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Waste Management Phoenix Open Receives Highest International Award for Sustainability in Golf

By Waste Management Media Room

2018.11.14-WM Phoenix Open-IMAGE

2018 Tournament Retains “GEO Certified®” Accolade

The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open recently received the highest international award for sustainability in golf for its efforts to balance environmental impacts, conserve natural resources and benefit the local community as Scotland-based GEO Foundation (GEO) again named the event as a “GEO Certified® Tournament.”

To become “GEO Certified®” the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the largest attended tournament on the PGA TOUR, completed a custom-built program for golf tournaments, that was both streamlined and robust, including: document and evidence submission, a third-party verification carried out by the Council for Responsible Sport (the official verification body for GEO Certified Tournaments in North America), a thorough review by GEO, and agreement to a range of Continual Improvement Points.

In conjunction with the GEO announcement, Waste Management published the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open Sustainability Report with detailed metrics and program explanations.

Sustainability highlights from the 2018 tournament include:

  • 100 percent landfill diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse and waste-to-energy.
  • 75 million gallons of water restored to the Verde River through the Waste Management Phoenix Open Water Campaign with Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Change the Course.
  • Approximately 6,353 gallons of grey water captured for reuse from kitchens across the course and hospitality bars on the 16th
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, purchased 100 percent renewable electricity from Arizona Public Service, used the sun to solar-power smart energy compactors and some light fixtures around the course, fueled generators and some shuttle buses with biodiesel. In addition, most of Waste Management’s trucks used to haul materials from the tournament were fueled by compressed natural gas.
  • Offset 100 percent of the tournament’s carbon footprint, making the Waste Management Phoenix Open a carbon neutral event. The offset greenhouse gas emissions came from tournament operations, professional and amateur player travel, vendor travel and volunteer travel.
  • Zero Waste Stations constructed from repurposed containers engaged attendees, educating and encouraging involvement in sustainability.
  • A TPC Scottsdale Environmental Management Plan and commitment to become a GEO Certified® golf facility.
  • Protection of ecologically sensitive areas and minimized impact of temporary structures and heavy machinery through a TPC Scottsdale Site Protection Plan.
  • $12.2 million raised and awarded to local charities through The Thunderbirds and $100,000 donated to environmental organizations from Green Out Day.
  • Local youth engagement and free admission for local police, firefighters, active and retired military personnel.

Read the full article here.

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.

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