ALL TEN OPEN VENUES ACHIEVE GOLD STANDARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY
22 April 2016, St
Andrews, Scotland: All ten host venues for The
Open have achieved golf's coveted global eco-label, GEO
Certified®. The certification recognises clubs which
have shown a strong commitment to environmental stewardship,
resource efficiency and community value.
The certification is administered and assured by the
Golf Environment Organization (GEO), the not-for-profit group
dedicated to sustainability in the golf industry. The independently
verified and publicly reported standard is internationally
recognised as a credible and significant distinction.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said,
"The Open is played over many of Great Britain and Ireland's most
cherished links courses. We are delighted that all ten host venues
have demonstrated a long-term commitment to sustainability best
practices by achieving GEO Certified® status. This is
very much in line with The R&A's approach to sustainability and
is certainly a key priority for us in the years to come."
Royal Troon, host venue for The 145TH Open
from 10-17 July, was the fourth host venue to earn the
certification, meeting criteria across the categories of nature,
water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community, while
working closely with ecology experts to enhance the habitat for a
wide range of wildlife.
This commitment to sustainability will be underpinned
at the ninth staging of the Championship at Royal Troon through The
Open's GreenLinks programme, which addresses the broader
sustainability considerations around staging a major sporting
event. It includes sustainable and ethical procurement policies for
food and beverage, waste reduction initiatives, energy efficiency
measures and a commitment to conserving the natural links
landscapes which play host to the Championship.
The other Scottish host venues to achieve GEO
Certified® status are St Andrews Links, which was the
first Open venue to earn the designation and was re-certified in
2015 before staging The 144TH Open on the Old Course,
Carnoustie, host of The 147TH Open in 2018, Muirfield,
and Turnberry. In England, Royal Birkdale, host of The Open in
2017, Royal Liverpool, Royal St George's and Royal Lytham & St
Annes have all earned the certification.
The most recent venue to achieve the certification is
Royal Portrush, which will host The 148TH Open in 2019.
The Northern Irish links will welcome golf's oldest and most
international major championship for the first time since 1951.
Course changes are being made in preparation for The Open with a
focus on conservation of the natural dune habitat.
"This is a fantastic achievement and an impressive
show of leadership from the ten Open venues and The R&A," said
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO. "As well as providing
stable and safe habitats for some of the UK's rarest wildlife, and
demonstrating some of the most sustainable turfgrass management in
the world, a great deal of innovation is taking place on these Open
venues. Solar power, rainwater harvesting, electric and hybrid
machinery and partnering with local environmental and community
groups are just some of those. This announcement is symbolic of
growing momentum in the advancement of sustainability through golf
and a very fitting way for the industry to celebrate Earth
GEO provides tools, guidance and support through the
OnCourse® programme which is available free to clubs
worldwide. OnCourse® and GEO Certified® raise
understanding and facilitate tangible progress in sustainability
across the industry, as well as providing credible recognition.
Notes to Editors:
The Open is golf's oldest championship. Played since
1860 on links golf courses, it is the sport's most international
major championship with qualifying events on every continent. For
one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is
the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of
Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual
economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while
the Championship's commercial success supports the development of
the sport, worldwide.
About GEO and GEO Certified®
GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit
organization, dedicated to helping the global golf community
establish leadership in environmental enhancement, resource
efficiency and community integration and value.
GEO Certified® is golf's internationally accredited
and widely supported eco-label and is a member of ISEAL Alliance,
the global assurance body for standards in sustainability.
OnCourse® is a free web-based tool available to golf
facilities worldwide, guiding them around the priorities and
resources for sustainability in golf, helping them easily and
credibly share their efforts and value, and leading to GEO
information, please visit www.golfenvironment.org
verification reports for all ten host venues for The Open can be
found at www.golfenvironment.org
The R&A -
+44 (0) 1334 460000