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Article published 23/02/2023

The sustainability drive through Scotland’s summer of golf has been recognised by the prestigious FEVO Sport Industry Awards. We worked with the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf who coordinated this drive.

This multi-stakeholder project, which encompassed six professional events in Scotland last year, has been shortlisted for the Environmental Sustainably Award. This reflects the environmental and social impacts delivered across the Home of Golf.

Logo for sport awards


What is the FEVO Sport Industry Award?

The FEVO Sport Industry Awards celebrates the immense work done around the sector. This could be delivering world-leading events or using sport as a platform to drive social change. Recognition is given to those campaigns that have an ingenious creative spark which reverberates throughout the industry and beyond.

The Environmental Sustainably Award in association with CSM Live acknowledges a programme or campaign focused on driving sustainable practices to deliver environmental benefits through sport.

Our Sustainable Golf project has been shortlisted alongside Formula E, Sail GP, Sky Sports, Southampton Football Club and Manchester City Football Club. The award ceremony will take place in April.

Scotland was the centrepiece of sustainable golf in 2022 with two Majors in The 150th Open and AIG Women’s Open. These took place alongside the Genesis Scottish Open, Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, Senior Open presented by Rolex and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The project enabled event organisers across The R&A, European Tour Group, PGA Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, IMG, Richemont Events and Scottish Golf, to deliver a consistent approach. It united efforts across venues, staging, legacies and communications, with activities integrating climate action, circular economy, social value, and promotion of nature in their events.

Tournament owners, promoters, venues, and media all embraced sustainability. It showed how Scotland, the Home of Golf, is driving sustainable golf, set against the backdrop of Scotland’s stunning natural landscapes and ecosystems.

We all recognise the importance of protecting our magnificent courses and landscapes, which are so vital to Scotland’s brand and make Scotland so unique as a destination.

Our work with GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf in 2022 was about bringing golf and sustainability together and using our golf events portfolio as a platform to address some of the challenges society and communities face, of advancing lower carbon, sustainable towns, cities and communities. It is a showcase towards responsible tourism and the Glasgow Declaration from COP26. To be shortlisted by the FEVO Sports Industry Awards for this work, in such an important category and against some world-class events and organisations, is a huge honour for our organisation.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, VisitScotland

This truly collaborative effort across golf highlighted how, with partners and stakeholders pulling together, significant progress and net positive impacts can be made towards key sustainability priorities.

​​​​​​​Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award for the Sport industry alongside such leaders in the sustainability movement from other sports is a tremendous honour for all involved. It is testament to collective drive and ambition from so many across golf to protect and promote nature, reduce carbon emissions; contribute to the circular economy and increase the range of social value and multipliers generated.

Jonathan Smith, Founder and Executive Director of GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf

Highlights from Scotland's summer of golf

  • All venues met the GEO Certified® standards for sustainable golf. This recognises tangible action to foster nature, conserve resources, strengthen communities and take climate action
  • 801 hectares of conserved habitats protected across the venues, all of which provide important wildlife corridors lying on or adjacent to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and nature reserves
  • Average of 214 species found at each venue through ecological studies
  • Water refill points saved 250,000 plastic bottles going to waste
  • Single use plastic catering items were eliminated
  • Sustainable Procurement Code reached well over 200 different suppliers and contractors
  • 70% food sourced from within 150 miles of each venue
  • £250,000 donated to good causes including nature restoration and carbon reduction
  • 500,000 individual travel, food and plastic reduction actions undertaken by fans
  • More than 85,000 children provided free access to events
  • Greater than 90% reduction on carbon emissions from temporary generators by using sustainable biofuel (HVO).

Accelerating sustainability through golf

We are the first national tourism body globally to become a strategic partner with GEO Foundation to connect with and support the advancement of their non-profit mission.

This will help accelerate sustainability in and through golf. The partnership builds on our responsible tourism goals, including supporting the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.

In particular, the partnership ensures the establishment of sustainability activities at leading golf tournaments along with a focus on boosting direct support for Scottish golf clubs.

Club engagement will be delivered in collaboration with Scottish Golf, helping involve more Scottish clubs in actions that can help strengthen efficiency, sustainability, and popularity of clubs across the country.

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