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Ryder Cup Sets New Standards for Sustainable Sporting Events

12.24pm 28th May 2015 - Management Topics

Ryder Cup 2014 Gleneagles logoThe 2014 Ryder Cup yet again stepped forward as one of the world’s leading sustainable events, generating significant benefits to the community and environment, a new report released this week has concluded.

The Green Drive, led by key partners and engaging dozens of suppliers and contractors, ensured reductions in the event’s resource footprint, while maximising opportunities to deliver positive social and environmental legacies.

Key findings in the report, ‘A Review of The 2014 Ryder Cup Green Drive’, include:

Edward Kitson, Ryder Cup Match Director, said “We are delighted to see how many practical results the Green Drive delivered across such a wide range of aspects of the event – from the venue management to staging to legacies and also in communicating and promoting sustainability. This information is now being shared with the organisers of The 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris, and at the same time the bidding nations for The 2022 Ryder Cup are currently outlining their sustainability plans in their submissions.  With the European Tour Green Drive also moving forward apace, it’s clear to see just how much importance we place on bringing value to the environment and communities alongside world-class sport”.

Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, said: “The global spotlight was firmly fixed on Scotland in 2014, and The Ryder Cup was the perfect platform to showcase our nation’s breathtaking natural environment and world-class food and drink. The Ryder Cup Green Drive included many innovative measures to make the event as sustainable as possible, including promoting the fantastic natural larder we have on our doorstep. I now look forward to seeing how this valuable experience can help raise knowledge and standards for the golf sector, as well as other major events in Scotland during our Year of Food and Drink and beyond.”

The Green Drive was coordinated by the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO), a non-profit group which has worked closely as the sustainability partner to Ryder Cup Europe since 2006. GEO worked collaboratively with a wide-range of partners and stakeholders including the likes of Gleneagles Resort, Event Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO said: “Ryder Cup Europe continues to demonstrate an outstanding commitment to sustainability, and The 2014 Ryder Cup Green Drive has shown again how important it is to take a team approach at major sporting events. We look forward to continuing to work with Ryder Cup, other golf tournaments and golf organisations around the world, to build upon successes and lessons from Gleneagles to further golf’s position as a sustainability leader in sport.”

Dr Susie Tomson, Project Manager for the initiative added: “Having worked with the London Olympics it is fantastic to see events such as The Ryder Cup taking yet further steps to deliver across all aspects of sustainability. Ryder Cup has really set the benchmark for other golf tournament organisers.”

Linked to research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University, the report also identified the success of efforts to promote the initiative and raise spectator awareness – leading organisers to conclude that this was a clear area of opportunity for the future:

To download a copy of the report visit:

Zero Waste Scotland, a member of the 2014 Ryder Cup Green Drive steering group, has published a new guide to help event organisers to plan and deliver environmentally sustainable events.  The guide, which builds on learnings from high-profile events hosted by Scotland during 2014, including the Ryder Cup 2014 along with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The guide can be can be downloaded at

European Tour

Golf Environment Organisation

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