Helping set the environmental agenda by developing Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Synthetic Turf Surfaces.
Wind Turbine in green fields



Please find below, for download, the final Product Environmental Product Category Rules (PEFCR) for Synthetic Turf Sports and Landscape Surfaces as well as the Representative Product Studies for Landscape and Sports Applications.  

A milestone for the industry
EC confirms conclusion of the PEFCR project for synthetic turf  

19 April 2024

ESTC received confirmation from the European Commission that the development of the PEFCR for synthetic turf systems is now considered as concluded.   ESTC now has, as one of the first industries in Europe, the rules in place to calculate the environmental impact of synthetic turf systems, both for sports and for landscaping. 

Considering we started this project in 2019, it is great that we have finally been able to complete it. 

A big thank you to the Technical Secretariat members (TenCate, Tarkett, the Sport Group, Sports & Leisure Group, Juta, Re-Match and UEFA) and PRé Sustainability for their hard work over the past 4 years.

The development of the software tool, which ESTC commissioned to help companies calculate the environmental impact of their products following the PEF Category Rules, is nearly completed.  ESTC is currently working on the procedure to have PEF results validated in a consistent and cost-effective manner and on the cost of the software licensing scheme to be offered to interested parties.   Companies buying a software license will equally get a detailed written instruction & video recording on how to use the tool.  We also envisage to organise (a) webinar(s) where members can ask questions.  Please do not reach out to PRé directly – ESTC will handle the selling of the tool licenses and coordinate the information sessions with the membership. 

And finally, we have equally commissioned PRé to draft a short guide to PEF to help consumers understand what a PEF report is showing and how to interpret the results. 

More details on when all the above will become available will be shared with the membership soon.

Implementing the EU Green Deal

Increasingly consumers and markets are becoming more environmentally aware, and the desire to incorporate sustainability assessments into the selection process when buying a product is becoming ever more common. This is especially the case within the construction industry and also when public funding is involved. As facilities with synthetic turf surfaces often fall into both of these categories, this is an increasingly significant consideration for ESTC members.
Within the European Union, legislation to ensure Europe is climate neutral by 2050 and has made a 55% improvement by 2030 is leading member states to now reflect about these objectives in their national policies. To help achieve these goals the European Commission has published its Circular Economy Action Plan and their Green Deal strategy. These are designed and will increasingly require all industry sectors to adopt an eco-design and sustainable manufacturing philosophy.

PEF CR – a standardised industry approach towards sustainability

The PEFCR project has received funding from the LIFE programme of the European Union.
Today companies are starting to promote their green credentials, often by undertaking life cycle assessments of their products and their production. But with no standardised approach to how this can be done data is often incompatible meaning direct comparisons between product cannot be made and allowing those that wish to manipulate data to promote their green messaging.
The European Commission wish to bring clarity to the market and want to avoid a multiplication of labels/ environmental schemes being developed, some of which could restrict the sale of products throughout the single market. They have therefore adopted the life cycle assessments technique based on Product Environmental Footprints (PEF) as their preferred form. To ensure PEFs achieves the European Commission’s objectives they need to be undertaken in a standardised way by all companies operating in an industry sector; defining the way you should undertake a PEF study is achieved by setting Category Rules (CR). The synthetic turf industry is increasingly facing sustainable challenges that require collective action on a large scale to ensure its products are as environ- mentally compatible as possible. ESTC has recognized that developing a PEFCR for synthetic turf products is an opportunity for the industry to further demonstrate how it is responding to these challenges. Having been selected by the European Commission to develop a PEFCR within their Environ- mental Footprint Transition Phase Two Pilot Projects means the European synthetic turf industry is now ahead of future legislation, and most importantly working within the framework of the EU Transition Phase, we can set the rules for our industry instead of having them imposed by others in the future.

The Process

PEF Category Rules will be created for 2 sub-categories: Synthetic turf surfaces for…

Landscaping and recreational use

Sports use

For each sub-category the PEF will looked at the environmental impact of each stage of the product’s life, from production of raw materials through carpet production, shockpad production, infill production, etc, transportation to site, installation, maintenance and finally end of life disposal. Parameters such as waste generated during production, packaging, the merits (or not) of using recycled materials, CO2 emissions during manufacturing, transportation and maintenance, potential microplastic releases have all been considered.


Work commenced on developing the PEFCR in early 2020 and the project has been completed at the end of 2023.