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French Golf Audits its Biodiversity Impact Following Ryder Cup Project

By Matthew Campelli, Sport Sustainability Journal

With 250,000 spectators descending upon Paris at the end of the month for the Ryder Cup, organisers knew they had to protect fragile neighbouring habitats. The rest of French golf may look to do the same.

Danish golfer Thomas Bjorn is the European captain for this edition of the Ryder Cup.

Danish golfer Thomas Bjorn is the European captain for this edition of the Ryder Cup.

A BIODIVERSITY PROJECT DEVELOPED TO mitigate the environmental impact of this month’s Ryder Cup competition could be replicated across all 700 golf courses in France.

Around 250,000 fans are expected to descend on Le Golf National in Paris between 25 and 30 September for the Europe vs US competition, disrupting the wildlife in the surrounding area by occupying – and potentially damaging – their habitats during play.

To reduce the negative impacts, the course and the French Golf Federation asked the Natural History Museum in Paris to audit all the wildlife and biodiversity in the vicinity of the playing area, subsequently putting a database and methodology together to help them minimise the damage.

Although the museum doesn’t have the capacity to audit all French golf courses, the methodology being defined can be implemented by other competition venues with the support of local naturalist bodies. Golf courses in Chantilly and Vidauban have followed Le Golf National by starting their own biodiversity audit, and others are being encouraged to do the same as part of a larger project called the Biodiversity Programme in French Golf.

Considering that France has the seventh-highest number of golf courses in the world (around 700) – occupying around 30,000 hectares of land throughout the nation – the positive impact on the environment could be significant if other course get on board. Indeed, taking inventory of biodiversity was highlighted as best practice by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) research on sport and biodiversity.

Read the full article here.

Green Sports Day: Waste Management Phoenix Open

Waste Management Phoenix Open
The Zero Waste Event

The PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open is internationally recognized and as being one of the largest Zero Waste events in the world. Since 2013, all tournament waste – more than 6.4 million pounds – has either been recycled, composted, donated, reused or used to create energy.

Hoffman Teeing of 17

Vendors, sponsors and attendees are at the heart of all successful Zero Waste initiatives, and must show commitment before, during and after the tournament. The tournament host – The Thunderbirds – along with all tournament sponsors and vendors, use only recyclable, compostable or reusable materials.  Fans and players play an important role, correctly placing materials into either recycling or compost bins. All of this ensures the material is put to its next best use.

To reduce food waste, Waste Management works with tournament vendors to recover unused food and donate it to local non-profits. In 2018, 24,620 pounds of food was donated.

Compost and Recycle Bin

UL provides a transparent third-party verification of the tournament’s waste diversion and has done so since 2013. UL reviews the tournament’s procurement information and every weight ticket to understand where materials are initially delivered and where all waste streams are processed down the line.

Zero isn’t just associated with waste. The Waste Management Phoenix Open has reported its carbon footprint since 2010, and aims to mitigate its impact on climate change as a carbon neutral event. The tournament purchases 100% renewable energy from the local utility company, which powers all generators plugged into the grid, most of the golf cart fleet, and other power needs. The sun continues to be a great source of power for solar-powered and smart energy compactors and biodiesel is used in generators that aren’t plugged in. Reuse, recycling and composting avoids emissions associated with end-of-life and manufacturing products out of virgin materials. All greenhouse gas emissions from remaining tournament operations, professional and amateur player travel, vendor travel and volunteer travel are offset.

Solar Compactors

Looking beyond zero waste, the tournament recognizes that water is a huge issue to the desert southwest. The Waste Management Phoenix Open implements conservation measures to ensure water is used responsibly and limits pressures on the municipal water supply. Hand-washing stations use hand sanitizer instead of water, and Waste Management captures between 5,000 and 6,000 gallons of grey water each year. Since 2011, more than 37,800 gallons of water from cooking and cleaning have been reused in the portable toilets.

18 Water Feature

But is it enough? Working with Bonneville Environmental Foundation as a Change the Course sponsor, Waste Management and The Thunderbirds continue to support the restoration of Northern Arizona rivers and streams. This collaboration through the years, also supported by The Thunderbirds, M Culinary, Kohler and Coca-Cola, has restored 236 million gallons to the Verde River and other freshwater ecosystems in Arizona since 2015, including 75 million gallons of water in 2018. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a water positive event.

In 2018, the Waste Management Phoenix Open maintained Evergreen Inspire status with the Council for Responsible Sport and achieved its second Golf Environment Organization (GEO) certification. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the first PGA TOUR tournament to achieve both certifications and remains the largest event ever to achieve this level of recognition.

greenest show

“The Waste Management Phoenix Open continues to be the leader in producing responsible sporting events,” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director of the Council for Responsible Sport. “This event continues to prove what is possible when groups work together toward a common goal.”

Compost and Recycle Bins

The 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, to be held January 28th – February 3rd, is a platform for highlighting Waste Management’s sustainability initiatives. Whether attending the tournament in person or watching at home, Waste Management hopes to inspire fans to ‘think green’, learn more about wasting less, live an environmentally responsible life and to pass on what they’ve learned in their communities, homes and businesses.

PGA of America Embarks on Sustainability Drive

By Asian Golf Industry Federation


Benton Harbour, Michigan, United States: The PGA of America is working with Schupan Recycling’s SustainAbility division to create a recycling programme for the 79th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

The event will be held at Harbour Shores in Benton Harbour from May 22-27. The programme will focus on the recycling of front-of-house materials, such as water bottles and beer cans, cardboard from vendors, and food waste diversion in the catering kitchens, in order to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the event.

“Our relationship with Schupan Recycling is a testament to the PGA of America’s efforts to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Championship Director Ryan Ogle. “All materials collected will be recycled and composted locally in Michigan, which is important to us and our efforts to positively impact the Southwest Michigan community.”

Jessica Loding, Director of Events & Strategic Partnerships at Schupan SustainAbility, said: “We are looking forward to working with the PGA of America. This is a great opportunity to create a programme that improves the environment and teaches others about important sustainability practices.”

Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Schupan Recycling is one of the largest volume processors and brokers of used beverage containers in the United States. Their SustainAbility department specialises in creating solutions for events, venues and communities designed to minimise waste and environmental impact. They are dedicated and actively involved in supporting community sustainability endeavours, education and relief programmes.

An Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, the PGA of America recognises the critical need to tell the story of the industry’s sustainability successes and challenges.

Developed with sustainability consultancy Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the PGA recently released its first sustainability report titled The PGA and Its Members: Bringing Energy to the Game.

This was spurred in part through a partnership with Constellation, the PGA’s official energy provider and sustainability partner. The study is designed to attract future partnerships and talent that further the PGA and its mission, while showcasing best practices and case studies.

The PGA also recently joined the Green Sports Alliance, which leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities where people live and play.

Read the full article here.

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