Golf Contributing at Sustainability Top Tables
Golf made important contributions to significant sustainability dialogues last week, sharing knowledge, outlook and approaches at three major events.
Teeing off with participation at the 'Dialogue on Climate Action in Sports' hosted by the United Nations ahead of the COP23, with delegates coming together from around the world. The session was opened by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, noting sport as a major economic force with unique power to influence and unite people, and help bring about change.
Delegate Kelli Jerome of GEO Foundation summarised, “It was agreed sport can play an ever-stronger role in sustainability and climate action, with the UNFCCC very interested in the work already being done by the sector and how to help in the future. Two days of cutting-edge discussions focused on how we can do more to lower our own impacts, and to help drive wider awareness and behaviour change amongst our audiences. A lot of learning took place and it was exciting to be able to share the range of golf’s credible work."
The focus then moved on to the important and very relevant subject of water stewardship, with GEO Foundation presenting on Golf, Sport and Sustainability at the Annual Conference of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), attended by over one hundred of the world’s leading NGO’s, research groups and water experts. GEO and AWS have been working together over recent months to cross integrate and promote Standards, strengthening golf's sustainability certification.
To end the week, the ISEAL Alliance Leadership Workshop in London focused on the future role of standards and certification systems in driving sustainability. Heads of other ISEAL Alliance members also participated, including well-known groups such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Forest Stewardship Council.
Jonathan Smith, GEO Foundation Executive Director, said, “Golf has obvious responsibilities and opportunities to play its part in a more sustainable, resource-efficient future. Issues like climate change are already affecting the sport, particularly in the form of water regulation and pricing, and these pressures are likely to increase in varying degrees around the world. The sectors and businesses pushing their understanding of such dependencies; embracing innovation and action; and credibly representing the results will be the most resilient.
We are extremely committed to our role in helping the industry to inspire and support sustainability, working together with a large network of partners in golf and beyond."