SCOTTSDALE, Arizona. (Nov, 28, 2017) – The 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open achieved another first in golf sustainability, becoming the first tournament in the world to attain “GEO Certified® Tournament” status from Scotland-based GEO Foundation (GEO).
To become a “GEO Certified® Tournament” the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the largest attended tournament on the PGA Tour, followed principles set out in the newly released “Voluntary Sustainable Golf Tournament Standard” and achieved outstanding results in six categories: Planning, Site Protection, Procurement, Resource Management, Access and Equity, and Community Legacy. Sustainability highlights from the tournament include:
- 100% landfill diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse and waste-to-energy.
- 63.3 million gallons of water restored to the Colorado River Basin and Verde River through the Waste Management Phoenix Open Water Campaign with Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
- 720 MtCO2e of carbon offsets with a strong socio-economic focus purchased, to cover more than double the emissions from tournament operations, player travel and volunteer travel.
- Zero Waste Stations used to engage attendees, educating and encouraging involvement in sustainability.
- An annual Waste Management Phoenix Open Sustainability Report with detailed metrics and program explanations.
- A venue Environmental Management Plan and commitment to become a fully GEO Certified® golf facility.
- Protection of ecologically sensitive areas and minimized impact of temporary structures and heavy machinery through a Site Protection Plan.
- Over $10.1 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.
The accolade is the culmination of many years of commitment, planning and delivery on the part of Waste Management, the tournament host The Thunderbirds and other tournament sponsors, stakeholders, and vendors to ensure a comprehensive sustainability effort covering all aspects of the tournament. Sustainability efforts of the tournament have been validated through in-depth third-party verification, including the Council for Responsible Sport, UL and GEO.