Global Edition

Ryder Cup: Environmental successes come to the fore

8.32am 20th June 2011 - Management Topics - This story was updated on Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Jonathan Smith, Richard Hills and Edward Kitson with the report at Wentworth Club, on the day of the announcement of the host nation for The 2018 Ryder Cup.

The 2010 Ryder Cup left a significantly lighter environmental footprint thanks to the pioneering Green Drive that brought innovative solutions to one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

Lead partners made the commitment to a greener event in 2007, and a diverse range of activities undertaken by hundreds of sponsors, contractors and suppliers, contributed to an overall carbon footprint reduction of 31%.

The Green Drive was led by Ryder Cup Europe, coordinated by The Golf Environment Organization, and actively supported by The Celtic Manor Resort, The Welsh Assembly Government, Ryder Cup Wales, The Wales Event Recycling Programme and Newport City Council. Greenstone Carbon Management provided technical support on resource efficiency and calculated the event’s carbon footprint.

Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Director, said: “A great deal of effort was put into the environmental sustainability of this event. We wanted to build on previous Ryder Cup efforts and bring the event greening to a new level through the comprehensive scope and depth of delivery. We are indebted to all our partners, who united behind the initiative and helped us realise a tremendous number of practical achievements, whilst maintaining an incredibly high quality.”

Jonathan Smith of the Golf Environment Organization added: “We are delighted by the outcomes of the Green Drive. We knew there would be a wealth of opportunities and  that we would all learn a great deal about how to integrate sustainability into a major sporting event. We are looking forward to sharing this Ryder Cup leadership across diverse golf and environmental audiences, as we support golf clubs and future events in the delivery of actions that benefit their businesses and the environment.”

The official Ryder Cup 2010 Green Drive Review and Carbon Reports can be downloaded from or

Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America supported the announcement: “The PGA of America would like to congratulate Ryder Cup Europe and all other partners on these achievements.   Golf has such a close relationship with the environment and The Ryder Cup benefits greatly from the quality of the natural and cultural assets of its locality.  The Green Drive was in the spirit of the competition and provides a further valuable legacy from the event.”

The 2010 Ryder Cup aimed to showcase sustainability in golf. Partners designed and implemented a shared strategy that aimed to reduce the event’s consumption of resources, protect the site and surroundings and raise awareness amongst spectators and the public.

The Action Plan set out clear objectives, supported by best practice recommendations, for Energy, Water, Waste, Pollution Prevention and Ecological Conservation.  These issues cut across a number of operational topics including venue management, transportation, temporary structures, catering, energy provision and installation of fixtures and fittings.

John Griffiths, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development said: “We are delighted that the event contributed to our world leading policies on sustainable development. We are proud that one of the legacies of the event will be heightened awareness and action in sustainable sport and sustainable events around the world in the future.”

The key projects included:

Matthew de Villiers, Greenstone Carbon Management commented: “The significant reductions achieved by The 2010 Ryder Cup were largely due to the inclusion of sustainability in all aspects of the planning and delivery of the event from the selection of suppliers, the provision of spectator travel options and offsets, through to the disposal of waste. These achievements demonstrate what can be achieved when sustainability management is included from the start rather than treated as a peripheral activity.”

Among the legacy outcomes of The 2010 Ryder Cup Green Drive, the official report was previewed at the recent World Conference for Sport and the Environment (WCSE) in Qatar, an event hosted by the International Olympic Committee and United Nations Environment Programme. The sharing of the real-world outcomes with global sport and environment leaders followed the presentation of Green Drive targets at WCSE 2009.

Golf Environment Organization

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