VisitScotland, the national body for the development and promotion of tourism in Scotland, has added a significant boost to golf’s sustainability efforts by partnering with the GEO Foundation.

The GEO Foundation is an international not-for-profit body founded 16 years ago to help inspire, support, and reward credible sustainability action and to strengthen and promote golf's social and environmental value.

The move comes just six months after Scotland hosted COP26, the UN’s climate change conference, which saw the launch of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. During COP26, VisitScotland also supported GEO Foundation’s ‘Driving Net Zero’, a special event to spotlight and discuss golf and climate action.

The partnership sees VisitScotland become the first national tourism body to become a strategic partner of the GEO Foundation to support their mission to accelerate sustainability in and through golf. It also establishes connection and alignment between VisitScotland’s responsible tourism goals and the sustainability activities being carried out through this year’s leading golf tournaments in Scotland – The 150th Open, the AIG Women’s Open, the Genesis Scottish Open, the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, The Senior Open Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

There will also be a focus on boosting direct support for Scottish golf clubs, including the provision of OnCourse Scotland, a national version of the international programme for sustainable club and course management. Club engagement will be delivered in collaboration with Scottish Golf, helping bring significant awareness-raising to the effort to involve more Scottish clubs in actions that can help strengthen efficiency and sustainability.

Scotland's Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “I commend VisitScotland for their strategic partnership with the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf – a first for Scotland. The partnership aligns with the Scottish Government’s long-term priority to become a Net Zero Nation by enhancing our climate resilience in a just and fair way.

“The agreement also builds on the momentum of COP26 ahead of an exceptional summer of golf events, headlined by The 150th Open at St Andrews. I’m confident that the GEO Foundation’s expertise will not only deliver clear benefits to these events and clubs across Scotland, but also encourage other around the world to take climate action.”

Malcolm Roughead, CEO of VisitScotland championed the announcement. “Given that golf represents such a large part of our tourism sector, we want to align with our overall approach to responsible tourism and help golf facilities and high-profile tournaments on their journey.

"We are delighted to collaborate with GEO Foundation, dedicated as they are to advancing sustainable golf from their headquarters in North Berwick, and also with our national governing body Scottish Golf who share our commitment to build sustainability into the long-term popularity and resilience of the sport.”

Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of GEO Foundation added: “We are extremely proud to carry the support of VisitScotland across the non-profit work we do to inspire, guide and promote sustainability in and through golf. It is a great fit in terms of our international advocacy and programmes, and support for golf in Scotland.

“We are particularly excited about how the collaboration will help connect sustainable tourism and sustainable golf; support the leadership of leading events; and how together with Scottish Golf we can guide and reward clubs across the country.”

Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Golf noted that the initiative will help advance their long-standing commitment to promoting sustainable golf. "As part of our strategic review, clubs across the country have told us sustainability is important to them, and that they’d welcome more guidance, direction and recognition. We are excited to work with VisitScotland and GEO Foundation to further develop and provide that,” he said.

Sustainabilty is one of the key elements of Sentosa Golf Club's 10-year partnership with The Toro Company and regional Toro distributor Jebsen & Jessen.

The agreement will see Toro provide the famed Singapore club with a complete fleet of maintenance equipment and irrigation products, as well as landscaping tools, training, and on-site service and support. The announcement marks the latest development in a long relationship between the club and Toro stretching back more than two decades, including support during events like the SMBC Singapore Open and HSBC Women’s World Championship.

As part of the agreement, Toro will provide a total package of equipment and irrigation solutions to support all areas of maintenance at the club. This includes a range of hybrid and electric equipment as well as battery-powered landscape tools, all focused on reducing engine exhaust emissions and promoting overall sustainability.

The club also has 36 holes of Toro irrigation, including Toro INFINITY Sprinklers and a Lynx System with satellite technology, in addition to Toro Turf Guard wireless soil monitoring to provide in-field data. The Lynx system provides precision water management designed to help reduce water usage.

Toro’s hybrid and electric equipment and water-saving irrigation systems align with the Sentosa Golf Club’s dedication to sustainability. Named ‘World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility’ for the second consecutive year in 2021, the club is recognized worldwide for its commitment to the environment and has pledged to become the world’s first carbon-neutral golf club by 2022.

“We’re looking forward to bringing our fleet into the future with Toro and Jebsen & Jessen,” said Andrew Johnston, the club's General Manager and Director of Agronomy. “It’s important to us to work with partners who not only share our commitment to the environment, but also support our mission to consistently deliver a world-class playing experience. We treat every day like a tournament day, and we know we can expect that level of excellence from Toro.”

Richard Walne (Managing Director, The Toro Company Australia & APAC), Per Magnusson (Group CEO, Jebsen & Jessen), Andrew Johnston (General Manager and Director of Agronomy, Sentosa GC), Pete Moeller (Vice President, The Toro Company International Business)

Beyond a new fleet of irrigation and course maintenance equipment, the partnership includes support from the technical service team at Jebsen & Jessen and regional support from The Toro Company. An on-site Toro service manager will be based at the club, establishing a state-of-the-art workshop that will serve as a model for Toro.

Toro also plans to base a centre of excellence at Sentosa Golf Club to support and educate regional clients and staff on the latest products, technology and service developments. With this initiative, Toro joins The R&A and the Asian Tour in making Sentosa a key base in the region.

Toro marks its 108th year in the golf industry this year, bringing more than a century of expertise and innovative solutions to the partnership.

“This is an historic opportunity for The Toro Company to partner with one of the most respected clubs in Asia and support their mission of carbon neutrality,” said Richard Olson, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Toro Company. “I’ve witnessed Sentosa Golf Club’s passion for the environment first-hand, and it’s an exciting time to work them on implementing the latest Toro innovations and technology.”

“Sustainability is not a new concept for The Toro Company. It’s deeply rooted in our purpose to provide customers with real solutions that are both environmentally responsible and operationally sustainable.”

Philipp Hoffmann, Regional Director of Jebsen & Jessen Technology Turf & Irrigation, noted: "As the first industrial conglomerate in Southeast Asia to achieve full carbon neutrality, we take great pride in the fact that we share a common mission with Sentosa and Toro in reducing our impact on the environment.

“We look forward to supporting the club as they provide world-class golfing experiences, as well as in their sustainability efforts.”

Based in Singapore, The R&A Sustainable Agronomy Service provides agronomy expertise to golf facilities to support effective management of courses and achieving best practice in sustainability.

The R&A’s sustainability agenda is focused on ensuring that golf facilities around the world are taking action now to maintain and enhance the playability of courses as the industry faces the challenges of resource reduction, climate change and regulatory changes.

The R&A’s agronomists have extensive knowledge and experience of providing agronomic support to 28 world class golf championships run by The R&A each year, including The Open and the AIG Women’s Open.

“Turf presentation and playing conditions are integral to the success of any facility. Our service in the Asia-Pacific region provides the tools and guidance to maintain and optimise year-round course playability through the most efficient and sustainable agronomic methods,” said Chris Gray, Head of Sustainability and Agronomy – Asia Pacific for The R&A.

“The R&A Sustainable Agronomy Service is an extension of a golf facility’s greenkeeping team. We will work together to identify objectives and develop a plan to achieve them. The service is designed to be a long-term partnership that ensures consistency in golf course maintenance well into the future.”

 

Chris Gray

The R&A Sustainable Agronomy Service aims to improve conditioning and operational efficiencies and provide technical knowledge and best practice to greenkeepers. The independent service offers a tailored solution to suit each course’s specific requirements while adhering to environmental regulations and taking account of factors such as climate change and resource shortages by delivering sustainable course maintenance plans.

The proceeds generated by The R&A Sustainable Agronomy Service will be reinvested back into the development of the sport through research on turf management, greenkeeping education and sustainability initiatives.

For more information, visit The R&A’s sustainability section on randa.org 

Teeing off at Sentosa Golf Club this Thursday, the 2022 HSBC Women’s World Championship features multiple tournament partners who are committed to a sustainable future for the game and the world.

HSBC returns as title sponsor for the 14th edition of the showpiece event. From grassroots to elite level, HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game. Underpinning a longer-term ambition to create a legacy through youth and grassroots development are initiatives such as the HSBC Youth Golf Challenge, delivered in partnership with the Singapore Golf Association.

 

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Tanjong Course, Sentosa Golf Club (Photo by HSBC Women’s World Championship/IMG)

The tournament will once again be played on the renowned Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club which hosts its ninth edition of the event frequently referred to as ‘Asia’s Major’. Recently named 'World's Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility' for the second consecutive year, the club is a leading light in driving sustainable practices in golf around the world. Wide ranging initiatives include electric car charging, battery powered golf carts, plastic removal, a state-of-the-art irrigation system, development of a sustainable herb garden, hand-removal of weeds to reduce pesticide use and even maintaining a bee colony within the golf course confines.

Sustainability elements pick up from the moment the players land in Singapore. They will be whisked away by Lexus ES Hybrid courtesy cars, which feature a powerful self-charging electric motor, ensuring that the journey from hotel to links will be with minimal environmental impact.

Their stay at the newly-reopened Hilton Singapore Orchard will be a comfortable and sustainable one, with eco-friendly energy-saving features, wooden or digital key cards to minimise plastic use, and even filtered water from an on-site water filtration and re-bottling system. The Hilton will also be providing the tournament’s event catering, which will come with the use of local produce and packaged in recycled paper boxes.

On course, F&N Ice Mountain will keep players hydrated with Tetra Pak and canned water, fully eliminating single-use plastic bottles from the pristine course surroundings. These will be made available across all hospitality suites, offices, media center, tee boxes and players lounge, so every visitor can enjoy a refreshing thirst-quencher as they watch the best female golfers take to the lush Sentosa fairways.

Ariya Jutanugarn during a practice round (Photo by HSBC Women's World Championship/IMG)

When celebrations are in order, PengWine, the HSBC Women’s World Championship Official Premium Wine Sponsor, will be on hand with their Chilean organic wine, which has been produced using a sustainable supply chain.

Crowd favourites Lydia Ko and Caroline Masson will be donning footwear by another tournament sponsor, Ecco, which ensures its products are not only of the highest quality but, through a combination of control over its entire supply chain and a commitment to energy and water reduction, will also have minimal environmental impact.

Meanwhile, Sony will be providing essential technology and entertainment equipment to the tournament operations team and hospitality lounges. Drawing its inspiration from the world around us, the company has recently committed to “Road to Zero” and “Green Management 2025” initiatives which aim to reduce the group’s environmental footprint to zero by 2050 through initiatives such as eliminating plastic packaging, plant-based material development, reducing energy consumption and switching to clean energy sources.

VIP tournament guests will be able to enjoy some of the most recognised luxury drinks brands in the world, including The Glenrothes single malt, courtesy of event partner, Edrington, which was created over 160 years ago to be a company that makes a positive contribution to the communities around it. With a specific focus on the four areas of distilling, packaging, estate and community, Edrington is focused on sustainable practices throughout its entire process.

Partners of the 2022 HSBC Women’s World Championship are: Singapore Tourism Board, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore Airlines, Lexus, Rolex, Hilton Singapore Orchard, Aon, Cisco Webex, Panasonic, ECCO Golf, Epson, OSIM, Under Armour, COBRA Golf, Ice Mountain, PengWine, TikTok, SONY, Titleist, The Glenrothes and 100PLUS.

For more information, visit the tournament website at hsbcgolf.com/womens

Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) reaffirmed its status as one of the most sustainable golf clubs in Malaysia by receiving the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Award of Excellence in Energy Management by the Clean Energy Ministerial, in recognition of the club’s exemplary implementation of the ISO 50001 Energy Management System Standards.

KLGCC is one of the four organisations to earn this recognition among the 32 case studies submitted from 20 participating countries at CEM’s Energy Management Leadership Awards in 2021, which acknowledges institutions that demonstrate excellent leadership in energy management worldwide.

Sime Darby Property Group Managing Director and KLGCC Berhad Director Dato’ Azmir Merican said that the club has long practised a sustainable approach for its operations to yield long-term benefits for its stakeholders.

Sime Darby Property Group Managing Director and KLGCC Berhad Director, Dato’ Azmir Merican

 

“This award is a strong recognition of the club’s consistent efforts in applying holistic and sustainable business practices within the leisure industry. As one of the nation’s top golf and country clubs, we are proud to set exemplary sustainable approaches internally to generate a positive impact externally,” said Dato’ Azmir.

KLGCC has established ISO 50001-certified practices since 2013 and continues to consciously execute strategic and innovative energy-saving approaches across its premise. In 2019, the club successfully managed to reduce its energy consumption by 54% for its Liquid Petroleum Gas and 22% from electricity use, undertaking various sustainable approaches. These include fitting energy-saving LED bulbs and standardisation of temperature across the club, as well as installing energy efficient heat-pumps to replace its previous gas-based hot water system. These environmentally friendly approaches have resulted in a total reduction of 20% carbon emission on just energy consumption to date.

Established in 1991, KLGCC is a bespoke 36-hole golf club strategically located in the lush landscapes of Mont Kiara, just eight kilometres from Kuala Lumpur.  The club captured the world’s attention through the staging of PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA events all within a year for three consecutive years between 2013 and 2015. In October 2016, the club made history again by successfully staging the CIMB Classic and Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia consecutively.

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