Everyone’s currently talking about the PreZero Arena. But PreZero and TSG Hoffenheim are connected by more than just naming rights. PreZero and the German football Bundesliga club have agreed on an extensive collaboration.
The strategic partnership between PreZero and the TSG Hoffenheim is all characterized by the future strategy of the German football Bundesliga club “TSG is movement”. As part of this strategy, the TSG aims for ambitious sustainability goals that also cover the topics of environmental protection and waste avoidance.
Symbol for Sustainability and Efficient Use of Resources
The cooperation between us as recyclables manager and the German Bundesliga club goes thus far beyond providing financial support as stadium sponsor. We share the same goal of making the PreZero Arena a symbol of sustainability and resource-efficiency. We harmonize ecology and economics by applying the approach of tracking streams of recyclables, analyzing waste, and rethinking recycling. Joint projects underline this approach. Firstly, the grass cut on the TSG squares is collected on site, dried and then processed into the players' autograph cards in a paper factory. The production process uses significantly less water and chemicals, thus protecting the environment. Secondly, an innovative returnable cup system has been introduced with the main focus on ecology. The cups are not branded with players or historical club moments and should not give the fans any incentive to collect them. This way it is guaranteed that the cups are used in the PreZero Arena for the entirety of their life cycle, after which they are recycled by us into new products.
Ecology as a Future Strategy
The optimizations introduced by PreZero contribute to the “ecology” field of activity of Hoffenheim’s future strategy “TSG is movement”. This includes further central topics: Innovation, employees, and players, youth and fans as well as Africa. The Bundesliga club is pursuing the goal of harnessing the expertise it has gained from its sports activities off the pitch as well as combining its own development with social benefits.
Returnable cup system in the PreZero Arena
The transition to a returnable cup system is a milestone towards a sustainable PreZero Arena. If all the seats are sold out for the Arena per match a total of approximately 22,000 cups (0.5 l), 2,500 coffee cups and 5,000 mulled wine cups at the bar are required. The previously used single use 0.5 l cups are made of polylactides (PLA), for which there are no appropriate options for composting or recycling in Germany.
The new cups in the 0.3 l and 0.5 l sizes are made of durable polyethylene (PE). They can be rinsed out up to 400 times. With 17 home matches per season so far a total of approximately half a million cups have ended up in the bin. These will now be saved. The new returnable cups will be rinsed out in the Schwarz-Restaurant nearby at the Neckarsulmer Stiftsberg and thereby cover a one-way route of approximately 30 kilometers. Furthermore, we have not added a season motif to the cups so that the beakers don’t have to be changed again after a season.
Waste management in the PreZero Arena
The vision of PreZero is recyclable material management where close to 100 per cent of the waste is recycled because we see the waste as valuable raw materials. For this purpose, we analyze waste flows and find sustainable solutions that range from garbage separation systems to unconventional recycling approaches. By recycling, our customers don’t just save on disposal costs but also protect resources and contribute to environmental protection. After a thorough review, we determined that at least 60 percent of the four tons of waste generated on average at a home game could have been recycled.
Together we want to make the PreZero Arena into a future-oriented location for sustainability and resource efficiency. As part of this, we are focusing on the goal of not wasting any resources in the Arena and implementing a Zero Waste stadium.
First Bundesliga match with 100% climate tickets
“New thinking for a #cleanmatch” - this was the tagline for the home game at TSG Hoffenheim against SC Paderborn in the football Bundesliga on November 1, 2019. Just before the game, in a video post along with TSG Hoffenheim on their social media channels, we called on their fans to support a fundraising campaign. For every “Like” PreZero donated an upgrade to new “climate ticket” and completed up the campaign at halftime. In this way, the TSG home match became the first Bundesliga match with 100% climate tickets.
Even the children running in entered the pitch with handmade posters about the environment and recycling to make the spectators in the stadium aware of the situation. The aim was to make a statement about sustainability together with TSG Hoffenheim and to encourage fans to join in.
Grass products – new products made from grass!
As the official sustainability partner for TSG Hoffenheim, PreZero is living up to its corporate responsibilities and wants to lead the fans into a sustainable future. Therefore, we are continuously looking for innovative solutions to find a sustainable way of dealing with recyclable materials. The main aim here is always to return every waste product back into the raw material cycle.
Approximately two tonnes of grass clippings waste per month are the result of maintaining the pitch at the PreZero Arena. Instead of disposing of these clippings, PreZero has found a use for the grass. After the grass has been dried on site the blades are processed to make grass paper. Sustainable autograph cards are then made from the grass paper for TSG Hoffenheim. The grass clippings from the Arena are also used to produce trendy mobile phone cases and make them available for fans in the fan shop.