Ryder Cup going green


Ryder Cup going green
Sean Dudley

Organisers of the forthcoming Ryder Cup matches, which take place at Celtic Manor in Wales from 1-3 October, say they are working hard to ensure the event is as environmentally friendly as possible. 

In a bid to reduce car use, spectators are being encouraged to travel by train and car-share wherever possible. Additional trains will shuttle spectators between London Paddington and Newport, supported by the provision of shuttle buses from Newport railway station and the park and ride facilities into the venue. With bus drivers operating to a no-idling policy, and only running buses at full capacity, total vehicle journeys and total engine running time will be minimised. In a significant measure to reduce food miles, caterers have selected local producers and suppliers, and have combined their deliveries – reducing all food related transport by around 30 per cent.

An official carbon offsetting mechanism is being promoted to all ticket holders, contractors and suppliers. Both Ryder Cup teams have already committed to offset emissions arising from their travel to and from South Wales.

The waste management programme is one of the most comprehensive seen at any golf event. With a procurement and materials policy directing all suppliers to ‘de-package’ and reduce the amount of non-essential materials brought onto site, waste contractors will be able to ensure that over 90 per cent of all materials arriving at the site will be reused and recycled – further supporting green jobs in the local economy. Spectators are being encouraged to play their part through clearly signposted waste separation points in the tented village and at car parks.

All food and beverage packaging will be made from recycled and recyclable material. The disposal of tens of thousands of plastic cups is to be eliminated by the introduction of a commemorative Ryder Eco Cup, which is manufactured from recycled and recyclable material. Spectators are being encouraged to buy it once, use it often and take it home. The Taste of Wales menu places an emphasis on local and organic produce, which is complimented with the use of Fairtrade products.

Significant steps have also been made to de-carbonise the energy supply to the event, including Celtic Manor’s full transition to a wind, water and solar derived ‘green tariff’. Alongside this, the tented village will be powered entirely by recycled vegetable oil.

The venue’s installation of a voltage optimiser unit has delivered an immediate saving of around 12 per cent in the 2010 clubhouse, supplemented by the installation of over 6,000 low energy light fitments.

Ryder Cup Europe director Richard Hills said: “These are issue that have been on our radar for some time, and while our staging team has taken action at previous events, this is the first time it has come together in such a significant package of activities. We’d like to thank all the sponsors and suppliers who have contributed, and to the Golf Environment Organization for coordinating the initiative.”

Jane Davison, Welsh Assembly minister for environment, sustainability and housing said: “The 2010 Ryder Cup will spotlight many aspects of the Welsh landscape and culture in front of a global audience. We are delighted that the event will also contribute to our world leading policies on sustainable development, as set out in our One Wales, One Planet strategy. We are proud that one of the legacies of the event will be heightened awareness and action in sustainable sport and sustainable events around the world in the future.”

Jonathan Smith, CEO of the Golf Environment Organization, added: “Greening the 2010 Ryder Cup has been a rewarding project – not just for the meaningful resource reductions that have been secured for this year’s event, but also as a flagship for the many sustainability initiatives that are taking place in the golf sector. GEO is looking forward to continuing our partnerships with Ryder Cup Europe and the European Tour in order to roll out this model across other golf events internationally.”