Sustainability benefits to flow from Gleneagles Ryder Cup


Sustainability benefits to flow from Gleneagles Ryder Cup
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Four sustainability projects in Perthshire are to benefit from nearly £250,000 of funding from the Scottish Government as part the green legacy of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

The projects extend the reach of the Ryder Cup ‘Green Drive’, which focuses on integrating sustainability across all aspects of the event’s planning and staging.

The four sustainability projects are:

  • Zero Waste Fortnight – an initiative run by Perth and Kinross Council and Zero Waste Scotland to support communities in Perthshire to achieve zero waste to landfill

  • Sustainable Golf – led by the Scottish Golf Union, providing practical advice and small grants support for environmental and community projects in golf clubs in Perthshire

  • John Muir Trust – engaging people from all walks of life in the conservation of wild places and peatlands

  • Big Tree Country – conserving Perthshire’s unique ‘big tree’ landscape.

Launching the initiative at Auchterarder Golf Club, Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Hosting the Ryder Cup brings many benefits to Scotland that will last longer than the world class sporting action we will see next September. These benefits include business opportunities for Scottish firms winning event contracts, as well as improvements to local infrastructure, such as the work being done at Gleneagles Station.

“Sporting events around the world are embracing sustainability and the Ryder Cup provides Scotland an opportunity, when the eyes of the world will be watching, to emphasise the benefits we all derive from healthy and diverse natural landscapes.”

Jonathan Smith, chief executive of the Golf Environment Organization, which advises Ryder Cup Europe on sustainability, said: “The Ryder Cup Green Drive rightly focuses on making the event itself as sustainable as possible. While Gleneagles has already finalised a new sustainability action plan incorporating site protection and restoration plans, this was an opportunity to extend the legacy of the event beyond the boundaries of Gleneagles itself.”

SGU boss Hamish Grey added: “The SGU sees sustainability as a way to strengthen golf – helping clubs save money; enhance courses and further boost their positions in the community. As an extension of our existing efforts, including a long-standing advisory service to clubs across the country, this focussed initiative in Perthshire will help us unlock more opportunities more quickly and provide a tried and tested model for other regions.”