PGA golf tournament wins major sustainability trophy

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Golf continues to make advancements towards sustainability.

Earlier this year, the Professional Golf Association (PGA) released its first report into the game’s social and environmental impact. The aim being to make golf sustainable for the 21st century.

And now, one of the first events on the US PGA Tour has been awarded with a major sustainability distinction.

The Heritage Classic course, also known as the RBC Heritage, is based on the South Carolina coast at Hilton Head Island. It’s a popular spot for golf and there are a variety of other courses in the area, three of which have also received a level of certified for sustainability by the GEO Foundation.

The awarding body is an international non-profit organisation aimed at advancing sustainability throughout the game.

For a tournament to win its new honour requires meeting strict criteria and embedding environmental initiatives aimed at transforming the way a course operates.

The Heritage has met the challenge with a whole suite of changes, including powering the entire whole tournament through renewable energy and deploying an extensive carbon tracking system. This has led to 100 percent of its carbon footprint being offset.

An extensive waste management system was used at the event as well, leading to 22 tons of waste being recycled, and any unused food donated to local causes.

These systems have also been used to ensure the course is sustainable year-round, and not just during the few days when the PGA Tour is in town.

RBC Heritage Vice President of Operations, Morgan Hyde said the accolade was a testament “to all the great things that the tournament has stood for to date, and all that we want it to in the future.” 

“We will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of sustainability in our bid to deliver the most value we can in the local area, and be a leader for sustainability in and through golf globally,” he added.

Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of GEO Foundation commented:  “Here is another excellent example of a sports event with a large following and global profile stepping into sustainability – in relatively quick time and with impressive results…It’s wonderful to see what a committed group of people can achieve in and through golf to help tackle critical issues of climate change, resource efficiency and ecosystem function.”

Climate Action is hosting the 3rd Sustainable Innovation in Sport Forum on 2-3 May at the Amsterdam ArenA in the Netherlands. To find out more, visit the Sustainable Innovation in Sport website.

Photo Credit: RBC Heritage

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