Two Big Steps for Sustainability in Golf

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The Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Association (FEGGA) has developed a new strategy for sustainable golf course management and San Francisco’s Olympic Club has become the first club in North America to release a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.

FEGGA’s 24 European national greenkeeping organisations will promote and endorse the association’s plan, which ’embraces golf’s potential to produce multiple benefits for nature and man’.

The plan outlines a three-dimensional sustainability strategy for the industry.

It focuses on achieving positive results in resource consumption, biodiversity, waste, pollution and extent of managed turf.

Other areas include research and education, and improving transparency and developing community outreach.

Olafur Thor Agustsson, Chairman of FEGGA, said: “This is the first time that the daily practitioners of golf’s grassroots movement agree on a strategy for such an important aspect of our industry’s future”.

FEGGA has released a document showing how progress will be monitored and how awareness of the strategy will be raised.

Steve Isaac, Director of Sustainability at R&A, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see the greenkeeping profession in Europe, through FEGGA, promoting sustainability for golf course management…The R&A has led this cause, but only the implementation of accepted best practice by the professionals who care for our golf courses, and transparent reporting through systems such as OnCourse, will convince everyone that the sport can bring economic, environmental and social benefits.”

In addition, the R&A will host two Sustainability in Golf seminars in Japan and Korea, exploring sustainable practice to encourage responsible and practical golf facility development, renovation and course management and a wide range of issues including the social and environmental opportunities and threats facing the development and management of golf facilities.

Elsewhere in the golf community, San Francisco’s Olympic Club has become the first club in North America to release a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, detailing transparency in operations related to the environment, community, and economy as well as showing the aesthetics, performance, and playability of a top 100 course.

Read the full article here.

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French Sporting Organisations Sign Landmark Charter

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The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Bid Committee has joined 20 of the largest sporting events in France in a shared commitment to deliver environmentally responsible and sustainable sporting events with the signing of a national Charter.

The Charter was developed by the French Ministry of Sport in partnership with World Wildlife Fund France (WWF), a strategic partner of the Paris 2024 campaign.

It seeks to support the sustainable organisation of major sporting events in France, setting out 15 binding principles that organising committees must adhere to when planning, preparing and staging their events.

Objectives range from ensuring food is ethically sourced, to effective waste management and recycling, efficient water and energy consumption, a sustainable sourcing policy, maximising clean public transport and embracing eco-friendly innovation.

As part of these binding principles, they commit to reaching 50 per cent of responsible energy and they will have three years to implement these changes.

Thierry Braillard, Secretary of State for Sports, said: “Sport, through the values ​​it promotes, is an important component in the fight against climate change and should be utilised as a means to take concrete action to protect our environment. The success of this challenge requires the mobilisation of all civil society, local authorities and organisations.”

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Waste Management Phoenix Open Named “Inspire” Event by Council for Responsible Sport

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The Council for Responsible Sport, an Oregon-based non-profit promoting sustainability in sports, has named the Waste Management Phoenix Open as an Inspire event following four-consecutive zero waste tournaments. Inspire event status is given after achieving multiple certifications to recognize the legacy that sporting events committed to sustainability and thoughtful resource management provide to their audiences and communities.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the first PGA TOUR tournament and the largest sporting event in the world to achieve Inspire status. Only two other events have achieved Inspire status, including the Eversource Hartford Marathon in Connecticut and Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Both events gained Inspire status in 2016.

“The Waste Management Phoenix Open has demonstrated true leadership in producing responsible sporting events and in the process, is inspiring other events to improve their social and environmental performance,” said Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport.

Inspire events provide important sustainability metrics and are expected to share their story with fellow event organizers. Inspire event organizers are also asked to mentor other Council-affiliated events on aspects of their responsible sport program. This year, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is providing mentorship to the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) to pilot a new sustainable golf tournament certification, GEO Certified, which builds on the Council for Responsible Sport’s framework. Through this project, the Waste Management Phoenix Open strives to support other golf tournaments in their pursuit of sustainable best practices and inspire other golf tournaments around the world to become GEO Certified. Inspire events have earned the right to be recognized industry-wide as leaders in responsible sport through their commitment to continuous improvement and transparency and are ready to share what they have learned as champions for a healthier world.

Read the full press release here.

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