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7 June 2022

SIS Pitches and their long-standing partner, Loughborough University, have collaborated to bring a fully sustainable pitch to the prestigious sports university campus – the first of its kind in the sector.

The mission of this project was to build a carbon neutral pitch. The latest, highly sustainable materials were utilised, as well as the close monitoring of carbon emissions throughout all production and construction activity.

Works involved the refurbishment of the existing 3G MUGA (multi-use games area) facility on campus. The existing shock pad system, turf and infill, was uplifted and recycled. A new SISTurf Xtreme 45mm synthetic turf system and a recycled prefabricated shock pad was installed. Most significantly, a 100% organic high-performance infill was introduced, to complete the innovative build.

The organic infill is made from a species of pine that is harvested and replanted in continuous cycles. The specially engineered wood particles are extensively tested and undergo a 11-step conditioning process to remove any splinters or dust. Additionally, this infill can be used for the entire life duration of the pitch. Furthermore, the synthetic turf installed was designed and manufactured at the SIS Pitches factory based in the UK and the recycled shock pad was locally sourced which allowed SIS Pitches to significantly reduce transport impacts.

To further aid both SIS Pitches and Loughborough’s pledge to sustainability, once the infill material has reached the end of its useful life, it can return to earth as a soil amendment for natural turf fields, lawns, gardens, golf fairways, or as a landscape mulch.

SIS Pitches, who have recently acquired B Corp certification, will collate feedback from users of the facility to understand how the turf performs day-to-day. This will allow SIS Pitches to continue to test the boundaries of the industry and assist their journey to Net Zero in 2026.

“By working together with SIS Pitches we’re helping inform the sector in terms of how a fully sustainable pitch operates and functions in a multi-use setting. The new install also aligns with the wider University strategy on sustainability and we’re happy to be making positive steps in this space. We’re all looking forward to the feedback from students who will be using the pitch over the coming months.”

Mark Davies, Sports Capital Strategy and Maintenance Manager, Loughborough Sport

“Sustainability and the environment are at the centre of everything we do. As a company we are committed to changing how sports surfaces are constructed, installed and maintained and we continue to invest in new technologies to help us reach this goal. We are excited to see how the new system at Loughborough performs and believe this is a glimpse into what the future holds for synthetic sports fields.”

Luke Edwards, Technical Director, SIS Pitches