On match nights at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, the pitch is lit using biodiesel made from locally collected and processed cooking oil.
With an estimated 1 liter of cooking oil used per person per year, 400,000 liters of biodiesel could be produced across the whole of Saint-Étienne.
The famous Le Chaudron stadium, cradle of the mythical exploits of the green robed AS Saint-Etienne in 1976, not only vibrates to the rhythm of its chanting supporters. The Geoffroy Guichard stadium also has an ecological string to its bow. As part of the renovations completed prior to hosting the European Football Championship 2016, the urban area of Saint-Etienne decided to light the arena on match nights using biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil!
Up to 100,000 liters of cooking oil recycled
To put the idea into practice, the agglomeration was supported by a local organization that helps people back into work: Ondaine Agro. Already well experienced in recycling waste bread into animal feed, this year the association also recycled 20,000 liters of used cooking oil collected from catering establishments. The stated objective: reach 100,000 liters per year by extending the collection to individuals, even the most remote, thanks to a mobile waste unit. Once collected, the frying oil becomes biodiesel simply by passing through a machine that uses a process called transesterification.
Less waste oil and less CO2 released
With this innovation, Saint-Etienne is raising awareness about recycling frying oil, which removes it from the wastewater system and limits transport before treatment. Recycling one liter of cooking oil means three kilos less greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.
A highly ecological football stadium
However, it’s not the club’s first attempt at being environmentally friendly. In 2007, its stand was covered with photovoltaic panels that provide an annual 206,000 kWh of renewable electricity - equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 60 homes. Equipped with a rainwater collection system for watering its pitches, a food waste collection system for composting and five electric vehicles used in the surveillance of the stadium, Le Chaudron is continuing to fly the green flag.