The Foundation aims to assist governing bodies, national golf federations, greenkeeping associations, architects, industry representatives and individual golf facilities in structuring and promoting their environmental work.
The Foundation’s new flagship project will be to create and facilitate the European Forum for Sustainable Golf. This initiative will enable a ‘community‘ of stakeholders to participate in discussion and information exchange on environmental and sustainable development issues facing golf across Europe.
It is hoped that this mechanism will enhance the dissemination of environmental best practice information to golf facilities, and also enable collective promotion of local, regional and national environmental initiatives. The European Commission in Brussels will formally launch the Forum on 27th June 2005. Details will follow shortly.
Jonathan Smith, the Foundation’s newly appointed chief executive said, “I am delighted to have this opportunity to take forward the work of the Committed to Green Foundation. It is clear that golf faces many environmental challenges – for example in terms of land use planning, water resource management and adapting to climate change.
“Golf has to adopt, and be seen to adopt, best environmental practices. If it can do so in a cohesive and credible way there is tremendous potential for golf to achieve recognition for its stewardship of the environment. Environmental issues, and the often-associated regulation, can be seen as threats to the future management and development of golf. However, there are many opportunities for golf to lead the way as a valuable economic, social and environmental use of land. There are also many incentives and benefits to golf facilities and developers who strive for sustainability.”
The Foundation will also be reviewing and promoting the Committed to Green Accreditation Programme. Given the continuing need for credible and transparent ‘bench-marking‘ of efforts on the ground, the Foundation believes a re-vitalised accreditation system will enable golf facilities to demonstrate with confidence their commitment to environmental care. The scheme will be a tool to help golf facilities attain credible recognition for their delivery of environmental best practice.
Other priority issues to be addressed will be to investigate the relationship between golf course development and sustainable development – with the potential to produce new guidance on the sustainable development of golf courses. The Foundation also wants to make it easier for golf facilities and external organisations to find out what is happening with regard to golf and the environment around the world. A priority will therefore be to establish a ‘clearing house and information‘ website and e-newsletter.
As well as attempting to provide environmental guidance and information of benefit to golf facilities through the website and accreditation scheme, the Foundation will also attempt to support the many existing national golf / environment partnerships across Europe. Where these do not already exist, the Foundation will support the establishment of new national initiatives. These are vital if golf in each country is to be seen to be taking environmental issues seriously.
For more information on the Forum or the Committed to Green Accreditation Scheme please contact Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of the Committed to Green Foundation at the address below.
Jonathan Smith, Committed to Green Foundation, Fenton Barns, North Berwick, East Lothian EH39 5BW
Committed to Green Foundation www.committedtogreen.org