The Celtic Manor Resort, focal point for last week’s Wales Open and host venue for The Ryder Cup in three years time, is back in the full glare of the spotlight again this week with the announcement that The 2010 Ryder Cup will be one of golf’s most environmentally sustainable events.
Following a series of meetings between Ryder Cup Europe, Ryder Cup Wales and The Celtic Manor Resort owner Sir Terry Matthews, all parties have expressed their firm commitment to the match becoming the greenest Ryder Cup ever. The partners in the event will now formulate a detailed environmental action plan, which will also evaluate the potential to become the first international golf event to participate in the European Commission’s Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).
The announcement was made as Austria welcomed Europe’s Golf Community to a two-day Congress during the BA-CA Open. The gathering follows an initiative by Andy Morgan, the Welsh president of the European Golf Association (EGA), to co-host the multi-nation congress, along with The European Tour, with the aim of ‘uniting Europe in golf’.”
As a result, both The Ryder Cup administration and The Celtic Manor Resort will work in tandem to meet the high environmental standards expected of an event of this stature.
Making the announcement, Richard Hills, Ryder Cup director, said, “The Ryder Cup has been cognisant of the need for environmental stewardship for many years. We gained experience of dealing with environmental issues in 1997 at Valderrama, in 2002 at The Belfry, and most recently at The K Club last year.
“However, we have recognised that the environmental debate is moving and there is a need to extend further, into new and challenging areas. EMAS is a very useful mechanism to help us better identify, avoid and mitigate the event’s environmental impacts and we will explore further its application for 2010.
“We see this policy of environmental responsibility fitting very well alongside the huge economic and social value of the competition, enabling us to show its true sustainability.”
Sir Terry Matthews, owner of The Celtic Manor Resort and the driving force behind the biennial contest visiting Wales for the first time, said, “There has always been a strong commitment to preservation of the archaeological sites of interest within the resort. This welcome new initiative reflects my own views and the standards we strive for throughout the resort. We already have one of the highest levels of environmental awards available in Wales in Green Dragon Level 4 and we are committed to setting new environmental standards in hosting the Wales Open event annually and, of course, at The 2010 Ryder Cup event itself.”
The announcement also quickly gained the support of Europe’s 2008 Ryder Cup captain, Nick Faldo. “This is wonderful news for The Ryder Cup and for golf as a whole,” he said. “The essence of The Ryder Cup tradition is integrity and sportsmanship. It is one of the world’s great sporting occasions, and it is entirely right that the Ryder Cup should also play its part in setting new standards within event staging and that it takes responsibility wherever possible in addressing the environmental challenges we all face.
“I am honoured to be Ryder Cup Captain for 2008, but equally honoured to know that one of the legacies of 2008 will be a truly sustainable European Match in 2010. I extend my congratulations to Ryder Cup Europe and Ryder Cup Wales for this pioneering announcement and to The Celtic Manor Resort for supporting the programme with an already far reaching environmental programme.”
Timo Makela, director of sustainability at the European Commission, added his support for the announcement by commenting: “The announcement made by the Ryder Cup is a welcoming reminder as to the role sports events such as golf tournaments can play in tackling environmental issues and reducing the impact they have on the environment.”
“Sporting events capture the attention of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. They can help raise awareness of environmental issues and show how good environmental practices such as energy efficiency, water conservation, reduced carbon emissions and biodiversity conservation can best be integrated in day-to-day activities. EMAS is designed to help organisations address such issues and report on progress made.”
The work will be coordinated by Golf Environment Europe (GEE), the non profit specialists in sustainability in golf. Their chairman, Bjorn Nordberg, added, “GEE are delighted to be at the heart of this activity. We have been actively supporting golf organisations in their work to address environmental issues, and commend Ryder Cup Ltd and its partners for now making a commitment which assists in European golf’s efforts to play a credible role in the drive for greater sustainability in society.”
Rob Holt, chief executive of Ryder Cup Wales, commented, “The Welsh Assembly Government has a sustainable development duty enshrined in legislation and will be looking to everyone involved in the event to achieve the highest possible environmental standards in 2010. We are delighted to support the initiative of Ryder Cup Europe and The Celtic Manor Resort, which will fully complement the extensive environmental work already being undertaken throughout Wales.”