Golf Sarfvik

GEO Certified® 04/2014 GEO Re-Certified 10/2017
Kirkkonummi,
Finland
Telephone: +358 9 2219 000
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Executive summary (English & local language)

Golf Sarfvik is a club with a good location in Kirkkonummi, close to Helsinki. It is situated between the Lake Finnträsk and Gulf of Finland, consisting of two separate courses, the park-like Old Course, and the hilly New Course with forests and differences in altitude.

Golf Sarfvik has now received it's second verification for GEO. This means that the club has been monitoring and improving its environmental performance in areas of nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community at a credible level, and has kept records of those matters for at least three last years. The truth is, with this golf club, that there are records for much longer time, too.

As it is with the nature of continual improvement, it becomes more and more difficult, the more improvements are done. This time, the most important improvement that Golf Sarfvik is involved with, is the new tree planting plan on the New Course. This is done to improve the quality of the tree cover, and to give more features to the landscape. Other improvements are to be done, too. Those are, for example, continuing the increase of LED-lighting and turn off the fountains during the night time, to decrease the consumption of energy. The quality of turf grass is improved constantly, to demand less irrigation, pesticides and fertilization. To intensify the irrigation, the irrigation nozzles will be relocated once more.

Since the last verification, notable improvements that were carried out, were the application OptiWatti-system that has led to notable decrease in need for heating. Dry urinals are installed on the course to decrease the water consumption and generation of waste water.

In general, the need for fertilization has also decreased. It is unfortunate, that milder winters do lead to higher sensitivity to fungal diseases. Therefore, use of some pesticides has increased, as well as Nitrogen-fertilization, which is due to the increased use of calcium on the course. Calcium is used to strengthen the turf, which can cut down the need for pesticides.

The use of fertilization and pesticides is well recorded and no spraying is done without planning and recording of the activity.

Nature

Golf Sarfvik is located in Kirkkonummi, Uusimaa, in Southern Finland, between the Baltic sea shore and Lake Finnträsk. Even though Golf Sarfvik is easily accessible by car from Helsinki (only 30 min), it is surrounded by nature and peaceful countryside. On the new course on the pineforest hills, the nature types vary from mixed forests and moors, to swamps and groves.

The golf course provides a peaceful habitat to several species. During the onsite visit, even white tailed deer was spotted. In addition, mooses, hares, badgers and many migrating birds thrive on the area.

Nature survey has been taken 1997. Plan for trees has been done 1996 and more trees will be planted along the the golf course. Trees that are planted belong to the original species of southern coastal species. Hardwood species are preferred to highlight the history of the Sarfvik manor.

Listed rare animal and plant species observed on the golf course are based on the nature survey but also on the observations of club staff and members.

The design of the golf courses has taken in the account the flying paths of flying squirrel (Pteromys volans). The natural woodlands and their borders are kept at their natural state. Only the bottom vegetation is thinned from time to time.

Turfgrass species are mostly perennial due to their disease resistance and lesser demand for irrigations and fertilization. Poa annua spreads naturally around the course, currently covering 30-50 % in greens, tees and fairways. Most of the course area is covered by creeping bent (Agrostis stolonifera / palustris) and meadow grasses (Poa varieties). In semi rough some fescue (Festuca rubra) is present.

The second world war bunkers located on the area are protected for their historical value.

Seasonal variation of colors is allowed on the course. If the spring is late, the heat seekers and iron containing substances can be used to speed up the colour green appearing on the course. Colorants are not used.

Course peripheries of uncut turfs and natural woodlands are left at their natural state.

Water

Municipal water main is used in the clubhouse and other facilities on the course. Irrigation water is 90 % surface water (Lake Finnträsk) and rainwater collection ponds.

Waste water is led to municipal waste water system or to the septic tanks from where it is collected by a tanker to the municipal treatment facility. Rainwater from the course area flows to the ponds and from there to the gulf of Finland .

The clubhouse water consumption has maintained its levels (600 000 l) between 2014-2016. Also the water consumption at the maintenance facilities has stayed the same. There is a project to install dry urinals along the golf course, to save water.

Need for irrigation has decreased slightly, being the lowest at 2015. The percentage use of surface water in irrigation has increased from 80% to 90% from 2014 to 2016.

Greens, tees, fairways and semirough are irrigated 2-3 times / week, in general. Irrigation is carried out at the night time to decrease the evaporation and to not to disturb the game. Irrigation systems are serviced every month and upgraded time to time. Nozzles are evaluated continuously and renewed when necessary.

The re-evaluation of sprinkler heads has been done recently and sprinklers will be located in better places to optimize the irrigation.

Improvements are continually made at Golf Sarfvik. Recent improvements have been the installation of dry waterless urinals and water efficient toilets along the golf course.

Water efficient appliances are chosen every time when renewing them. Leaks are monitored and mended immediately.

Energy

During its time designated to GEO Certified, Golf Sarfvik has been conducting continual improvements on its energy efficiency. The energy from both renewable and conventional grids has been decreasing through the years. The most recent improvements have been the installation of the ”OptiWatti” system that allows some parts of the golf facility to be kept unheated if not needed during the winter. Intelligent heat radiators are used, as well as timers and motion sensors.

In general, the grid electricity has been decreasing over the period 2014-2016. In 2014 the non-renewable grid was 405839 kWh and in 2016 it was down to 343668, meaning 15% decrease in electricity consumption. In renewable grid, the consumption has decreased by 35%.

Use of hydraulic oil and LPG has remained the same, 200 l and 20 l respectively. However, in the petrol usage there has been jump little below 3000 l during 2014 and 2016 to 5000l to 2015. This is assumed to be due to the very long season during that year.

Green tariff energy is used partly.

All the golf carts run with electricity. Also many maintenance vehicles run with electricity. Irrigation system has been chosen to be energy efficient.

In maintenance hall, there are two heat recovery appliances. Apart from that, it is heated with district heating.

Club house has the Optiwatti-system, which has decreased the energy needed for heating notably, even by 40%. Motion sensors and automatic lighting are used. Most of the lightning is LED or energy saving.

Supply Chain

Golf Sarfvik is a responsible buyer. The turf inputs have been monitored for many years, and records have been kept strictly. Special attention is given to turf species to be as suitable and little demanding as possible for its purpose. Application of pesticides is done only if it is necessary, on designated areas, where there is need.

The level of all the types of fertilization has decreased over the last three years. 2015 was a very long season, which increased the need for fertilization that year.

Mild winters in recent years have also challenged the golf courses. More fungal diseases have been present, which has led to increase in pesticide use. The mean to decrease pesticide use is to try to increase the volume of perennial turf on the course.

Waste separation and recycling is on a good level. Plastic and cardboard is compressed and the collection is necessary only once a year. In the social room of the staff, such wastes as metal, plastic and paper are all separated. Along the course, bottles and cans can be separated from the rest of the waste.

Local food products are used to the extent that it is possible. As large packaging as possible is used to decrease the package waste. Many of the suppliers are chosen for their accreditation (ISO 14001).

Most of the suppliers are located within 100km of the golf club. Catering suppliers are mostly very local.

Golf Sarfvik has a good location close to Helsinki and the most of the suppliers in Finland.

Turfgrass species are carefully selected to be as tolerant to drought and diseases as possible. In practice, this means preference for the perennial species. Annual species have higher sensitivity to the diseases. However, annual species tend to spread and increase by themselves through the strong ability to pollinate.

The turf is cut at the height it can tolerate. Mowing lines are usually following the contours and done lengthwise to save fuel. However, mowing lines are occasionally changed to increase the restriction for wear.

Growing environment is optimized by aeration and daily controlling of irrigation. Fertilizers are slowly soluble.

The use of fertilizer has decreased, in general, from 2014 to 2016 on fairways, greens and semi-roughs. Roughs are not fertilized. Especially the use of K and P- fertilization has been cut down. On Tees the fertilization has increased slightly. The nitrogen fertilization on fairways has also decreased, from 75 kg to 65 kg, but on greens, semi-roughs and tees there has been slight increase.

Over all the need for fertilization has been highest during 2015, along with the energy consumption, due to the long season.

Opposite to the fertilizer use, mild winters over recent years have led to increase in pesticide use. Poa annua that spreads to the course by itself tends to be sensitive to the diseases. The measures used to decrease the necessity for pest control are to increase the level of perennial turfgrass species and addition of Ca-inputs that strengthen the cell walls of the grass.

Glass, plastic, aluminium, metal, paper, cardboard, wood and timber are all recycled at the club.

Packaging plastic and cardboard are compressed at the site which decreases the need for transport. In fact, collection of those recyclables is necessary only once a year.

Along the course, there are recycling bins for bottles and cans. Rest of the waste collected at the course is mixed waste. In the staff room, the metals, plastic, paper and such are separated.

Pollution Control

The pollution control is done carefully. There is a chance for very few improvements at current level. Water quality is monitored regularly. Fuels are stored in state of the art tanks. Hazardous chemicals are stored in a designated chemical storage that is kept locked. Fertilizing and pesticide use is planned, monitored and controlled. In general, the lesser need for both fertilizing and pesticide use would lead to the lesser risk of pollution.

Water quality analysis is done in the lab two times a year. In general, it seems that the ponds on the golf course function as settling ponds for the nutrients. Therefore the out flowing water has higher quality than the water that flows in to the course.

All the waste water from the golf course ends up in the public sewer and from there to the waste water plant. The drainwater from the washing area and maintenance hall have oil separation systems.

Hazardous materials are stored in secure storages. Hazardous wastes are collected in separate bins and collected by registered companies.

Hazardous materials are stored in locked storage wich is designed for that special purpose. Maintenance facility is roofed space with impervious floors and oil and sand separation wells. Fertilizers are stored and handled indoors.

Diesel is stored in state of the art above ground tank, as well as the waste oils.

Dosing of turf input is scheduled and planned to minimize the run off. All the ponds have buffer zones around them.

No pesticides are used on forests, ponds and rough. The runoff from the maintenance hall is led through a sand filter and collected to the ponds, to be used in irrigation.

Community

Golf Sarfvik is an exclusive golf club. In general, it is closed from the public. However, it seems to be in good terms with the local communities. New apartment buildings are being built on the close proximity, and some of the Sarfvik Manor's old facilities are used for that purpose.

Golf Sarfvik has preserved some historically notable sites, such as bunkers from the times when the area was part of the Soviet Union's military base.

Golf Sarfvik employs 11 full time workers and 2 part time workers. In addition, number of seasonal workers is 27. Local youth and preferred when selecting the workers for the season.

There is a set sustainability working group that consists of general manager, course manager, committee member and technical manager.

Neighbours are informed about the larger operations if necessary. Local government, the municipality of Kirkkonummi, are kept in touch with the activities of the golf club. It also is engaged to work together with the Society for the protection of the Lake Finträsk (Finträskin suojeluyhdistys).

Golf Sarfvik participates on the maintenance of public paths that are present on the area. Bunkers from the times of Soviet Union military base are conserved. The style and cultural heritage of the Sarfvik Manor is followed.

Members are informed by a newsletter and member's evenings.

External communications is mainly done through the website.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

Golf Sarfvik is carefully managed golf club which takes special care of its members and its environment and nature. The expertise for golf course management is evident at the club. Bookkeeping for turf inputs is accurate and it has been done for long time before even applying for certification.

Certification Highlights

This is the second certification for Golf Sarfvik. The club has maintained its high level of management. The major highlight for this time around was the plan to increase the number of trees along the course.

The notable achievements are also the installations of the OptiWatti-system to decrease the energy needed for heating as well as the installation of dry urinals to cut down the water consumption.