Hirsala Golf

GEO Certified® 07/2014 GEO Re-Certified 11/2017
Kirkkonummi,
Finland
Telephone: +358401797259
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Executive summary (English & local language)

Hirsala has long history on environmental work. The course has shown constant progress in improving the overall situation. Commitment for the work from the entire course personnel is on high level. This audit shows how further action are planned and that even the most advantaged courses can improve over time.

The Finnish situation in the family of golfcourses is one of a kind. Winter conditions put severe and unique pressure on the turfgrasses, water is not an issue due to super-abundant supply and the long light full days of summer deliver a long growing season. Management of Hirsala golf has taken significant steps on better and more agile management of these.

Hirsalalla on pitkä historia GEO'n mukaisessa ympäristötyössä. Ajan saatossa on löydetty kehittymiskohteita ja pystytty kehittämään toimintoja. Henkilöstön osallisuus ja asenne ovat aina olleet korkealla tasolla. Tämän raportin myötä tulee selväksi, että työtä jatketaan hyvällä otteella.

Suomalainen golfkenttä on golfin alueella sangen ainutlaatuisessa asemassa. Kasvustolle rankat talviolosuhteet, golfille poikkeuksellisen hyvä kasteluveden saatavuus sekä kasvukauden pitkien päivien muodostama kasvien kasvun aika muodostavat monenlaisia haasteita. Hirsalassa on otettu ja suunniteltu selkeitä askeleita tilanteen parempaan ja ketterämpään haltuun ottamiseen.

Nature

The course is in good shape. There nature shows that maintaining good and environmentally sustainable course has been the aim on daily work. Improvement projects have been planned, well beyond the normal expected course activities.

Actions taken and planned further reduce the environmental pressure from the course. There is no signs of unnatural erosion. All parts of the course and facilities are in good shape and turfgrass is growing as planned.

There has not been any need for further consultations or surveys as the existing are still relevant and up-to-date. The course surrounding natural environment, operational situation and in course environment are stable.

Habitats and designated areas are maintained properly. There is a ditch on the course (mostly running on the side of the course). There is an investigation going on, if that could be upgraded so that brown trout would live. That is a development project for years to come, would that be found feasible.

Turfgrasses are chosen taking in consideration the climate and the local requirements. The course walk showed, that the chosen species are functioning well here.

Meadow and rough areas are increased. Meadow is cultivated at the minimum level. The earlier implemented procedures are on place and the course is proactive in monitoring the wider environment.

Water

At Hirsala the water resources are limited. Water quality is being actively visually monitored and the quality is on good level. Water hazards are in good shape. Water usage is being monitored and actions for reducing consumption are taken.

Consumption is following the general weather conditions. The course management philosophy allows some impact on the turfgrass as long as playability is maintained.

Irrigation is done on need only philosophy. Soil moisture monitoring is used to support irrigation mitigation. Wetting agents are used for reducing irrigation need. Management measures and equipment support efficient irrigation.

Improving targeting of irrigation is reducing water usage. Practice range is no more irrigated.

Energy

2016 was a bit warmer than average summer and that had an impact on the energy consumption. The course is actively looking for solution to mitigate energy consumption in direct and indirect ways. Actions have been taken over the years and work will continue.

Sources are based on the availability (nor exceeding excessive costs). Sources include renewable solutions. Consumption levels meet the expected levels for a course alike.

Energy supplies are multiple. The potential solutions available have been implemented. There are no major shifts in availability in foreseeable future.

Changes in lighting for lower energy consumption have been standard procedure for some time. That will be carried on. Mitigation of irrigation has a direct (less pump hours) and indirect (less mowing) impact on energy usage.

Supply Chain

Supply chain is close to the possible optimum. The changes in managing the course may have an impact on the feasibility of supply life cycle and that is taken in consideration. Part of supply chain procedure is the return procedure of appropriate materials.

Policies support local, natural and environmentally friendly solution. Policies are in place on daily operations.

Supply chain is built to mitigate environmental impact. Combining logistic when possible (also with staff travels) reduce the impact on environment. Usage of local suppliers has positive impact in the local community.

Inputs are going down (both fertilizer and pesticide use are going down) and managing decisions will further have environmentally positive impacts on the consumption levels.

Waste minimization is a daily activity. Chosen management decision and vendors lead to further mitigation of waste. Reuse is implemented where possible, so is recycling.

Pollution Control

Pollution control is on high level, over the local legislation need. The site is clean, clear and everything is stored properly.

Analysis are taken regularly. Quality is visually monitored weekly. Water quality has been on good, planned level.

Waste water disposal follows the local municipal permits and is done with good management practices.

Hazardous materials are handled with proper manners and taking environment in consideration. No excessive storage of materials are kept on site.

Preventive measures are carried out properly and the daily activities are conducted in the manner of "better safe than sorry". Storage facilities exceed the national requirements.

The entire process of managing the course maintenance reduces risks and mitigates problems, would something (mainly a leak of oil from broken machinery) happen. Players are supported to carry out their part of pollution prevention.

Community

Hirsala course is natural and well established member of the community. Collaboration on local level is smooth and support to and from community is a natural way of operating. The course has been a pilot in developing a smaller scorecard, hence reducing the environmental impact. That score card upgrading seems to be spreading through the golf community.

Employment opportunities are given to local people. Course provides first workplace for interested and qualified students.

Employee education, both on senior and new recruitment level, is part of normal way of working. Training logs are kept and trainings are recorded and signed by both parties.

Sustainable leading is part of management system. Matters are dealt with as they rise and operational management has the tools to develop and implement actions.

There is good and smooth communication with the local communities and 3rd sector actors. Long work on this area has built solid base for further work.

Keeping the local sites in good shape has been carried out over the years. Protective measures are in place. There has not been any new discoveries or actions, which would have required special updates or actions on land usage or cultural heritage

Typical low hierarchy, straight and open Finnish way of leading people is the way of Hirsala. Communication flow is smooth and the operational culture supports open addressing of issues in need.

Homepage and other materials are in good shape. Local media relationships work fine and communication with local interest parties is open and solution oriented.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

The course is well maintained and meets the criteria for certification better than well.

Certification Highlights

New course manager has brought new drive to the development and actions taken / planned will have positive impact on the environment. Change in cultural thinking (green --> playability) will give new options for actions.