A partnership of bodies, led by Ryder Cup Europe and The Celtic Manor Resort, and managed by the Golf Environment Organisation, have been laying the foundations of an action plan that will deliver a diverse range of tangible social and environmental outcomes.
The initiative is backed by the Welsh Assembly Government, Ryder Cup Wales, the Wales Event Recycling Project, Newport City Council and is being delivered in conjunction with Greenstone Carbon Management.
Edward Kitson, Ryder Cup Match Director, emphasised the lead organisations commitment to environmental sustainability, and also the desire for all contractors and suppliers to play their part, stating, “Ryder Cup Europe and its partners are working hard to make The 2010 Ryder Cup an environmentally and socially responsible event.
“We are working to maximise all possible opportunities to reduce resource consumption through our procurement work, and also utilising the event’s profile to raise awareness of what can be achieved in golf facility and event management. We are very impressed so far by the willingness of prospective contractors and suppliers to help make this happen, and we believe we will have some highly innovative and ground-breaking examples of sustainability to present in October 2010.”
Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain, Colin Montgomerie, is lending his support to the initiative: "I am delighted that The 2010 Ryder Cup is pioneering sustainability in sport events. To know that important social and environmental issues are being addressed across all aspects of the event adds even more to the already huge sense of pride I have in captaining the European Team.
“Come event time, we are going to witness some inspirational sporting drama, within a stunning environment, and with a legacy of improved understanding and practical action in Wales and across the game of golf."
The sophisticated action plan cuts across four core areas.
• The Venue – the further development of The Celtic Manor Resort’s existing environmental management programme, through which the resort hotel and clubhouses have already achieved level 3 of the Welsh Green Dragon Awards for sustainable businesses. The Twenty Ten Course is also a pioneering participant in GEO Certification – a ground-breaking new programme that recognises excellence in the environmental management of golf facilities.
• Event Staging – which has involved establishing policy, promoting best practice guidance and collating baseline data for a wide range of issues such as energy, transport, catering, waste and temporary structures. This part of the action plan aims to ensure outreach through procurement, extending the initiative as far as possible out into supply chains.
• Communications – preceding and during the event, undertaking a wide range of media communication activities to make the most of the unique opportunity to raise public awareness and demonstrate leadership in this field.
• Legacy – activities that ensure that Ryder Cup achievements have a multiplier effect across golf and environment in Wales and internationally, including setting in motion a movement towards the greening of all golf events, and the provision of a detailed Sustainable Golf Events Toolkit to aid delivery.
Jonathan Smith, CEO of the Golf Environment Organisation, explained the rationale for sustainable golf events, saying, “In the modern day, it is incumbent upon high profile and large scale sporting events to address social and environmental issues. The bar is rising rapidly in terms of government and public expectation.
“In this action plan we have for the firs time produced a practical roadmap to deliver a more sustainable golf event. A key phase is procurement, and how we can utilise the leverage of being associated with The Ryder Cup to encourage contractors and suppliers to go that extra green mile.”
Jim McKenzie, Director of Golf Courses and Estates Management at The Celtic Manor Resort, said, “The Twenty Ten Course was built in harmony with its environment and with the close consideration for protected species like otters, toads and dormice. Since its conversion from intensive farmland, many indigenous grasses, plants and wildlife have returned to the land upon which the course is built.
“All the golf courses feature 100 per cent self-sustained irrigation with rainwater taken from these lakes and a specially constructed reservoir. We are committed to continually improving our own management to ensure care for the environment continues to be a feature of The Celtic Manor Resort’s staging of The 2010 Ryder Cup.”
Dr Simon Bilsborough of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Sustainable Development Division puts the initiative into perspective, “The Welsh Assembly Government has a duty to promote sustainable development, and our Scheme for Sustainable Development sets out the WAG‘s vision of a sustainable Wales based on using only our fair share of the earth‘s resources and moving towards becoming a one planet nation. I am delighted at the proactive and positive way that Ryder Cup Europe have embraced the same principles and are delivering directly in support of Welsh economic, social and environmental agendas"
An over-arching part of the programme is the work on carbon management. Coordinated by Greenstone Carbon Management, this will enable all partners to understand and stay focussed on reducing the events climate change impacts. Hugo Seymour of Greenstone Carbon Management sums up, “The purpose of the carbon management programme is to be able to map out the carbon footprint of the event – identifying the main greenhouse gas generating activities, quantifying them and then to find ways to avoid or reduce them.”
Rob Holt, Director of Ryder Cup Wales, endorsed the action plan and re-affirmed its importance as part of the event’s legacy, commenting, “Wales is such a stunning country and a great place to live, work and play. A sustainable Ryder Cup epitomises the way Wales wants to do business – profitably, equitably and to the benefit of the country’s future generations.”