The Genesis Scottish Open is taking responsibility for unavoidable carbon emissions using accredited climate projects as part of a new strategic collaboration between the DP World Tour and the Gold Standard.
Meanwhile, a raft of practical sustainability and climate actions are helping to reduce the environmental footprint of the Rolex Series event, which takes place at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian from July 7-11.
In a new step for the DP World Tour’s Green Drive - a Tour-wide sustainability initiative that spans operations, venues, events, media, partnerships and communications - two climate protection projects creating sustainable development benefits for their communities have been selected via the Gold Standard. The projects in Timor-Leste and Laos in Southeast Asia make certified contributions to carbon reduction, as well as global climate justice by delivering impact to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Core emissions for the Genesis Scottish Open will be offset, including all energy, waste, haulage, player, event-organiser and guest travel.
The WithOneSeed community forestry programme is working with subsistence farmers in the remote state Timor-Leste to replant their forests, improve livelihoods and build their economies to help the climate. In Laos, the project with social enterprise TerraClear is delivering enhanced clean water access for rural communities, thereby improving health, contributing to the household economy and helping to conserve local forests.
The practical measures to reduce the Genesis Scottish Open resource use, emissions and waste are planned, tracked and promoted in collaboration with GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, and include:
• Promotion of public transport and the provision of complimentary shuttle buses from Longniddry Station to the venue – with an estimated 1,000 fans per day or 10% of fans anticipated to travel by this means, saving an estimated 5.2 tonnes of CO2e travelling by train and shuttle compared to a single car model travelling from Edinburgh
• Provision of eight player and spectator hydration stations, supplied by mains water, and encouraging use of re-useable water bottles. Reduction in use of plastic water bottles estimated to be 40,000, with estimated carbon reduction of 4.1 tonnes CO2e compared to plastic bottled water provided entirely by a regional provider
• All on-course catering outlets use only wooden cutlery, paper straws, 100% biodegradable food trays and 100% compostable hot drink cups. Removing similar items from other waste streams, supporting zero waste to landfill targets and aligning with new Scottish Government Regulations on single use materials at events. Recycling points will be provided across the site
• All generators to be powered by hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) bio-fuel with minimum 80% post-consumer content, which can lead to an 94% reduction of CO2e compared to traditional fuels
• Provision of a digital programme, reducing production of 10,000 programmes and associated haulage emissions by estimated 0.3 tonnes CO2e
• Prioritising sourcing of seasonal foods from local suppliers, with around 75% coming from sources and companies within a 50 mile radius
In addition, other initiatives are aimed at protecting nature, avoiding pollution risks and raising awareness. These include:
• Working with NatureScot to ensure spectators and infrastructure do not damage the nationally important ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ that borders the golf course and coastline
• Using a chemical-free approach to site cleaning
• Running an educational beach clean event with partners OCEANTEE, that will involve local schools and families alongside professional players
The new title sponsor of Scotland’s national open - Genesis, the luxury automotive brand from South Korea - has stated its commitment for a sustainable future. Genesis has introduced three electric cars in Europe this year, and from 2025, all-new Genesis vehicles will be pure electric whilst pursuing a goal to become carbon net zero by 2035.
Maria Grandinetti-Milton, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for the European Tour group said: “The Genesis Scottish Open is a global sporting event, and we at the DP World Tour, along with our sponsors and partners, care about the legacy that we leave in the local area and beyond. Working with the Gold Standard to offset unavoidable carbon emissions via credible projects is an important next step in our Tour-wide Green Drive strategy, and we are delighted to bring that to fruition at the Renaissance Club next month.
“As ever, we thank our partners at the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf for their valued input into the Green Drive, and in particular assisting with the practical measures that allow us to reduce the environmental footprint of the Genesis Scottish Open.”
Gold Standard CEO Margaret Kim, said: “Ensuring a safe climate requires all of us to play our part. We applaud the sustainability measures taken by the Genesis Scottish Open, including financing carbon reductions in line with those carbon emissions they cannot yet eliminate. By supporting Gold Standard certified projects, this goes even further – helping communities on the front lines of climate change benefit in a meaningful way.”
The work being carried out at the Genesis Scottish Open is part of a wider programme of sustainability and climate action during Scotland’s summer of golf. Led by VisitScotland, and delivered in partnership with GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, there are coordinated efforts across all of the professional golf tournaments taking place in Scotland in 2022 – helping to make sure that Scotland’s leadership in golf and sustainability is both accelerated and promoted on the global stage.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events supported the announcement adding: "We are delighted to see the fantastic efforts around sustainability and climate action from the Genesis Scottish Open and congratulate the DP World Tour and other partners on this proactive work. This aligns well with several Scottish Government policies and our own VisitScotland commitments around the support and promotion of sustainable events in Scotland. We are grateful to the GEO Foundation for their support here and their wider work to help advance sustainability in and through golf around the world.”