessment Committee), recommending a total ban of the use of rubber granulate, with a 6-year phase-in period, and the SEAC (Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis), in addition to a ban proposing the alternative of installing Risk Management Measures (RMM) on pitches to avoid spreading to areas where such dispersal is unwelcomed. SEAC was of the opinion that if dispersal could be kept below 7 g/m2 (approx. 50 kg per 11-a-side pitch) annually, this could be an alternative prudently taking into consideration the many positive properties of the pitches – such as playability all year round, excellent playing properties and thus the positive effect on public health.

The most important and most efficient RMM are first and foremost barriers along the pitch perimeter as well as grates at exit areas where rubber granulate automatically falls off boots and clothing. These preventive measures can keep dispersal from pitches at a minimal level of only a few kilos a year. A European CEN recommendation has been drawn up for this purpose.

The EU Commission has now made their move with a proposal for a complete ban of the use of rubber granulate in artificial turf pitches – with a 6-year phase-in period. The matter will now be considered in the political system, involving both member states and the EU Parliament. Main stakeholders such as the football organisations – national organisations as well as Paneuropean UEFA – will consequently in coming months, perhaps years, provide their input. So will the recycling industry at both European level (EuRIC) and at national level as well as those working with circular economy for tyres in practice – like us here at Genan. This further process may result in adoption of the proposal as is, in rejection of the proposal or in adoption of an amended proposal. It is hard to predict how long this political process will take. But it will be a comprehensive process – in terms of both workload and time.

The position of Genan is clear. It would be absolutely stupid to inhibit a good sales market for recycled products, when existing technology could limit dispersal to an absolute minimum. Incineration instead of material recycling would be the solution for approx. 500,000 tonnes of tyres in the EU alone – a huge, retrograde step for circular economy. The possibility to install high-performance artificial turf pitches in for instance cities already short of space for sports, would dramatically deteriorate, and this would have consequences for both public health, crime prevention and physical well-being. For the departments of sports and culture of local authorities, finances would suffer, as alternative solutions are far more expensive although at the same time worse. And finally, with the emission of an extra 350,000 tonnes of CO2 annually in the EU alone, climate accounts would suffer as incineration in cement kilns – or export – would be the only options for the tyres which could no longer be recycled for use at artificial turf pitches in the EU.

UEFA estimates:

  • that there are 42,000 artificial turf pitches in Europe
  • that 30,000 of these pitches will be affected by this current proposal from the Commission
  • that the average price for pitch reconstruction (converting the pitch to an alternative technology) would be around € 300,000
  • that the proposal of the Commission would impose an extra cost of € 8.5 billion in round figures upon European football

In Denmark, it is estimated that there are 380 artificial turf pitches, approx. 300 of which have rubber granulate as infill material. Should the Commission proposal be adopted in its current form, it is likely that over time, this will cost Danish pitch owners between DKK 500 and 750 million – for pitch reconstruction alone. If instead the EU chooses risk management measures (RMM) as the solution to limit dispersal of rubber granulate – to areas where such dispersal is unwanted – to an absolution minimum, then the total cost to be defrayed by Danish pitch owners will probably amount to about DKK 50-100 million. Brand new, preliminary results from Teknologisk Institut (Danish Technological Institute), working on a test and development project for Silkeborg Municipality and the Danish Football Association (DBU) indicate that with simple means, the dispersal of rubber granulate can be reduced to a marginal level. Find the first – preliminary – results from the test and development project here. 

Genan will keep you informed and updated in respect of the political process related to this initiative.

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Q&A Commission recommendation about infill – English

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Q&A Commission recommendation about infill – German

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Q&A Commission recommendation about infill – Danish

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Q&A Commission recommendation about infill – Portuguese

Outdoor horse riding all year round thanks to frost-free surface

No matter whether you enjoy horse riding as your hobby or professionally, the weather is a significant parameter when it comes to outdoor riding.

Especially in the Nordic countries, where rain and sleet, snow and frost are weather report standards many days of the year, countless riding hours are spent in indoor riding arenas. The outdoor track is just one big puddle or hard as rock after several days with sub-zero temperatures.

However, using rubber granulate as top layer in horse riding arenas provides a dry and frost-free arena all year round.

Read the case story here: Outdoor horse riding all year round thanks to frost-free surface

GLOBALLY VALID ISO CERTIFICATIONS

As a part of Genan’s strategic and persistently systematic work on Quality, Environment, Health & Safety and Energy Management, we follow the requirements outlined in the following four international standards: ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety management) and ISO 50001 (energy management).

Thanks to operational excellence and cross-factory knowledge sharing as well as the determined efforts of Genan staff at all locations, we have managed to achieve these globally valid certifications of our six tyre recycling plants. In December 2021, all six factories were audited by certification company GUTcert, and we now proudly present the result: four separate ISO certifications, each covering all six Genan plants.

These four ISO certificates illustrate the strict requirements we impose on ourselves in respect of both quality, workplace safety, environmental responsibility as well as when it comes to structuring our energy management for energy-saving operation at all Genan plants –striving for a sustainable future.

Find the certificates here.

Annual Report 2021: Record-high Genan group turnover in a challenging year

Genan quote icon

Last year, Danish-owned but international environmental company Genan reached an all-time high turnover of EUR 60m. The past year has been characterised by increasing material, freight and energy prices, which – in Genan’s case – have both positive and negative impact. Overall, the Genan group emerges stronger after a year also distinguishing itself by a change of ownership – with Maj Invest Equity as new majority shareholder.

Read the entire press release or our 2021 annual report.

Genan SCAN4DATA

As a strong support to our company values, Transparency, Quality and Innovation, we now present the Genan SCAN4DATA application.

We experience an increasing demand for documentation and proof of origin from our surroundings, such as customers, public authorities, environmental organisations, etc. Therefore, we have launched the Genan SCAN4DATA application, which is an innovative tool providing full transparency of the quality scores of your Genan products.

By scanning the QR codes on your received Big Bags, the app allows you to access all technical product information like Technical Data Sheets (TDS), Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and Sieve curves – and you can even find quality test results from the Genan laboratory and from external laboratories as well. All data is presented on screen and is also available for download.

To access you just need to follow this link on your phone or tablet: https://scan.genan.com/

Genan plant in Oranienburg up and running again

We are pleased to inform you that the fire brigade had all five flaming tyre piles in our factory yard in Oranienburg under control already on Thursday evening, 31 March 2022.

We started up our production again already on Thursday afternoon, and as of today, Friday 1 April 2022, our valued customers can again both deliver tyres and pick up goods.

Piles of tyres on fire in the factory yard at Genan in Oranienburg

On Wednesday evening, 30 March 2022, around 22.35 o’clock, one of our production workers at the factory in Oranienburg, Germany, noticed that 5 piles of tyres in different places at our outdoor facilities were on fire.

A large number of firefighters have been on site throughout the night and are still battling fires; yet, all fires are under control, and no one has suffered any injury.

Our buildings have fortunately not caught fire; but for safety reasons, the production was of course immediately shut down, when fires were discovered late Wednesday evening.

Today, Thursday 31 March 2022, the Oranienburg factory is closed for the drop-off of tyres as well as the pick-up of goods.

We monitor the situation closely, but the way it looks now, we expect operations to be close to normal again as of tomorrow, Friday 1 April 2022.

We will continually update this news statement when we receive new information. We expect the fire brigade to continue their work throughout the day, and subsequently, we will await police investigations to determine the cause of fire.

We would like to express our gratitude to the fire brigade for their efforts to put out fires – and to our colleagues in Oranienburg for having acted quickly and safely when the fire broke out, and for now assisting firefighters.

New EU taxonomy on climate change mitigation

The first Delegated Act about sustainable finance has been enacted and passed by the EU. The Act includes 6 categories – among them is climate change mitigation.

Sustainability is the core of everything in Genan. It is in the very DNA of the company and its employees. To Genan, sustainability means aiming for a greener planet by doing our best in all of our processes from the intake of end-of-life tyres to the production of clean, high-quality products.

Now, these values are put into practice in the EU taxonomy. Genan is in full alignment with the newly approved standards and thus classified as a sustainable investment in terms of climate change mitigation.

It is vital to direct investments towards sustainable projects and activities to meet the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030 and reach the objectives of the European Green Deal. To do so, a common language and a clear definition of what is ‘sustainable’ is a must – an “EU taxonomy”.

The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable, economic activities, and it entails several advantages; it plays an important role helping the EU scale up sustainable investment and implement the European Green Deal; it provides companies, investors and policymakers with definitions for which economic activities can be considered environmentally sustainable; and it protects investors from greenwashing.

Genan is proud to be considered a sustainable investment according to the EU taxonomy.

Read more about the EU taxonomy here.
Read the Commission Delegated Regulation here.

When does waste stop being waste?

Published January 2022 by Poul Steen Rasmussen, Group CEO
Yesterday’s paper, an empty plastic container, a torn jumper and a worn-out tyre – completely different things which have one thing in common: they are all categorised as waste. At the same time, however, they are important, recyclable resources, which our planet cannot afford missing out on in the battle towards climate change mitigation and a sustainable future. When it comes to recycling, we cannot sit back and save the aces; sooner or later, the game is over.

Currently, it is not clearly defined when waste becomes a raw material from recycling.

In other words: When will processed rubber from worn-out tyres, separated from textile and steel in an advanced industrial process, achieve end-of-waste status (EoW)?  When is it no longer waste?

Read the blog post here.

 

Fruitful collaboration is a two-way street

What is a good, solid and fruitful collaboration between two companies?

Read this case story to learn what the business relationship with Genan means to our British customer Footfall.

Fruitful collaboration is a two-way street

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