St. Laurence Golf

GEO Certified® 07/2017
Lohja,
Finland
Telephone: +35819357821
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Executive summary (English & local language)

St. Laurence is a beautiful facility, reachable even by bike from the nearby city Lohja. The larger environment is a ridge formation going back to the last glacier. The course consists of 3 different entities; the first course Kalkki-Petteri with 18 holes, the second course Pyhä-Lauri with 18 holes and six holes par 3. As the history of the area is in farming, there are some very nice old farming houses which are now part of the course operations.

Like most courses in Finland, at St. Laurence the nature has been taken in consideration from the early days. The nearby location of a city of Lohja and being only a fair half an hour from the capital area, the course needs to be, and is, very well maintained.

Something about the facility tells also that deers live in the area and even a wolverine has been seen there.

St. Laurence on, kuten muutkin Suomen kentät, hyvin hoidettu. Lohjanharjun muodostelmat luovat omat erityispiirteensä laajemmassa kokonaisuudessa. Pääkaupunkiseudun sekä Lohjan kaupungin läheisyys tuottavat luontaisen ulkoisen paineen alueen hyvässä kunnossa pitämiseen. Alueen luonnonmukaisuudesta kertoo jotain sekin, että alueella elää kauriita ja siellä on myös tavattu ahma.

Nature

The course is well maintained and in the audit everything to the smallest detail was in order! There was no erosion visible, all green areas were in good shape and all the water ways were also in good condition. The former use of the area was still present in the form of some related buildings. The facility is calming, gently and smoothly rolling.

Surveys have been conducted in proper manner. Need for their renewal has been evaluated (not seen necessary at this point, which is an appropriate evaluation). The course has a good history of surveys and, like other courses in Finland too, the initial development has already been done according to the general and local guidelines.

The habitats and designated areas are well taken in consideration. Action taken exceed the ones required by external authorities (several self appointed areas). The landscape supports the natural habitats of the area.

There are plans to increase meadow areas, hence reducing the areas needing mowing or nutrients.

Turfgrass species are chosen according to the local environment and needs. They work fine and give the players good experience of play. Having a mixture of species on all areas makes the areas less vulnerable to harsh climate condition (especially winter).

There is an ongoing evaluation of the needs for conservation and enhancement. When need identified, action are planned with long term impact on mind. Activities are taken with good planning and looking at the facility as a whole, rather than just doing quick fixes.

Water

Like at any course in Finland, water is not a major issue. The water is not a scarce resource. Water consumption is monitored and irrigation is done on the need basis. The opportunities for reducing water usage in supporting facilities is limited, due to the fact, that there needs to be adequate amount of waterflow to ensure the functionality of the systems.

Water is used from two different sources; community system (potable, source is ground water) and water hazards for irrigation. Would the water for irrigation fall short, the system can have refills from the lake Lohja (water are 93 km2). Even the total annual water consumption for irrigation would be taken at single take from the lake, the water table change would only be a fraction of that of daily evaporation on a sunny day.

The levels of consumption are actually a bit less, than what one would expect for a course of this size. This tells, that water usage is a priority consideration and as the potable water usage has been going down, also the players and supporting facilities have learnt to be more thoughtful on water usage.

Irrigation is done on proper planning and need base. The efficiency is on high level, the consumption is about 10 to 15 % less than what has been seen on other courses of the same size.

Efficiency an the supporting facilities and maintenance building has been improved over the last years. Faucets have been replaced with low volume ones couple of years ago. Mens toilets have non-water urinaries.

The use of water must be kept on the level, that the infrastructure functions. Irrigation water usage is to be monitored, but in conjunction with the turfgrass wellbeing. A lot of activities have already been taken. The cost - benefit ratio and true value for environment is to looked at in making further decisions on water usage reduction activities.

Energy

Energy usage is on proper level. There is always room for improvements with new technology. As from the environmental point of view, changes should though be though of through life cycle analysis.

Sources include the available possibilities. Renewable energy has been added to the source. Utilization of natural light, air based heating and automated on and off turning have been introduced. Level of consumption is going down and renewable volume is increasing. Levels of consumption are at the lower end for a facility of this size.

Electricity operated vehicles are taking bigger role. Making replacements with low energy using systems (ie. LED light) are already in place. Good facility maintenance and turf maintenance reduce energy needs. As there has been improvements on the buildings energy efficiency, that is also well in progress.

Supply Chain

Supply chain management is on good level. All materials are bought as near as possible. Local suppliers are used when feasible. Storage volumes are on such a low level, that materials will not become outdated and hence waste.

Purchasing policies are clear. They are understood by the people and both the economical and ecological thinking is well in place. Policies aim at volumes and products, which mitigate waste.

Logistics has always been a major interest in a country like Finland (population density 18/km2 vs UK 251/km2). Supply chain and deliveries are well thought of and systems are functioning well. There is good local purchasing policy, which supports the local businesses.

Turfgrass inputs are on sustainable level. There is still space for improvements in nutrition usage. But the fine balance of good play and mitigation of nutrients must be monitored constantly. Inputs are stored exceptionally well and volumes are on such level, that there is hardly any over-the-year storing taking place.

Recycling is well done. All the legislation as per how hazardous waste and other waste is to be handled is understood and executed. Reuse and recycling are done according to the rules local administrative have given. Waste minimization is part of everyday work, not a project.

Pollution Control

The site has a very good and professional pollution control in place. That include both operation (ie. spraying) and storage. This site is about the first one, where I was not able to give any hints on improving pollution control.

Analysis are done frequently, meeting the needs of the facility and the environment. Process is outsourced, which ensures neutrality of the process. Results are discussed within the organization. Results show that the course is well maintained.

Waste water is treated and the treatment follows the set rules and quidelines.

Hazardous materials, as well as hazardous waste materials, are stored appropriately and logs of external disposal are in place.

Washing area at the maintenance has a separating system. Clubhouse has very good areas for storing materials (all sheltered also from rain). There is good practices in place and people are aware of their role in executing the mitigating actions.

The course is operated according to the rules and there is clear system for every potential pollution risk situation for the course. Training covers potential hazardous situations and guidance is given on how to act if something would happen. The course maintenance is done in the way, that pollutive substances are not ending on open waters.

Community

The club is a strong part of the community. Employees come for a large part from the local area. Local schools are invited to get to know the club and the game. Restaurant serves also other than players. With history of close to 30 years, the club has established itself as part of the society.

Employees are trained, required certification are on place and their renewal is monitored. Employment opportunities for seasonal workers (majority of workforce) are provided for local people.

Sustainable issues are regularly discussed in board meetings. Specific issues are being prepared in special task force groups. All course parties have signed the environmental policy.

The course is part of the community. The collaboration with the local community is smooth and there are no problems in the air. Through long history of providing employment opportunities for the local people, there is a good "inhouse" knowledge of what the course really is about.

The site is well maintained and the existing old buildings are incorporated to the facilities. The cultural heritage of the area is understood and operation are run accordingly. Land use is following the historical farm field way.

There is an open and discussing way of communicating within the entire society. Guides and daily instructions are discussed and major points appear on information boards too. There is a good culture of openness and readyness for placing questions when needed.

The course shares results of analysis and surveys. The website is open for public and up to date. There has been published also articles of the course in different papers and magazines. There is a bulletin board for players and visitors giving up-to-date information.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

The course is well above the requirements for certification and sustainability performance is high. Their main challenge for the years to come, is to identify further mitigation steps, yet making that in economically and even environmentally feasible way.

Certification Highlights

The storage facilities are of a very high standard and everything is well protected.