On World Environment Day last week, the European Tour launched Green Drive – a strengthened commitment to sustainability with a vision for the Tour to become a showcase for social and environmental responsibility, delivering net positive impacts around the world.
The Green Drive underlines an intensified approach towards priority issues such as climate change; biodiversity loss; air and ocean pollution; and sustainable and ethical procurement. It also sees the Green Drive take a formal position within Golf for Good, the European Tour’s overarching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.
Implementation will encompass all aspects of the business including operations, partnerships, technology, tournaments, TV production and venues (including European Tour Destinations) across the Tour community, which typically involves staging, promoting and sanctioning over 100 tournaments in over 30 countries each year over the European Tour, European Challenge Tour and Legends Tour.
The Green Drive extends to European Golf Design, the golf course design company of the European Tour, and the ethos will be encompassed within projects for new courses and redesigning existing member and resort courses to host tournaments and The Ryder Cup.
The Green Drive will be delivered with support from the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf (GEO) — a non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring, supporting and recognising sustainability in and through golf around the world.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “As an organisation that celebrates the best of professional sport in a diverse range of environments and cultures around the world, we want to both respect and enhance communities wherever we travel. That means we need to act responsibly as a business and find new and innovative ways to deliver tournaments with lighter environmental footprints, and even greater social value.
“Under our Golf for Good banner we are committed to using the game we love as a force for good, whether that is through charitable endeavours, promoting health and wellbeing, or environmental and social responsibility. We launched Golf for Good in 2020 during a challenging time for our sport and the wider world, but we see it as a central part of the Tour’s service to stakeholders and society in the long term – making a difference on some of the priority issues of our time; providing a platform for our many valued venues and partners around the world; and helping to advance and grow golf. We believe all of those things will also make the Tour stronger.
“We are embarking on this important journey with our close partners, GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf. Together we believe we can deliver world class sport and entertainment in a way that not only respects, but also helps to replenish the landscapes and communities that ultimately provide so much to us.”
GEO brings a wealth of experience, working collaboratively with golf governing bodies, associations, athletes and media over the last 15 years. More widely, GEO has been highly active in the mainstream movement of sustainability, consulting with government agencies, NGOs, business and supply chain platforms to bring latest knowledge and insights to sustainability solutions for golf associations, tournaments, venues and athletes.
Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, said: “The timing of this re-doubling of commitment and action by The European Tour could not be more important as we enter the UN ‘Decade of Action’, highlighting the need and urgency. The Tour has a broad influence across its community and reaches and inspires millions of people all round the world. With their leadership and ambition, and solutions in place for comprehensive yet effective delivery, we look forward to driving meaningful change, accelerating action and celebrating sustainable golf with the European Tour in the months and years to come.”
The key aims of the European Tour’s Green Drive are to: Lead by Example by integrating best practices into core operations, owned events and procurement, establishing Tour wide policies and tools, and activating new partnerships; to Support and Share by providing guidance and examples of best practice, fostering a growing community of collective action and results; and to Promote and Inspire by raising awareness, inspiring others and establishing a credible leadership position for golf in sustainable sport.
The Green Drive is aimed at contributing to internationally recognised environmental and social priorities, including many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The approach to climate action is directly aligned to The Paris Agreement and the UN Sport for Climate Framework.
All carbon calculations are in line with the UN Greenhouse Gas Protocol; and offsetting will be carried out using GEO’s Sustainable Golf Climate Projects that are in turn fully accredited by The Gold Standard, and which are designed to also ensure additional contributions to the UN SDGs.
Golf for Good is the umbrella name for the European Tour’s overarching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. It involves three main pillars:
- Support for Worthy Causes: Which embraces all the charitable activity of the original 2020 Golf for Good initiative
- Sustainability: Which embraces the Green Drive focus around our operations, partnerships, technology, tournaments, TV production and venues, with a commitment to deliver net positive impacts around the world
- Inclusivity and Health: Which embraces our Golfers with Disability and golf for all messaging, in addition to promoting the wider health benefits of the game