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Women follow Suzann Pettersen to set the bar for sustainability in golf |  Golf news


Camille Chevalier became Sustainable Golf Champion for the Ladies European Tour

Golf can be considered a three-way sport. Drive, pitch, putt. Four balls, quartets, singles. Palmer, player, Nicklaus. Even the sequence of holes from Amen Corner to Augusta National… 11, 12, 13.

Whether you are a big champion or a recreational player, a trio of birds can change your mindset. Win a shot, save it, advance. And the sport itself has very recently made decent progress in terms of sustainability on three different fronts: player, club, course.

It is perhaps not surprising that it is women’s golf that is showing us the way – you may remember our article on Suzann Pettersen becoming a Sustainable Golf Champion for the GEO Foundation; the Norwegian paved the way, and already others are starting to follow.

While for Pettersen it’s a post-career passion, the newest recruit to this program has only been a professional golfer for four years. Rookie of the Year of the Ladies European Tour 2017, Camille Chevalier has taken up the torch, and her main responsibility is to promote and celebrate the positive impacts of golf on nature and people, as well as to encourage new actions on issues keys such as pollution prevention. , resource efficiency and climate change.

Women follow Suzann Pettersen to set the bar for sustainability in golf |  Golf news

Suzann Pettersen is Ambassador of the GEO Foundation

It is clear that the 27-year-old was inspired by her immediate surroundings. “I have always had a special relationship with nature and the outdoors – one of the main reasons I liked golf is because it takes place in beautiful surroundings,” says Chevalier.

“My interest naturally shifted towards preserving and protecting nature as I grew up during a period of growing awareness of the impacts of climate change, plastic pollution, loss of biodiversity and the need to live off. more sustainable way. “

It’s a smart signature from the GEO Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance sustainability in and through golf. It is just as smart for them to be the green partner of the Ladies European Tour, and therefore to align closely with LET’s own sustainability initiative launched last year, “Celebrating the Green”. Partnership is key and, thanks to it, figures such as Pettersen and Chevalier can help spread the word.

Last week, LET hosted a webinar, so that more members could learn more about the initiative and contribute through their own experiences and stories. It ranges from promoting nature to conserving water, energy and materials, engaging communities, taking climate action, and the hope is that these elite athletes will contribute to make the change more profound.

Women follow Suzann Pettersen to set the bar for sustainability in golf |  Golf news

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“This initiative will provide Camille with a great platform to help raise awareness of some of the problems and solutions across golf and inspire her fans around the world,” adds Emma Allerton, Commercial Director of LET. “Sustainability takes a big team effort and we invite other members of the LET community to join in and take action.”

Last week, the LPGA Tour left the US shores for the first time this year with the HSBC Women’s World Championship, dubbed “Asia’s Major,” and in doing so, it visited one of the most enduring venues in all sport. Sentosa Golf Club is used to setting ambitious goals for itself, but this one may well surpass the crowd: to become the first climate neutral golf club by 2022.

This last commitment will allow them to join the “Race to Zero” of the UN. [climate emissions], which is not surprising, given that the Singapore site became the first golf club to join the United Nations Climate Service Framework.

Nor is it an empty commitment, as previous experience would prove. They aren’t named “the world’s best green golf course” for nothing, and in fact it’s a label they seem more and more comfortable with, especially as their carbon footprint continues. to decrease.

Women follow Suzann Pettersen to set the bar for sustainability in golf |  Golf news

Hyo Joo Kim won last week at Sentosa Golf Club, which aims to become the first climate neutral golf club by 2022

The environmental solutions they have found are both numerous and ingenious. Banning single-use plastics on both courses is one thing, while improving the energy management efficiency of the clubhouse and course irrigation system with 1,200 water-efficient sprinklers is a decent commitment. . But how about using rechargeable lithium batteries in golf carts and even creating their own bee colonies? They are not over yet!

While these previous steps were about carbon mitigation, it seems closer to carbon removal. This year, rounds of golf contributions will be set aside to help buy carbon offsets under regional forestry or blue carbon projects, sequestering atmospheric carbon while defending against deforestation and promoting conservation. forests, mangroves and reefs. And if that is not enough, the club installs two digesters of food and horticultural waste to crush the waste and reuse it as fertilizer on its courses.

Each avenue is explored, and the next on the radar is looking for potential alternative energy solutions such as solar power, as well as sustainable food production options. Thien Kwee Eng, CEO of Sentosa Development Corporation, is not wrong when he says, “Golf can act as a catalyst in the fight against climate change and it’s great to see one of the best golf clubs in the world. Singapore lead the way in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. “

Prague may not be a hotbed of golf, but it is home to the PGA National Czech Republic, which received the award for the best golf course in Europe at the World Golf Awards 2020. It had barely been open for five minutes, but this venue took a long planning period of 15 years, and all that time has clearly been well spent, with sustainability fully informing its design and function.

Women follow Suzann Pettersen to set the bar for sustainability in golf |  Golf news

Pettersen takes on a new role

Solheim Cup star Suzann Pettersen becomes sustainable golf champion

Biodiversity doesn’t always get a lot of press when discussing the impacts of climate change, but improving it is clearly a priority. On 104 hectares of land, an additional 23.15 hectares of natural habitat were added last year, meaning more than three-quarters of the land is undisturbed, thus promoting biodiversity. This in itself has a ripple effect, as the more natural habitat you have, the less the turf is maintained, which means less fertilizer and chemicals, as well as less pumping costs for irrigation and fuel. for machines.

Another major goal is to avoid sending waste to landfill, which means finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle all materials. By avoiding single-use plastic products such as bottled water, straws and cups, the course is able to successfully recycle 100% plastic, 90% metal, 90% paper / cardboard and 100% % of grass clippings. sent to compost. Other impressive numbers from last year include a commitment that 100% of irrigation water will be captured by the current drainage system that filters rainwater.

So, increase biodiversity? Check. Promote sustainable turf? Check. Prevent pollution, reduce energy consumption and recycle all materials? Tick, tick, tick. To keep the numbers of birds running, the next step is to achieve GEO certification, the most credible and respected mark of sustainability in golf around the world. Back to GEO Ambassador Camille Chevalier:

“It is important that golfers look around when playing. They can marvel at the landscapes and wildlife that can be found on the course – being surprised is already a first form of action to protect ecosystem. By keeping this close contact with nature, we become aware of its need for protection. I am delighted to work with the GEO Foundation, to explore how I can live, work and play more sustainably and help celebrating all the good things that are happening in golf for nature and people. “

It is clear that there are a lot of them right now, as golf is taking the lead with this trio of initiatives.

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