A new golf industry Sustainability Drive, led by a collaboration of Europe’s leading golf associations and businesses, is set to help create great courses and strong operating businesses. The programme will focus on promoting the sound business reasons for environmental sustainability across the industry, highlighted through real-life experiences of best practice and acclaimed success stories.
The exciting initiative is being led by the European Golf Course Owners Association (EGCOA) and Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE), in collaboration with the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Association (FEGGA) and supported by Syngenta. The implementation of the plan and the delivery of information will be provided in partnership with GEO (golfenvironment.org).
Launching the start of the initial three-year collaboration, Rod Burke of Syngenta said: “Bringing together the knowledge and experience of Europe’s leading golf associations, to collectively support and promote sustainability in golf club management, will help to enhance the quality of courses and reinforce the immense ecological and environmental assets they provide.
“It recognises that an increase in business efficiency and profitability is vital for the economic viability that is an essential element of sustainability, and which enables courses to deliver desirable environmental resources to the wider community.”
Mr Burke added that he believed it will strengthen the environmental reputation and profile of the golf industry. Furthermore, it will highlight successes that clearly demonstrate the contribution a well-managed course provides as a social sporting facility for the whole family and a positive ecological resource.
The collaboration of the leading golf associations represents some 10,000 courses across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It links the key elements of golf course owners, managers and greenkeepers that work together to create sustainable businesses.
Arnaldo Cocuzza, President of the CMAE said: “Sharing best practice across the industry could help all clubs to improve aspects of economic, social and environmental management.
“There are so many instances of golf clubs that are already performing exceptionally well in these areas. The Sustainability Drive initiative will help all involved to share experience across more clubs and enhance the skills of club managers, owners and greenkeepers for the future.”
Director of the EGCOA, Lodewijk Klootwijk, added: “In challenging times, where sustainability is a high priority on the agenda, we see great value in getting golf courses actively involved with the initiative. With the help of Syngenta we will be able to better help EGCOA members across Europe to get involved in the GEO programmes.
“Syngenta also brings added value with its consumer research, providing insights that helps the golf industry to understand the changing customer in a far better way than ever before.”
Representing greenkeepers in the collaboration, Dean Cleaver of FEGGA, said: “The Sustainability Drive brings the exciting opportunity for the whole industry to work on a common objective of developing strong businesses – with a positive future for players, owners, managers and the greenkeeping teams.
“The pan-European scale and combined approach of the initiative will ensure we can get more people involved and share the best ideas and experiences wider and quicker.”
Rod Burke of Syngenta concluded: “All those involved are committed to enhancing the playing experience and unlocking golf’s true potential – including getting more people to play the game and in optimising the environmental benefits golf courses can provide.”
Syngenta turf specific agronomy and product information www.greencast.co.uk