Royal St George’s Golf Club Recognised for Sustainability Work

Monday 1 June 2015

Royal St George's Golf Club
Royal St George’s Golf Club has become the first Open venue in England to achieve GEO Certified®, the global eco-label for golf.

The Club, founded in 1887, has been the venue to 14 Opens and numerous major amateur events, including the Amateur Championships and Curtis Cup.  Annually, the club co-hosts the Halford Hewitt, the world’s largest amateur competition, played for by 64 teams from throughout the UK. 

The course is situated in a landscape of high conservation value with multiple designations and diverse species of flora and fauna, many rare and unique to the area. These are carefully looked after and GEO Certified® recognises this environmental stewardship plus resource efficiency and community value by Royal St George’s. The certification is administered and assured by GEO (Golf Environment Organization), the not-for-profit group dedicated to sustainability in the golf industry. The standard is independently verified and publicly reported, making it the most credible and significant distinction in the world for golf courses.

Tim Checketts, secretary at Royal St George’s said, “St George’s is absolutely delighted to have achieved GEO Certified®. The process has been extremely valuable and the online OnCourse® programme for golf courses enabled us to identify and quantify the strengths of our stewardship of this beautiful and fragile links environment.”

Some of the many highlights of the club’s sustainability across nature protection and enhancement, resource efficiency and community value include:

  • Regular ecological, habitat and landscape surveys
  • No phosphorous or potassium applications to turf in the past three years
  • Approximate 20% reduction each year in applications of inorganic nitrogen since 2012
  • Herb garden within the club grounds which provides organic herbs for the clubhouse
  • Investment in modern, fuel efficient technology which resulted in a 50% reduction in diesel consumption between 2012 and 2014
  • Formation of the St George’s Trust Fund to make charitable donations to local community groups in need of support

An ongoing commitment to sustainable operations is evident at the club and the Long Term Development Committee has a 30-year plan to upgrade and improve facilities in an efficient, environmentally beneficial manner. Also looking to the future the club has had plans approved to construct an irrigation reservoir, which will provide a self-sufficient supply of water for the course while also creating new wetland and open water habitats.

Bob Taylor, the independent verifier for GEO Certified® said: “The staff at St George’s show a strong commitment to the need to protect the environment. It is clear that everyone involved with the club recognises a site rich in wildlife and one that includes many rare species and important habitats. I was very impressed with their dedicated approach, and the club should feel justifiably proud of their excellent achievements. I look forward to seeing the club continue to make progress in the future.”

Royal St George’s certification and verification reports can be found at www.golfenvironment.org .

Further Information:

For Media Enquires Please Contact:

Libi Newell, Communications and Community Engagement, Golf Environment Organization Tel: +44 162 0895 100 Email: libi@golfenvironment.org

About GEO Certified®

GEO Certified® is golf’s internationally accredited and widely supported eco-label and is a member of ISEAL Alliance, the global assurance body for standards in sustainability. GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement, resource efficiency and community integration and value. For more information, please visit www.golfenvironment.org

About OnCourse®

OnCourse® is a free web-based tool available to golf facilities worldwide, guiding them around the priorities and resources for sustainability in golf, helping them easily and credibly share their efforts and value, and leading to GEO Certified®.  For more information, please visit www.golfenvironment.org/oncourse

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