La Pinetina Golf Club Asd

GEO Certified® 03/2013 GEO Re-Certified 09/2016
Appiano Gentile,
Italy
Telephone: +39031933202
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Executive summary (English & local language)

Pinetina G.C. is located inside the Regional Park:”Pinewood of Appiano Gentile and Tradate”. It is 40 km far from Milan, 45 km from Malpensa Intercontinental Airport and 20 km from the Swiss border. The Golf Course has 18 holes (5.761 m) plus 6 pitch & putt holes (330 m). The total surface of the Golf Club is 60.5 ha. Since 2000 the Golf Club has been dealing with environmental protecting policies. It was awarded in 2007 with the Committed to Green National Certification and since 2008 it has been involved in EMAS certification procedure. The Golf Club was awarded with the National certification by Committed to Green in 2007, with the Golf Environment Organization in 2010 and 2013. In planning the annual turf management and the environmental golf course strategy they were able to get the collaboration of the most qualified Italian technicians. Result of this commitment is synthetised by a reduction of water consumes and nitrogen fertilisers, compared with the annual consumes of the similar golf course of the area (Po Valley). The Club manager is recording any variation in using maintenance materials, in energy consumption, in production and managing waste, strictly according to the national rules. Any external activity has to be agreed with the Regional Park Management and this is a further guarantee about sustainability of the course operations. The landscape is mainly characterised by morainic hills gently undulated, covered by woods and sometimes by crops. There are no archeological sites in the area, but a quite heavy rural tradition is very well shown by the social, recreative and cultural plan elaborated by the Regional Park. This plan is mandatory also for the Club which is really involved in informing its members about the Park's activities.

Il Golf Club La Pinetina è situato all'interno del Parco della Pineta di Appiano Gentile e Tradate a circa 40 km da Milano, 45 km dall'Aeroporto Intercontinentale di Malpensa e a 20 km dal confine con la Svizzera. Il percorso di 18 buche sviluppa 5.761 m e vi è anche un percorso a 6 buche di pitch & putt (330 m). La superficie totale del Golf Club è di 60,5 ha.Il circolo è molto impegnato sul fronte della salvaguardia ambientale sin dal 2000. Ha ottenuto nel 2007 la certificazione nazionale Impegnati nel Verde, nel 2010 la certificazione GEO e la successiva ricertificazione nel 2013 e dal 2008 è soggetto alla procedura per la certificazione EMAS. Tecnici di grande livello assistono il circolo nella programmazione ordinaria delle manutenzioni e nella sostenibilità ambientale della struttura. Il risultato di tale impegno si è al momento consolidato nella limitazione dei consumi irrigui e dell'impiego di fertilizzanti azotati, inferiori alla media dei percorsi di golf di analoghe dimensioni nella pianura padana. La direzione registra una singola variazione nell'impiego dei materiali di manutenzione, nei consumi di energia, nella produzione e gestione dei rifiuti seguendo rigorosamente le disposizioni di legge vigenti nel paese. Ogni attività deve essere concordata con la direzione del Parco Regionale è questa è una garanzia ulteriore della sostenibilità delle operazioni manutentive. Il paesaggio circostante è caratterizzato da lievi ondulazioni moreniche coperte da boschi e da prati. Non vi sono siti archeologici nell'area, ma la forte tradizione rurale della zona è stata ben recepita dal piano sociale, ricreativo e culturale elaborato dal Parco Regionale. Il Piano è stato recepito dal Club e tutti i membri ricevono adeguate informazioni sulle attività del Parco stesso.

Nature

The Golf Club has an environmental management plan aimed at servicing diverse heritage flora and fauna that has been surveyed and cataloged. In order to get a better environmental sustainability of the golf facilities the management has been involved in:
*renaturalisation of pond margins, improving native species establishment and improving natural areas %.

This golf facility consults several organizations regarding landscape heritage conservation: Parco Pineta di Appiano Gentile e Tradate (1 pubblication:"Conoscere e scoprire le Architetture Vegetali del Parco Pinetina di Appiano Gentile e Tradate"); Italian Golf Federation Green Section (1 agronomist involved in maintenance strategy); Committed to Green Project (with four papers published on trees, birds and mammals)

The Golf Course presents four main habitats: native woodland (about 15 ha), non native plantation woodland (about 20 ha), open water features (about 2 ha), heathers (about 2 ha). No rare, protected or notable species occur at this golf facility. Vegetation of the Regional Park is characterised by the typical lumbard heathers together with pure pinewood of Scots pine or mix woods with English oak, chestnut, false acacia, common hornbeam, betula, elm, common maple. The introduction of alien species and trees for wood production realised in the past represents a complication in the natural evolution of the vegetation. Fauna is quite diversified, but relatively scarce due to human and hunting pressure, and poor water place.

The turf is formed by bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) and Poa annua on greens/collars; Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and Poa annua on tees and fairways; fine fescues (Festuca rubra) and Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) on semirough. The Golf Course Superintendent is managing the turf with extreme cure and attention, however the Club has a collaboration with a turf consultant of the Italian Golf Federation Green Section, who is very expert and very careful to the environmental problems related to a golf courses maintenance. Deseases, insects attacks, weeds control are not preventive, only practiced in the presence of the pathogens and only in limitated areas and/or for exceptional events (i.e. Pythium desease). This practice has been very useful in reducing pesticide's use compared to the close Golf Courses of the area.

The Regional Park provides particular attention to the landscape conservation which is assured by the presence of specifical protection plans. The holes are enterely cut into woods: first nine in a hilly land, while the second are placed in a flatter area. Despite this, the second holes are more technically demanding.

Water

A new irrigation system, realised in 2009, is able to provide very significative improvments in terms of water distribution (better sprinklers spaced) and sprinklers control (computerised system directly managed by the Superintendent). The water covered surface is less than one fourth of the total golf course surface. Water quality is also checked and improved by the Club, naturalization of some areas close to the lake, using less leaching fertilisers and less toxic pesticides.

The main water source is a well of groundwater which is feeding an artificial lake where is located the pump station. Up to 2007 the annual mean of water consumption has been 101,000 m³/year compared with the mean of 134,000 m³/year of the similar golf courses of the Po Valley. In recent years it has obtained a gradual reduction in water consumption up to 2012, with 74,601 m³/ year. In the last three years the water consumption has been : 72,689 m³ in 2013, 48,480 m³ in 2014 (very rainy year particularly in the summer) and 76,860 m³ in 2015 with an average of 66,009 m³. Using coolseason turfgrasses is probably almost impossible to go down this limit. Comparing with the consumption of other golf courses of Po Valley and with crops of the area we have (average of the last three years for GC La Pinetina):

GC La Pinetina – 1.091 m³/ha
Po Valley Golf Courses – 1.340 m³/ha
Crops – 2.437 m³/ha

About the drinkable water the average of consumption in the last three years is 4.503 m³ and in detail: 5.808 m³ in 2013, 3.034 m³ (in 2014 where less people were playing because the bad weather) and 4.668 m³ in 2015.

The irrigation system is covering the following areas: greens complex area (daily frequency in the summer), tees (daily frequency in the summer), fairways (daily frequency in the summer), semirough (weekly frequency in the summer) and a narrow strip of rough (weekly frequency in the summer). The system is fully computer controlled and it is serviced every 6 months, upgraded every 3 years and re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 6 months. Micro irrigation for green surrounds in order to reduce the total amount of the water has been installed . The driving range and first tee have been converted with warm season grasses (bermuda) to reduce the irrigation volume. The 14th tee will be converted as well in 2016.

The Club management is involved in reducing and/or optimising water consumption through:

* choke some sprinklers,
* evapotranspiration data collection,
* soil decompacting,
* wetting agents distribution,
* rebuilding lake's banks (currently in sleepers) to avoid water leaching,
* convert some areas of the course with warm season grasses (action already completed on the driving range and first hole tees),
* reduce the areas of fairway.

Energy

The Club is strongly involved in energy saving since 2010, when they installed photovoltaic panels for 20 kw on the driving range canopy. For this reason they received the 2011 Committed to Green Energy Award from Italian Golf Federation. In 2012 solar thermal panels and solar heated showers were installed for the new pool. Again in 2015 the Club received the Committed to Green Energy Award. Clubhouse has received the energy certification by Lombardy Region. The Club is involved in obtaining energy saving through a new heating system (new condensation boiler) with the consequent class “D” certification. Power, methane, diesel, petrol, heat and hydraulic oil consumes are monthly monitored and in it has been realised an energy audit in order to save energy.

The photovoltaic panels are able to provide 28% of the total power consumed. The non renewable grid is slightly increased in the last three years (from 336,944 kWh of 2013 to 352,999 kWh of 2015) because the Club has realised a new heated pool as service to the members. All the others energy indicators (fuels) have a positive trend of reduction:

Diesel - from 16,353 liters (2013) to 15,535 liters (2015)
Hydraulic Oil - from 389 liters (2013) to 300 liters (2015)
Natural Gas – from 59,200 liters (2013) to 43,138 liters (2015)
Petrol – from 3,178 liters (2013) to 3,031 liters (2015)

Photovoltaic and solar panels plus showers solar heated, introduced in 2012 and 2015 are helping to diversify the energy supply.

In order to reduce energy and fuel the Club is undertaking the following actions:

* Led technology to light all the Club House and Dormy house, together with motion sensor lighting
* Digital control for heating in the Club House
* Solar timers control esternal lighting
* Lockers rooms with warnings about the use of solar thermal

Supply Chain

The Club is very careful in adopting an environmental strategy in purchasing any material for the golf course, the Clubhouse and the Dormy House. Waste management is practised according to the National rules of the country with particular attention to 106/09 DLS and 81/08 DL. Waste collection is differentiated with separation of paper/cardborad, glass, plastic, aluminium, metal, batteries, lubrificants, cooking oils.

About the cleaning products the Club has decided the purchase of powder cartridges to be diluted with water through special dispensers to reduce packaging waste.

The general policy is to privilege suppliers close to the Golf Club, but it is not always possible. There are 61 suppliers and 28 of them are situated in a ray of 10 km, 37 within 100 km.

The maintenance policy is following these actions in the last three years:

* Superintendent monitoring the golf course every morning.
* Use of alternative methods to control insects and deseases (i.e. on fairways, greens and semi-rough they use Potassium and Potassium Phosphite in order to enhance the resistance to pathogens. On greens they have begun to use mixtures of antagonistic microorganisms as Thricoderma.
* Intensification of cultivation operations as coring (from 2015 again a standard operation on greens, tees and fairways) and slicing (on fairways, semi-rough and greens).
* Intensification of verticuttings and topdressings on greens during the growing season.
* Removing dew on fairway every morning.

In the last three years the nutrients consumption has been reduced as total quantity with differences among surfaces (decreasing on fairways and increasing on tees and greens). Comparing with the consumption of other golf courses of Po Valley and with crops of the area, we have (average of the last three years for GC La Pinetina):

* GC La Pinetina – N = 6.92 kg/ha – P = 0.60 kg/ha – K = 8.27 kg/ha
* Po Valley Golf Courses – N = 40.2 kg/ha – P = 6.3 kg/ha – K = 31.5 kg/ha
* Crops – N = 155.8 kg/ha – P = 56.8 kg/ha – K = 72.8 kg/ha

The same we can say as regard as the use of pesticides. According the E.U. Rules and the National laws in the sector, the Club has further reduced their use in the last three years.
Comparing with the consumption of other golf courses of Po Valley and with crops of the area, we have (average of the last three years for GC La Pinetina):

* GC La Pinetina – Fungicides = 1.04 kg/ha – Herbicides = 0.12 kg/ha – Insecticides = 0.22 kg/ha
* Po Valley Golf Courses – Fungicides = 3.70 kg/ha – Herbicides = 1.50 kg/ha – Insecticides = 2.00 kg/ha
* Crops – Fungicides = 6.60 kg/ha – Herbicides = 3.60 kg/ha – Insecticides = 2.30 kg/ha

There is a designated area where to separate recyclable materials. Cores, clippings and dirty sand are recycled directly on the turf inside the Golf Course. Particularly grass clipping coming from greens mow is correctly recycled scattering it on semirough. Waste water coming from the Clubhouse, Dormy house, maintenance facilities is discharged into a water body according to the National laws. From 2015 they also use concentrated natural degreasers.

Pollution Control

The Club uses, for the Clubhouse and maintenance facility, public water obtained from property wells. During the year many analysis to check the water quality are required by the authorities.

Water quality analysis are planned according the following frequency:

* Inflow – yearly (chemical), monthly (biological), daily (visual)
* Outflow - yearly (chemical), yearly (biological), daily (visual)
* On site – every three years (chemical), every three years (biological), daily (visual)

According the national laws the club installed two water purifiers (Clubhouse and Maintenance facility). So the autorithy requires four analysis per year of the waste water. Also the new pool has required the installation of a purifier with activated carbon.

Hazardous materials (detergents, cooking oils, lubricants, fuels, pesticides, fertilisers bags, oil filters, batteries) at this golf facility are all handled and disposed in safe storages and they are registered in an official book.

Pollution prevention is one of the most important priority for the Club. Fuels are contained in above ground tanks situated over an impervious to water platform. Also the mixing fertilisers and pesticides operations are in another specific impervious to water platform connected with closed loop recycling and oil separator. In the pesticides storage room there are absorbent materials for any emergency.

All around the well a no spray area has been realised. The bunkers banks are under reshaping to control erosion. In 2015 the natural organic fertilisation has been planned on fairways in order to reduce the leaching problems. On hole 1 and 17 swales and bio-filters, to slow and treat surface run-off, have been realised.

Community

The course is one of the few in Italy having a security plan and an emergency plan, which are well promoted among members. Furthermore the Pinetina Golf Club staff are very qualified and provided of the required professionality to manage the course in an optimising system and with attention to the environmental problems. The Club manager and the Superintendent have been graduated by the National Golf School of the Italian Golf Federation. The remaining staff are annually attending the educational courses established by the national laws in the following items: accidents prevention, emergency management, health and security on the work place, environmental education.

All workers in the course participant to every five-year course for the issue of license of pesticides.
General Manager and Course Manager have attended several Toro Site Pro Course. The Golf Club is compliant with the safety of the working environment that provides the courses required to prevent accidents and deal with any emergencies. The staff participates in all courses regarding safety laws: first aid , RLS.

The Golf Club hosts every year a competition, part of a national tour, named "Committed to green". During the day members and players are made aware about golf & environment.
The Golf Club has joined to the Italian Golf Federation School Project which was able to get in touch students with golf and nature.

The most of the activities in environmental field, are run in collaboration with the Regional Park managers particularly for the course guides, website, meetings with authorities, projects for the local community.

In collaboration with the Pineta Park in Appiano Gentile and Tradate the Club provides access and diversified land use for others through:

* Maintenance of existing public paths.
* Creation of new paths and nature trails.
* A general poster on sports disciplines available in the area including golf (which has been published and become very popular).
* A stroke saver with the species of birds, trees and animals observed in or close to the golf course.

Newletter is sent to all members whenever they are major investments such as photovoltaic solar panels to raise awareness about the importance of saving energy. The Club has published a legislative audit regarding all environmental issues in which it is involved. Inside the golf members, environmental information are advertised through posters, displays, meetings, reports and brochure production.

The club is also well connected with local environmental groups, media, community schools and public authorities. They often public articles on National, Local and International Newspaper and Magazine to inform the public on the environmental commitment.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

Since 2000 the Golf Club has been dealing with environmental protecting policies. It was awarded in 2007 with the Committed to Green National Certification and since 2008 it has been involved in EMAS certification procedure. The Golf Club was awarded with the National certification by Committed to Green in 2007, with the Golf Environment Organization certification in 2010 and 2013 and it is the oldest GEO awarded Golf Club in Italy.

Certification Highlights

* The photovoltaic panels are able to provide the 28% of the total power consumed.
* Water consumption is probably at the lowest possible level using coolseason turfgrasses.
* Comparing with the consumption of other golf courses of Po Valley and with crops of the area, Pinetina G.C. has a very positive result in terms of nutrients and pesticides use.
* Pollution prevention is one of the most important priority for the Club.