News All Articles
Sustainability Efforts and Achievements of the 2024 Volvo China Open

Sustainability Efforts and Achievements of the 2024 Volvo China Open

In collaboration with the European Tour Group's 'Green Drive' initiative, the 2024 Volvo China Open carried out several activities to promote sustainability during the event. Collectively, these actions contributed to the tournament's resounding success for all who participated. Here are a few highlights from this year’s tournament.


Low-Carbon Transportation

The tournament promoted green, low-carbon travel, urging spectators to use public transportation, which in turn reduced carbon emissions. The organizing committee provided transportation for participants, caddies, players' families, staff, and media during the event. For commuting, 45 buses (13 are electric buses) and 18 Volvo EM90s, which are Volvo's first ever fully electric premium MPVs, were used. This initiative reduced the usage of petrol vehicles by over 6,760 kilometers.

Plastic Waste Reduction

The 2023 edition of the tournament marked the inaugural year of collaboration with Bluewater, Sweden's leading water purification technology firm. During this year's event, Bluewater expanded the number of water stations from 17 to 21, dispensing approximately 175,000 liters of water. This is equivalent to preventing the use of 350,000 500ml plastic bottles. After the tournament, the Shenzhen Hidden Grace Golf Club retained the Bluewater filling stations and continues to promote the use of reusable water bottles on the course.

Paperless Programming

The tournament continued its ‘paperless’ policy, eliminating the distribution of programs, promotional leaflets, and daily tee-off times to spectators. Instead, spectators used QR codes to follow the tournament's official WeChat account and mini-programs for up-to-date tournament information. As a result of this initiative, the administrative offices avoided using approximately 50,000 pieces of paper throughout the event.

Reusable Event Materials

The tournament utilized a wide variety of signage throughout the course, comprising billboards, signs, leader boards, and yardage boards. All of these were locally sourced and recycled for reuse in future events. Additionally, 18 greens flags, 156 caddie vests, 50 photographer vests, along with other materials, will be cleaned and reused. The 16,000 meter spectator ropes, 1,400 iron rods, 107 media center desks, 40 tents, 2,941 square meter aluminum alloy tent, 1847 square meter adjustable Leia frame platform, 450 person stand and other structural materials were disassembled and put into storage for next year’s tournament.

Waste Sorting

Dual-sorting trash bins were positioned at 18 spots throughout the course. These bins were all rented and then recycled after the tournament. The golf course produced approximately five tons of waste daily, which was sorted into appropriate waste and recycling categories. This process was rigorously monitored to ensure proper disposal practices.

Course Sustainability Certifications

The tournament venue, Hidden Grace Golf Club, was certified by the GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation in 2020 and it houses more than 340 types of plants and 72 bird species. After last year's successful solar energy project, Hidden Grace has been consistently enhancing the lighting throughout the course. In Phase I, they replaced 75-watt corn lamps with 21 LED 55-watt lamps and in Phase II, they installed 16 solar lamps in the mountain-side parking lot. These improvements save approximately 10,000 kWh of electricity annually.

Moreover, Hidden Grace repaired and replaced flood gates and repaired the rainwater ditches around golf course. This prevents flooding and increases water storage, adding approximately 40,000 cubic meters of water to the lake each year.

Green Catering

The tournament emphasized the use of local and seasonal ingredients, with a focus on low-carbon food. The organizers collaborated with the golf course to devise a meal plan that saved 80 kilograms of food. Disposable items, such as volunteer lunch boxes, were made from from recyclable and biodegradable materials.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

This year, the tournament organized a Golf Heritage Study Tour, giving spectators the chance to visit and learn at the Golf Heritage Museum. Groups from Shenzhen University, Dongguan Qinghu Golf College, Zhang Huilin Golf College, among others, participated in the event.

The Volvo China Open collaborated with Shenzhen TV Sports and Health Channel's "Little Journalist" program. The program was open to local primary and middle school students in Shenzhen. Sixty children from ordinary families registered, and fifteen were chosen to participate in the event. These children attended the tournament to watch and report on it, even those that had little prior knowledge of golf.

A total of 154 volunteers from the "Shenzhen Metro Volunteer Federation" offered their services at the tournament. These volunteers, comprising graduate students, engineers, managers, and retired housewives, came from various industries. They also served as ambassadors to promote golf in their communities.

The tournament further provided internships for 96 college students from Sun Yat-sen University, Nankai University, Beijing Sport University, the Shenzhen branch of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Shenzhen University of Technology. Interestingly, most of these interns had no prior experience with golf.

Community Legacy

The tournament created job opportunities for locals in Shenzhen, including employees from Shenzhen Hidden Grace. Additionally, it hired 88 security guards and 200 assistants. The event also boosted the local economy through significant material procurement and providing numerous hotel accommodations.

The China Golf Association, Guangdong Province, Shenzhen City, Longgang District government, DP World Tour, China Tour, Volvo Cars, and other sponsors created significant exposure for the region. The televised event alone reached a global audience of 600 million viewers.

Environmental Advocacy

The tournament issued five official press releases on sustainable development and conducted a special press conference on the topic. It frequently highlighted the European Tour Group’s ‘Green Drive’ initiative and its commitment to sustainable development. An informational wall was also set up at the tournament venue to educate visitors about environmental conservation. The media played an active role, publishing a variety of reports on green practices, environmental protection, and sustainable development. All these efforts aimed to foster societal consensus and encourage collective action.

Since our pledge to enhance sustainable development in 2019, the Volvo China Open has seen a wealth of positive outcomes across the past three tournaments. However, the task of advancing green practices and sustainable development is always ongoing. Guided by the European Tour Group’s ‘Green Drive’ initiative, our goal is to shape the Volvo China Open into a top-tier international golf tournament with a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Read next