Minthis is proud to be the first golf club in Cyprus awarded with the highly acclaimed GEO Certification, a distinction recognising our eco-friendly approach and commitment to sustainability, writes our correspondent Margarete Dunst.
GEO (Golf Environment Organisation) is an independently assessed international eco-label for golf clubs. It is the most respected mark for golf sustainability and is awarded to golf facilities that have met the voluntary industry standard of good practices for golf course and facility operations, demonstrating a clear commitment to nature, resource conservation and community value.
The GEO recognition is another significant accolade for Minthis, it showcases our efforts and consistent approach to embracing eco-sustainability. The award acknowledges that the golf facilities have met a high level of practice within the areas of nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control, and community and demonstrates our commitment to continuous development.
Innovative sustainability has always been a key philosophy of the resort and nature is an ever-present element as it is part of a protected site.
Throughout the 5 million square metres of the resort there are core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species, and some rare natural habitat types which are protected. The established and comprehensive environmental action plan ensures the protection of this important flora and fauna. Our landscape architects and horticulturists studied and continue to invest in the site conditions and establish a methodology for the entire resort, including the golf course. The concept includes a refined plant selection, developed through studying the existing flora and using only drought-tolerant plants that are coping with the local weather extremes.
With regards to energy efficiency, all building structures at Minthis have been designed with this in mind, ensuring optimal thermal and light performance while sustainable design strategies, such as solar energy harnessing and on-site water treatment reduce the energy requirements.
Onsite there is a sophisticated water recycling management strategy in place, including a reservoir with high density linings built at the lowest point of the course to collect rainwater which is pumped into a new irrigation lake, allowing us to use its water during the drought-prone summer periods. There are numerous open, concrete storm drains, added as features to the golf course, to harvest as much rainfall as possible and rainwater is also being collected from the Clubhouse roof, where it is channelled to the reservoir. For efficiency a new irrigation system was also installed and the complete re-seeding of the fairways and roughs was another crucial step towards sustainable course maintenance. The cool season grass was replaced by Bermuda grass, which is more drought tolerant and compatible with the Cypriot climate.
Another major milestone in our sustainability commitment is the investment of over 2 million Euros to connect Minthis to the grey water supply of Paphos to irrigate the entire resort and golf course. By 2020 we will also complete an on-site sewage treatment to recycle and reuse our own grey water. The sewage treatment plant considerably adds to the resort’s mindful philosophy of preserving the environment and retaining the distinctive authentic character of the resort.
To conclude the three core elements of the certification; our commitment to the community and local environment is a continuous and positive ongoing process.
We are proud of our highly skilled team and grateful to the golf members and partners which have been supportive of our efforts to date. We regularly involve and inform the local community and actively encourage them to participate or become involved in the resort. We also have a Corporate Social Responsibility programme and actively give back to the community such as our sponsorship of the local Episkopi Environmental Centre, which contributes to the sustainable development of the area and highlights and protects the ecological and cultural characteristics of the surrounding area.
Tom Mackenzie, the Minthis golf course architect, said, “It is wonderful news that Minthis Golf Club has achieved GEO certification, especially as it is the first in Cyprus to do so. It is a significant accolade for the team recognising their commitment to sustainability, looking after the environment, reducing energy use, reducing chemical inputs and working with the local people and community. It is a great landmark for the Club and I am proud to be involved with a Club who has achieved this.
Ourania Lasda, an independent accredited assessor, recommended Minthis Golf Club to be awarded the prestigious GEO Certified® ecolabel commenting A strong effort has been made in terms of environmental sustainability and protection. A plan has been established to reduce environmental impacts and to enhance natural environment. The historic heritage along with the monastery and the church which are an integral part of the golf course, is a flawless example how a golf course fits into the natural terrain and blends into the local setting .
Minthis Golf Club www.minthisresort.com