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Article published 14/07/2023

Accelerating sustainability and climate action for golf

The Genesis Scottish Open provided the backdrop this week for a special gathering of experts and stakeholders exploring opportunities to accelerate sustainability and climate action at golf tournaments and wider events.  

Hosted jointly by the DP World Tour, GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, and ourselves, the forum discussed what golf tournaments and events need to do to deliver greater responsibility and value - economically, socially and environmentally.

Held at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian, the Genesis Scottish Open, a Rolex Series event, is co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour and at the forefront of the European Tour Group's Green Drive initiative.

Opening presentations featured Jonathan Smith and Kelli Jerome, Executive Directors of GEO Foundation; Professor Liz Grant, of the Edinburgh University Human and Planetary Health Academy; Andrew Lynch, Head of Sustainability at DP World Tour; Fraser Thornton and Andrew Baptie of Scottish Golf.

The discussion shone a spotlight on how events can continue in their journeys to fulfil their potential as all-round "forces for good" in local communities and landscapes, and in terms of wider societal awareness and behaviour change.

Specific focus areas were carbon and waste reduction; the links between communities, nature and social and environmental justice; and how environmental quality and human health are connected.

Work in progress

Solutions and examples of work in progress were also highlighted, with a range of activities taking place during the Genesis Scottish Open this week as part of the European Tour Group’s Green Drive initiative, which includes:

  • first professional tournament providing mains water for players and fans with reusable bottles on every hole, saving 50,000 plastic bottles
  • on-course catering outlets use only wooden cutlery, paper straws,100% biodegradable food trays and 100% compostable hot drink cups
  • all generators on-site are run on HVO Bio-fuel, reducing emissions by up to 90% compared to diesel
  • over 70% of food locally sourced
  • 72 fully electric cars in the courtesy car fleet
  • the tournament’s unavoidable core carbon emissions, including tournament operations, event transportation, freight and hauling, player and fan travel, are offset through the Golf’s Climate Program with The Gold Standard
  • drive the green initiative and for each professional who drives the 15th green, DP World Tour will plant 100 trees in association with One Tree Planted at Loch Oscaig Woodland in the Northwest Highlands
  • the event raises over £200,000 for local charities
  • special beach clean and education event by Ocean Tee with Marine Conservation Society and Scottish Seabird Centre
Read the full release on the Sustainable.Golf website

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