The groundbreaking work of Golf Environment Europe (GEE) was recognised at the European Golf Business Conference, hosted by the European Golf Course Owners Association (EGCOA).
GEE was presented with the conference’s annual award which goes to a person or organisation which plays an important role in the development of golf in Europe.
Lodewijk Klootwijk, an EGCOA director, said, “Environmental programmes in golf can help increase public respect and recognition for the sector, so the industry needs to maximise and promote its economic, social and environmental contribution.
“GEE is one of the world leaders when it comes to supporting the golf industry in improving its practices. The EGCOA has certainly valued the impartial advice and support that GEE has provided, and this award is just a small token of the appreciation of many of us in the industry.”
GEE’s chief executive Jonathan Smith said, “GEE exists to support and help report on golf’s environmental activities. For some time the industry has recognised the importance of environmental issues. We understand the value of positive public opinion, of political support, and of finding more eco-efficient ways to build and manage courses.
“We have also recently seen, for example through the proposed EU directive on pesticides, that environmental regulation is becoming more far reaching and influential.
“GEE’s main effort has been to encourage and support action by golfing organisations across the sector, and through collaboration, to identify and then implement the kinds of practical projects that the sector needs in order to improve and then promote its environmental responsibilities. We are delighted with the positive response we have felt from a wide range of golf and environmental organisations.
“GEE is honoured to receive this award and delighted that our work has been recognised by the EGCOA.”
GEE is an independently-run, non-profit organisation specialising in the promotion of environmental sustainability in golf. It is led by a board of independent trustees: senior figures from the golfing and environmental sectors.
It also administers the European Forum for Golf and Environment – a collaboration of Europe’s key golfing organisations – which interacts with leading environmental and government bodies.
Golf Environment Europe is working in five main areas:
• Improving communications on environmental issues within European golf, and with external organisations;
• Developing an environmental certification programme for golf facilities;
• Preparing environmental guidelines for new golf course development;
• Collating and disseminating technical information to practitioners;
• Integrating environmental best practices into golf events to help raise awareness of golf/environment issues.