Belas Clube de Campo Verifier Report
This report was prepared by Alexandra Almeida, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier.
It was published on February 3rd 2011.
The Belas Clube de Campo is a residential golf complex with an 18-hole golf course. The golf course was designed by William “Rocky” Roquemore and was inaugurated in 1998. The golf course is a “Championship Golf Course” incorporating an excellent layout with fairways and greens situated in deep valleys providing exceptional views of the local landscape. The different features of the golf course were defined at the outset to take a low environmental impact, e.g. the golf course was designed to take advantage of the water runoff and seepage from irrigation and precipitation, ie, all the water runoff is diverted to the lakes and re-use in irrigation of golf.
The golf course project was subjected to two environmental impact assessments (1993 – first phase (14 holes) and 1997– second phase (4 holes), both authored by IPA – Inovação e Projectos em Ambiente), in accordance with current legislation. The mitigation measures adopted included the obligation to implement and maintain an environmental management system certified according to ISO 14001 (environmental management systems standard).
In compliance with the requirements stated in the Environmental Impact Statement, the organization has successfully implemented and maintained, since the beginning of the golf course maintenance, an Environmental Management System (EMS) in accordance with the ISO 14001 Standard. The EMS was certified in 1999. More recently, the EMS was revised in order to integrate quality requirements into the management system. The integrated management system (EQMS) was certified, under ISO 9001 (quality management systems) and ISO 14001 standards, in 2007.
Belas Clube de Campo residential golf complex received the Certificate of Sustainable Construction awarded by the LiderA Programme in May 2011. It obtained an A+ grade, becoming the First Residential Project nation-wide to receive this classification. The LeaderA Certification has recognized the work Belas Clube de Campo has developed regarding sustainability, highlighting its excellent efforts with respect to the environment.
O complexo do Belas Clube de Campo inclui um campo de golfe com 18 buracos. O campo de golfe, inaugurado em 1998, foi desenhado pelo arquitecto William “Rocky” Roquemore O campo de golfe é um “Championship Golf Course”, par-72 , com um traçado excepcional, com fairways e greens por vezes implantados em vales profundos, proporcionando inesquecíveis vistas panorâmicas. O campo de golfe foi planeado deforma a ter um baixo impacte ambiental, por exemplo a sua modelação e desenho permite que a água proveniente das escorrências pluviais seja armazenada em lagos permitindo a sua reutilização no sistema de irrigação.
O projecto do campo de golfe foi sujeito a Avaliação de Impacte Ambiental (1993 e 1997, estudos da autoria da IPA – Inovação e Projectos em Ambiente), em conformidade com a legislação em vigor. As medidas de mitigação adoptadas incluíam a obrigação de implementar e manter de um sistema de gestão ambiental certificado de acordo com o referencial ISO 14001 (sistemas de gestão ambiental).
Em conformidade com os requisitos estabelecidos na Declaração de Impacto Ambiental, a organização tem implementado e mantido com sucesso, desde o início da fase de manutenção do golfe, um Sistema de Gestão Ambiental (SGA) em conformidade com a norma ISO 14001, certificado em 1999. Mais recentemente, o SGA foi revisto a fim de integrar os requisitos de qualidade no sistema de gestão. O sistema de gestão integrado (SGQA) foi certificado pelas normas ISO 9001 (sistemas de gestão da qualidade) e ISO 14001 em 2007.
O Belas Clube de Campo recebeu em Maio de 2011 o Certificado de Construção Sustentável atribuído pelo Sistema LiderA. Com a classificação A+, tornou-se, a nível nacional, no Primeiro Empreendimento Residencial a obter esta certificação. A Certificação LiderA reconhece o trabalho que o Belas Clube de Campo tem vindo a desenvolver ao nível da sustentabilidade, salientando o excelente desempenho ao nível ambiental.
Landscape & Ecosystems
The Belas Clube de Campo golf course occupies an area of 55ha. The playing area corresponds to 35 ha (turfgrass areas). The remaining area is occupied by areas of scrub vegetation (10 ha), open water features (four artificial lakes – 1 ha), paths and Maintenance Facility.
The golf course has been successfully integrated with landscape and contributes to the protection, enhancement and function of local ecosystems. The golf course is part of a mountain area with low density rates of urbanization and urban sprawl, that was composed of dense scrub and few areas of woodland (degraded due to previous forest fires), with some small water lines. This area still includes several patches of low and medium biodiversity importance but the golf course area does not feature any protected habitats or landscape designations.
Belas Clube de Campo understands the ecology, ecosystem and aesthetic value of the site but does not monitor any species as indicators of environmental quality. The facility promoted a series of studies in order to characterize the environmental values on site (e.g. landscape assessment - in 1993, 1997 and ecological survey – in 2002) and maintains a close collaboration with universities, research institutes and NGO’s.
The facility has defined key objectives for maximizing its ecological value. Belas Clube de Campo has undertaken a number of activities to conserve and enhance landscape character and ecosystems. For instance:
* Due to the implementation of a forestation plan, between 2000 and 2010, 4000 trees were planted in the area of the golf course and its surroundings. All trees and vegetation of the golf course is protected and the species planted are indigenous. The dominant feature of the landscape has changed from the undergrowth to a more wooded landscape.?The facility has maintained and enhanced large areas within the complex area that are not occupied by constructions (areas of scrub vegetation and areas of woodland within the area of the golf course (10 ha) and its surroundings, namely 20 ha of ecological preserved area existing within the residential golf complex area).
* The facility has promoted the maintenance of the natural vegetation around the lakes to keep the nesting areas of birds and has planted various species of flowers that help pollination by insects.
The existing local ecological network (ecological corridors), inside and outside the golf course, is maintained and enhanced and it is totally linked with the surrounding forest areas (Serra da Carregueira e Vale de Lobos).
* The turfgrass species selection (all cool season species), Agrostis stolonifera and a mix of Lolium perenne and Poa pratensis (semi-roughs and roughs), was made taking into account the existing type of soil, the effects of local climate variability (cool and humid in winter and warm and windy in summer) and disease resistance.
* The golf course has implemented a maintenance plan and several work instructions (procedures for irrigation, fertilization, cutting heights and application of chemicals) that detail the manner in which the golf course is maintained on a daily basis. They are formal documents that outline golf course maintenance goals and the necessary practices for meeting these goals. Cultural practices are selected according to the needs of the turfgrass and avoiding the use of chemicals.
Belas Clube de Campo was able to demonstrate multiple measures to minimize fertilizer and pesticide consumption (e.g. preventive application of pesticides performed only on 1 ha (greens)) and has already started implementing an IPM program.
Deep wells are the major source of irrigation water (5 boreholes). These deep wells are supplying the 4 lakes, which serve as reservoir. A complementary source was added to the system - all the water runoff is diverted to the lakes and re-use in irrigation of turfgrass areas and other green areas located in the complex.
The boreholes are licensed and quantities of water abstracted are declared to the authorities, in accordance with the Portuguese law. The level of groundwater is monitored monthly, demonstrating that the values remain stable over the past 9 years.?
At Belas Clube de Campo, the average annual irrigation water consumption is 337 000 m3/year (including 233 000 m3/year abstracted to the aquifer). The rate of water reuse varies between 6% and 34% (2000-2009).
Precipitation and weather conditions are monitored constantly, according to meteorological records of existing weather station, to efficiently manage irrigation needs of the golf course. The irrigation system is fully computerized but is complemented with the use of the best practices in irrigation. For this, the facility has an employee whose function is exclusively dedicated to irrigation, allowing for optimization of water consumption.
Belas Clube de Campo has defined key objectives for minimize the annual water consumption, thus Belas Clube de Campo has undertaken a number of activities to conserve / reduce / correct selection of grass minimize water consumption in general (e.g roof runoff is collected and re-used in the Wash Pad System) and to maximize irrigation efficiency, namely: species and replacement of full-circle sprinklers for half-circle sprinklers to avoid irrigate unnecessary areas, de-compaction, evening irrigation scheduling, use of wetting agents, soil moisture analysis, annual scarification to combat thatch and annual aeration are just some of the cultural practices which help keep irrigation to a minimum.
Belas Clube de Campo has defined key objectives for minimize the area of managed/irrigated turfagrass: during 2011 the total of irrigated area will be reduced by 2 ha (the reduction will occur in rough areas that are considered not playing areas).
Energy & Resources
Belas Clube de Campo keeps track of their annual energy consumption with accounts of electricity, diesel, petrol, and hydraulic oils. In the golf course, the primary energy used is electricity (e.g. all the 50 buggies for golf players are electric). They are connected to the local green grid supply (the Portuguese Electricity Company (EDP) provides the percentage of electricity generation that comes from renewables energies, which will be around 26%).
Natural gas is also used in the restaurant kitchen and water heating. The maintenance equipment, such as vehicles and mowing machines are fueled with gasoline and diesel. The facility purchased two hybrid cars to employees of the golf course and also installed two photovoltaic units, whose energy is sold to the electricity company and injected in the grid electric. The Maintenance Facility has also solar thermal panels for water heating for showers.
The used food oil from Belas Clube de Campo is collected and sent to the production of biodiesel for use in municipal vehicles but Belas Clube de Campo has as its key objective diversify energy and fuel supply in the maintenance of the golf course, thus, starting 2011, the facility will be able to fuel the maintenance equipment with biodiesel (a new fuel tank to store biodisel, gasoline and diesel is being installed in the Maintenance Facility area).
In 2010 Belas Clube de Campo carried out an energy audit and a study calculating the carbon footprint of the complex (golf course included), done by a specialist company (Ecoprogresso) – in 2009 Belas Clube de Campo produced 5 100 ton CO2.
Belas Clube de Campo has established a number of activities to reduce energy consumption and to encourage reductions in staff and customer transport emissions. Belas Clube de Campo also has a workshop on Renewable Energy, which is open to visits by students from the region of Sintra.
Belas Clube de Campo monitors the water quality use in the irrigation system (groundwater), in the lakes, Wash Pad and Maintenance Facility (Wastewater). The facility has implemented an annual monitoring plan, established in accordance with current legislation.
All hazardous materials and wastes at Belas Clube de Campo are handled and disposed in accordance with current legislation.
Belas Clube de Campo has implemented an Environmental Emergency Plan and has undertaken a number of activities to prevent pollution on its golf course and from its maintenance facility, clubhouse (e.g No spray zones are present around all water features and ecological areas, the maintenance of all equipment from the golf course is conducted in the "garage" of Belas Clube de Campo, in a covered, impervious surface and with all the necessary safety and the facility has the necessary equipment to fight the spillage of chemicals or fuels, such as absorbent material, protective equipment and containers for storage of waste produced).
People & Communities
The promotion of local employment is one of the objectives pursued by the facility. Most of the 30 employees of the golf course live in the region. To ensure the necessary skills to their jobs all the staff receives environmental education according to an annual education plan, reviewed an approved on an annually basis by the administration. The education plan includes formal and informal environmental education related with the facility’s environmental aspects (e.g. nature conservation, consumption nature resources and water quality, the use of chemicals and fertilizers, waste production and environmental risks).
Belas Clube de Campo has an environmental working group comprised of key staff, including the owner, course manager and the environment manager.
Belas Clube de Campo has engaged positively and constructively with local community groups such as neighbors (e.g collection of food oils, replacement bulbs for energy-saving lamps from residents of Belas Clube de Campo, incentives for installation of renewable energy units in homes of the Belas Clube de Campo), local government (e.g. Belas Club de Campo signed a protocol with the Municipal Energy Agency of Sintra, in support for energy efficiency issues), local community groups, and environmental organizations (e.g. geota), media and schools and colleges (e. g. Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa).
Both environmental impact assessments included archaeological and heritage surveys. In the area of the golf course there is no archaeological site, but in the surrounding lands are some findings that are adequately protected by the company that owns the golf course.
Products & Supply Chains
Belas Clube de Campo carry out an effective evaluation and selection of all suppliers and try to make all purchases from suppliers located as close as possible to the golf course, thus the majority of suppliers (55%) is within 10 kilometers. All suppliers are informed of its environmental preferences (Quality and Environment Policy and environmental requirements).
All waste produced on the golf course are separated according to their nature, quantities are recorded and only authorized companies are allowed to collect, manage it and send it to authorized destinations, in accordance with current legislation. Waste total numbers are declared to the authorities every year, according to the Portuguese legislation.
Almost all waste is recycled including PET, glass, aluminium, metal, paper and cardboard, wood. Grass clippings collected and transported to the Composting Central, where they are transformed into compost and used in the Belas Clube de Campo green areas.
- Environmental Policy
- Certification Report
- External Surveys and Reports
- EIA Statement
- Environmental Data
As a consequence of implementing and maintaining an EMS during a period of ten years, all significant environmental aspects (e.g. nature conservation, consumption nature resources and water quality, the use of chemicals and fertilizers, waste production and environmental risks) have been identified and are being controlled by the facility. The progress of all environmental goals and objectives is periodically tracked and reviewed on an annually basis thus ensuring the continuous improvement of its environmental performance. The EMS includes written procedures and a number of plans which allows the continual long-term improvement in all items of the programme.
I, Alexandra Almeida, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier recommend that Belas Clube de Campo be awarded GEO Certified™ status for excellence in environmental management.