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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

31 January 2018

PGA Tour charts first steps into sustainability

The Professional Golf Association (PGA) in the United States has released its first report into the body’s social and environmental impact.

“The PGA recognizes the critical need to tell the story of the industry’s sustainability successes and challenges”, it said in a statement.

The association has, therefore, conducted an assessment of its sustainability performance among almost 30 of its key stakeholders.

The PGA has a major presence not only in golf, but in the world of sport. It runs 10,000 golf facilities, has 29,000 members and helps contribute $70 billion to the industry in the US.

It also runs international tournaments, such as the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup, which require huge amounts of energy and resources to help run. As a result, the PGA is working with energy company Constellation to offset its carbon footprint at these events. The organisation has committed to purchasing renewable energy certificates to ensure that 100 percent of the energy used during its US events will be matched with wind power generation.

The assessment showed that in 2017 this scheme has already helped offset 2450 megawatt hours of electricity, the equivalent of taking 390 cars off the road.

As a result of the report, six key areas have been identified in order to improve sustainability. These cover: environmental footprint, diversity, engaging the next generation, educating the workforce, improving quality of life, and growing the game.

 “Social responsibility is intrinsically linked to the success of the PGA of America and the entire golf industry,” said PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua.

“Golf has many wide-reaching positive impacts—from the jobs created in local communities to green space and wildlife habitats that golf courses provide to the significant philanthropic contributions our industry delivers to worthy causes. Our future relies on how well we can expand these initiatives to new audiences, while injecting new energy into the services we provide to our PGA Professionals, in order to grow the game worldwide.”

Joe Nigro, CEO of Constellation, said the company was “proud of the progress we’ve made in partnership with PGA of America in reducing the environmental footprint of the game of golf and raising awareness of responsible energy use among its Members”.

It is hoped that the PGA can provide clear guidance and a strong example to improve sustainability across the game of golf. Some tournaments on the PGA Tour, such as the Phoenix Open, have already made significant advances towards making their courses fully sustainable.

 

Image Credit: Edewaa Foster

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