With immediate effect, Golf Environment Europe (GEE) has become the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO). The re-naming has arisen as a result of an in depth review. It is accompanied by a new brand and refreshed organisational structure. New vision, mission, aims and objectives have also been defined.
The review concluded that the organisation should evolve in line with the evolution of environmental awareness in golf, and the global environmental agenda.
Speaking on behalf of the organisation the chairman, Bjorn Nordberg, said, “The environmental movement in golf has come a long way in recent years, and we felt a responsibility to mirror that by re-considering our values and position.
“These changes set us up for the next phase of our development, and to deliver our fresh vision – that golf will achieve international recognition for enhancing environmental quality and human wellbeing.
“Whilst we essentially remain the same community of leaders, golf organisations, scientists and businesses, and are working on the same pioneering programmes, I am sure that going forward our new form is stronger, and more interesting to the diverse audiences with which we will be engaging.
“We have been delighted by the response of our golf sector partners, who have fully endorsed the change and with whom we will work in this next phase of our collective efforts to improve the environmental sustainability of the sport.”
George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, supports the move. “We are delighted to see this important organisation go from strength to strength,” he said. “In GEO the golf industry has a very dynamic and credible environmental partner, with relevant ideas and programmes that have been embraced by the golfing community. Along with other golf bodies, The European Tour have supported GEO’s emergence and we look forward to collaborating in the future on projects which benefit golf and the environment.”
Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A added, “The R&A believes that GEO has a valuable role to play in encouraging the golf sector to improve its environmental performance. As an environmental NGO that specialises in golf it is in a position to challenge the industry where it sees fit, and also report positively on what it regards to be credible achievements. We are pleased that the organisation is working closely with our own Golf Course Committee.”
New GEO Advisory Council member, Gordon Shepherd of WWF International commented, “I think this is a strong move. The world needs sectoral NGO’s such as GEO, which stimulate interest and action, drive up standards and which importantly understand and speak the language of the industry. GEO is now well set to make sure golf goes on to build a credible strategy, and delivers tangible successes – locally, nationally and internationally.”
The organisation is currently working on a sophisticated new web site through which a diverse range of audiences will be able to discover golf and environment, understand the technical issues, improve their performance, and through which golf facilities can become environmentally certified. This is due to go live in November 2008.
GEO is a non profit organisation which believes that golf is uniquely placed to enrich people’s lives and the environment, and that doing so makes for greater enjoyment and better business.
The organisation has three core chambers:
• Advisory Council – senior figures from golf and environment, which provide leadership and strategic direction;
• Industry Forum – bringing together decision makers together from within golf, enabling the development of policy and programmes, and implementation of projects;
• Scientific Network – bringing the research, academic and environmental communities together to improve knowledge and drive innovation.
GEO has three aims:
• Strengthen the golf industry;
• Enhance and enrich the environment;
• Encourage sustainable lifestyles.
GEO is currently operating in three key areas:
• Golf facility management;
• New Development;
• Greening Events.