The first meeting of Golf Environment Europe’s Innovation and Technology Network was recently held in Amsterdam. One of the key outcomes was the planning of over 20 separate environmental information projects for 2007.
Chaired by the Sports Turf Research Institute, the meeting was attended by representatives of Golf Environment Europe, the Scandinavian Turfgrass Foundation and the University of Pisa. The Network also collaborates with North Carolina State University.
The meeting and first suite of projects were supported by Syngenta (GEE Technical Member) and Ransomes Jacobsen (GEE Official Supplier).
The steering committee of the Network also took the opportunity to put out a call to golf course managers across Europe for their thoughts on what specific environmental information and technology would be of most value in the future.
Having chaired the meeting, Lee Penrose of the Sports Turf Research Institute said, “The STRI are delighted to be at the forefront of this European wide initiative, which aims to coordinate and better communicate technical guidance on a range of environmental issues that affect the management and development of golf courses.
“The meeting was extremely positive and we have a nucleus of very enthusiastic organisations on the steering committee. We very much look forward to working with the existing partners and other researchers, as the Network establishes itself as a recognised centre for resource dissemination in the coming years.”
Maria Strandberg of the Scandinavian Turfgrass Foundation, and chair of Golf Environment Europe’s Forum added, “It is vital that if golf facilities are to cope with ever changing environmental legislation, best practices and public expectations, that they need information on how to tackle technical issues. They will also value information on the products and services which provide environmental solutions”.
Jonathan Smith of Golf Environment Europe said, “We know there is a need to extend the coordination and dissemination of environmental information within golf.
“It is not just about reacting to the challenges that environmental sustainability presents. Much of the information we will promote will provide new opportunities for golf, raising awareness of new technologies and ways of doing things that are both better for the environment and for business.”
“By increasing awareness and understanding of environmental issues and technical solutions, sponsors of the Network will also be able to highlight their own commitments to enhancing golf’s environmental performance”.
Austen Sutton of Syngenta added, “Syngenta are delighted to assist this effort to improve the way environmental information is disseminated in golf. It fits well with our own commitments within environmental R&D and product support services. We want greenkeepers and course managers to have access to the latest environmental information, so that they can make more informed decisions as they undertake stewardship of Europe’s courses.”
The Network provides the opportunity for companies based or active in Europe, and with an interest in the long term sustainability of golf, to assist practitioners in continuing to adapt to environmental issues.
GEE’s Innovation and Technology Network represents a group of organisations that have come together to coordinate the dissemination of technical environmental information within European golf.
The Network also provides industry manufacturers and suppliers with the opportunity to support technical projects across a number of different topics.
Key issues to be addressed within the I&T project agenda are:
Water Resource Management
Golf Course Ecology
Energy Efficiency and Renewables
With the development of a single web based ‘environmental information centre’, the outputs of the Network will be readily accessible to all practitioners within golf, and all those interested in the relationship between golf and the environment.
Golf Environment Europe www.golfenvironmenteurope.org