The European Tour Green Drive is a new initiative to support and showcase environmental and community action across the organisation’s operations, venues and tournaments.
With a reach across over 45 countries, the Green Drive initiative has the potential to make a real impact both on the ground around the world, and as an example and inspiration.
Speaking at Wentworth Club during the BMW PGA Championship, European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady expressed his commitment to the initiative. He said: “The European Tour has long recognised the importance of environmental stewardship, resource efficiency and positive community engagement for golf.
“We’re very proud of the staging of The Ryder Cup and our significant investment in GEO (Golf Environment Organization) since 2006. Developing Green Drive across The European Tour is an important step further.
“We look forward to working with our many venue, staging, media, government and commercial partners to make a genuine contribution, and adopt a leadership position in sustainable sport”.
The first Partners to come forward as leaders in their support of Green Drive are Rolex and Lyoness, with Toro as a Sponsor.
European Tour Group Marketing Director Scott Kelly added: “We’re very grateful for this early support – which matches the ET’s own continuing investment in sustainability, and which enables us and GEO to ensure the quality and credibility of the initiative. The European Tour provides a platform for governments and companies to showcase their own policies, corporate responsibility and technologies in the unique arena of professional golf.”
The European Tour Green Drive has a strong long-term ambition, based on continual improvement, and is built on a credible foundation of policy, guidelines, programming and industry ecolabel from initiative partner GEO.
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO, added: “This exciting and innovative initiative will help a diverse range of people and companies linked to The European Tour to get even more involved in credible sustainability action. There is an opportunity for every venue and tournament, and we’re ready to support as they get involved and help the initiative grow”.
Euan Loudon, Chief Executive of the St Andrews Links Trust, expressed his support, saying: “As a GEO Certified™ European Tour venue since 2011, with a long-standing social and environmental commitment, we are delighted to see this new drive from The European Tour. “We would encourage all other venues to participate. The OnCourse programme was a very effective, productive way to embrace sustainability, and GEO Certified™ has been good for us internally and externally.”
Mike Hoffman, Chairman and CEO of The Toro Company, said: “The Toro Company is pleased to support The European Tour and its commitment to inspire and initiate meaningful sustainability practices through Green Drive. The long-term health of the game of golf and the precious landscapes upon which it is played depends on the vision, hard work and resolve, of all involved in this great sport, to promote effective environmental stewardship. At Toro, we recognize and admire The European Tour’s innovative leadership in this and other truly critical golf interests.”
Mathias Vorbach, Director International Communications of Lyoness, said: “Sustainability in golf plays an important role for Lyoness which is why we are very glad to be partner and founding member of the environmental initiative Green Drive.
“Greenfinity, the company’s environmental foundation, supports Green Drive on a technological basis by providing a scientifically developed evaluation system with which determining the ecological footprint of a European Tour golf event for the first time was made possible. The data generated help Green Drive and the GEO implement measures for ecologically improving European Tour Events.”
European Tour www.europeantour.com
Golf Environment Organization www.golfenvironment.org