Going ‘green’ on the green

The 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open has become the first tournament in the world to receive GEO Certified Tournament status from the Scotland-based GEO Foundation.

To receive this prestigious eco certification, the Waste Management Phoenix Open adopted principles set out in the Voluntary Sustainable Golf Tournament Standard and achieved outstanding results in six categories.

One of its major achievements is ensuring 100 per cent landfill diversion through recycling, composting, donation, reuse and waste-to-energy.

The tournament has previously been awarded “Zero Waste to Landfill” status after conserving 632 mature trees, more than 360,000 gallons of water and 969 cubic yards of landfill space in one year through recycling, reusing and incineration, reports Climate Action Programme.

Water conservation is another major focus of the tournament, and it has now restored 63.3 million gallons of water to the Colorado River Basin and Verde River. The tournament also purchased 720 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of carbon offsets with a strong socio-economic focus to cover emissions from tournament emissions, player travel and volunteer travel.

Jonathan Smith, executive director of GEO Foundation, praised the golf tournament for its ambitious sustainability efforts.

“There is absolutely no doubt that the Waste Management Phoenix Open deserves this accolade. If you look at the breadth and depth of what they have done to date, and the social and environmental targets they have set for the future, they are clearly leading in the practical delivery of sustainability in and through golf, as well as inspiring so many others, in golf, in business and in the community.”

To date, the Waste Management Phoenix Open has raised and awarded over $10.1 million to local charities and donated $100,000 to environmental organizations. It also engages fans at events through Zero Waste Stations to educate them and encourage them to get involved in issues around sustainability.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the largest attended tournament on the PGA Tour.


Image credit: Waste Management Phoenix Open

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