European Golf Design has made a commitment to involve the Golf Environment Organisation in all forthcoming projects. The decision has been made following the recent establishment of GEO’s technical services arm.
The international non-profit body, which has driven a sustainability movement in golf since 2005, has set up a wholly owned subsidiary company known as GEO Development.
Jonathan Smith, CEO of GEO explains the rationale: “GEO is, and always will be, a non profit ‘developmental’ organization – undertaking non commercial action that improves golf’s social and environmental performance. This is demonstrated by our focus on developing GEO Certification, non-proprietary guidance for management, development and events, sharing knowledge, formulating campaigns and other wide-ranging advocacy and communications.
“However, we don’t just want to produce guidance. We want to work with projects to showcase sustainability in action. In particular we want to get involved in those golf developments that have the potential, and willingness, to deliver meaningful benefits to people and the planet.
Jeremy Slessor, Managing Director of European Golf Design explained the importance of the decision to the practice: “We were delighted when GEO decided to become active in the field – in recognition that what we need to see, perhaps more than anything else, are real world exemplars of sustainable golf facility development.
“We like the responsible and logical approach they have established – of initially vetting projects, of scoping the sustainability potential, helping to ‘capture the concept’ and of marking out the path to fully integrated solutions. It works for us as a creative and open minded design practice, and we believe their insight will be very constructive during master-planning and down into detailed design.”
Cape Verde project
The two organisations have already cut their teeth on a project in the Cape Verde Isles. An investor has plans to extend an existing tourist resort into a larger golf, property and leisure complex.
GEO have carried out the initial Scoping Report for the scheme, and produced a Sustainability Action Plan for the master-planning and design phases. GEO’s interest in the project lies in the potential it has to regenerate the social and physical landscape of an impoverished and environmentally degraded region combining the delivery of a high quality development which also fulfils the targets of national government and international agencies by stimulating a positive multiplier from much needed inward investment.
Jonathan Smith added: “We have not set this mechanism up for commercial reasons. At present the examples of golf developments that have done everything they can do for people and the planet are few and far between. We want to change that, starting now. No kite marks, no smoke and mirrors, no pretence – just golf developments of the right type in the right place, doing the right thing.
“EGD shares that vision and recognises that this is as much about growing the game and finding the strongest business model for every development, as it is for protecting and enhancing ecosystems.”
This announcement follows the recent continuation of EGD’s Patron partnership agreement between with GEO.
European Golf Design www.egd.com