Organisers of the Scottish Open have launched a three year action plan to reduce the tournament’s environmental footprint.
Spearheaded jointly by the European Tour, host club Loch Lomond, sponsor Barclays and the Golf Environment Organisation, the plan also seeks to raise awareness and promote environmental action. European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said: “The European Tour is aiming to connect the drive of our corporate partners with the aspirations of government and the expectations of local communities. Our unique position enables us to consistently showcase great economic, social and environmental outcomes – as highlighted this week through our joint efforts with Barclays, the National Park Authority and Loch Lomond Golf Club.”
This work has received the endorsement of Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie. “The players just love the Scottish Open,” he said. “Loch Lomond provides a superb setting for championship golf. To know that the venue and the organisers are taking steps to protect and enhance landscape, biodiversity and water quality enriches the event further still. Our aim should be for golf events to deliver outstanding entertainment with the minimum environmental impact, and to help promote wider awareness and action in the regions where they are staged.”
At the heart of the programme lies Loch Lomond’s Environmental Management Programme. Honed through a decade of planning and action, the club is doing everything within its power to protect and enhance the site’s unique natural and cultural heritage. Course and estate manager David Cole explained: “Working at Loch Lomond is about much more than just maintaining turf. We have to know our history, hydrology, forestry and ecology. We have been gradually extending our programme into waste and energy, acting on the recommendations of government-supported audits.”
Golf Environment Organisation CEO Jonathan Smith said: “Environmental issues are a common denominator. Each part of the sector has an important role to play and bodies like the European Tour and the R&A are taking a proactive lead. Social and environmental responsibility adds value to golf events by improving spectator experience, creating new communications opportunities, building new partnerships, and in finding more efficient ways to do things.”