The 49th annual tournament in 2017 collected a new accolade, becoming one of only a few front-running events to achieve golf’s new mark of sustainability, GEO Certified® Tournament.
Over the last few years, the event team has worked hard to follow-through on a commitment to lighten the overall environmental footprint of the tournament, while taking steps to protect and foster nature, conserve resources and engage and support the local community.
The certification body and independent verifiers recognized the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing for: waste management and diversion from landfill; staff and spectator education and engagement; carbon reduction through renewable energy and quality of carbon offsets; water conservation; and charitable and community outreach activities.
Other notable highlights include:
- Extensive carbon tracking and offset, covering tournament operations, player and spectators – which resulted in 100% of the operational footprint offset.
- Renewably generated electricity powered 100% of the tournament – saving enough fossil fuels to power thirteen South Carolina homes for an entire year.
- Extensive waste-management communications with 100 signed bins plus Zero Waste stations staffed to raise spectator awareness and action.
- Donation of unused food went to support local causes.
- More than $38 million donated to local charities over 30 years.
- Year-round sustainability, including use of recycled and treated effluent water for all irrigation.
The achievements of the tournament compliment other sustainable golf initiatives across the Hilton Head Island Destination, including: the ‘Experience Green’ through leadership seminar series, also supported by RBC; the GEO Certification of the Sea Pines Resort, with all other golf facilities in the area either fully certified or OnCourse® and working toward for certification; Harbour Town Golf Links designation as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary; and receipt of the IAGTO Sustainable Golf Destinations award for international sustainability leadership in golf tourism.