The European Forum for Sustainable Golf (EFSG), a major new initiative designed to assist the European golf sector in addressing environmental sustainability issues, was launched yesterday in Brussels by the Committed to Green Foundation. The launch was marked by the personal attendance of top officials from the European Commission, WWF International, the European Golf Association, the International Olympic Committee Sport and Environment Commission and the United Nations Environment Programme.
The European Forum for Sustainable Golf is an independently operated, stakeholder led initiative which will:
- provide a centre for information exchange between organisations;
- improve cohesion of environmental strategies within golf;
- assist in the identification of priority sustainability issues to be addressed, and develop partnership projects to do so;
- promote new environmental innovation within golf;
- promote environmental initiatives and practices carried out within golf to external organisations and the public; and,
- provide a credible interface between golf, government regulators and environmental NGOs.
The founding principles of the Forum are independence; good science; stakeholder participation; and transparency.
The launch, which was sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen, was attended by a broad cross section of golfing and environmental organisations, which included representation from golf’s main governing bodies; golf federations; greenkeeper associations; the golf course architects, golf course owners and administrators associations; and research institutes.
Founding partners in the development of the Forum are Deutsche Bank and Volvo, existing partners of globally renowned golf events. Catherine Day, director general of the EC Environment Directorate, said, “The European Commission is pleased to see the golf sector take this important step towards sustainability. Without the correct mechanisms in place golf would remain unable to tackle the environmental and social challenges which it faces. The independence of this Forum is paramount, adding credibility to the work of the diverse range of organisations within the sector. We hope the sector will embrace the Forum and participate fully through its stakeholder led initiatives – towards outcomes that are beneficial to Europe’s people and environment.”
“The Forum has been developed in order to strengthen the environmental standing of golf in Europe and to assist the golf sector in effectively addressing the many environmental issues which increasingly affect golf course management and development,” said Jonathan Smith of the Committed to Green Foundation.
“Although golf has important environmental challenges to address (water management, land use planning and climate change),” he continued “golf has many positive credentials to promote (conservation of biodiversity and the enhancement of landscapes).
“The Forum will provide the means for participative debate and discussion amongst golf bodies and facilities, and provide a credible interface with external organisations and the wider public.”
Committed to Green Foundation www.committedtogreen.org