GEO Foundation forms partnerships ahead of climate action event

  • GEO
    Courtesy of GEO Foundation

    GEO Foundation has partnered with European Golf Design, which is aiming to become a carbon-neutral design company (pictured is Kittitian Hill in St Kitts, a design by EGD and Ian Woosnam)

  • GEO
    Courtesy of GEO Foundation

    GreenClub, which has also partnered with GEO, has worked with London Golf Club (pictured) to realise its sustainable goals

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Non-profit organisation GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf has formed various partnerships within the golf industry as it prepares to host an event on 11 November that will highlight the role golf can play in climate action and explore pathways to net zero emissions.

‘Driving for Net Zero’ has been organised by GEO Foundation and will be streamed virtually from Scotland’s Climate Ambition Zone in Glasgow, bringing together leading experts from United Nations agencies and other climate action bodies with representatives and examples from across golf. The event coincides with the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), also held in Glasgow, which runs from 31 October to 12 November.

 “We are excited to be able to present this event live and coinciding with COP26, as global attention is on the critical topic of climate action,” said Jonathan Smith, executive director of GEO Foundation. “The programme brings expertise and diverse perspectives from around the world, across golf, sport and beyond. The event will emphasise why we need to act, explore what we can effectively do, highlight examples of leadership underway, and introduce new support and solutions developed to accelerate the movement.”

The event is being supported by the Scottish Government and is part of a wider drive for sustainable golf, which has been endorsed by partners including The R&A, Toro, Dow Jones, European Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, Galvin Green, Waste Management and many other associations.

Ahead of the event, GEO Foundation announced it has partnered with European Golf Design, which is aiming to become a carbon-neutral design company.

The move towards net zero aligns with the European Tour’s ‘Green Drive initiative’, launched earlier this year on World Environment Day, when the Tour set out a vision to become a leader in social and environmental responsibility, delivering net positive impacts around the world.

With support from the GEO Foundation, the design company will track and measure its carbon footprint across all areas of business operations, reduce emissions where possible and mitigate where necessary by credibly offsetting all unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions.

“For many years sustainability has been part of the way in which we conceptualise, design and construct courses,” said Jeremy Slessor, managing director at European Golf Design. “Now, our updated and strengthened strategy aims to deliver even more positive and measurable environmental and social impacts through course development and renovation, alongside new goals and actions across various other aspects of the business.”

GEO Foundation has also formed a partnership with renewable energy specialist GreenClub.

Launched last autumn, GreenClub works with golf and leisure venues to realise their sustainable goals. London Golf Club and Roganstown Hotel & Country Club have both benefitted from the consultants’ expertise this year.

GreenClub and GEO Foundation will collaborate to promote sustainability across a range of platforms and markets, starting in the UK. They will also drive increased awareness for sustainability through all forms of media.

“Golf clubs can gain a huge amount by focusing their attention on energy – where it comes from, what they can generate themselves, how they can future-proof their facility, and how they can reduce consumption, costs and emissions,” said Liam Greasley, chief executive of GreenClub. “We’d encourage clubs to embrace the specialist advisory support we can provide and the custom-built programmes available which together can accelerate their progress as efficient and sustainable businesses.

“We are delighted to be working closely with GEO Foundation as a sustainable golf innovator and solution provider dovetailing services with their programmes and connecting our clients with the growing sustainable golf community.”

The ‘Driving for Net Zero’ virtual event will take place on 11 November at 15:00 GMT.