Royal Portrush Golf Club has successfully renewed its GEO Certified® status.
This is golf's most comprehensive and widely regarded sustainability distinction assured by GEO Foundation, which serves as a credible platform for communications of real outcomes and continual improvement for golf facilities that are actively fostering nature, conserving resources, and supporting the community.
The Club first became GEO Certified in December 2015 and has continued to strengthen its commitment to sustainability and protecting the natural links habitat. Examples of this include grassland and scrub improvement and maintaining a thriving habitat for native bee species.
Commenting on the award, Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation, said: “The Open is played on some of the world’s most revered golf courses, at venues which represent the many ways that golf can be beneficial to communities and the environment. Congratulations to the team at Royal Portrush for their achievements, and for helping to ensure the continuation of The R&A’s leadership policy of high sustainability standards for Open venues.”
Responding to the news, Graeme Beatt, Course Manager, Royal Portrush Golf Club said: “We as a club are delighted to renew our GEO Certification and are able to track our progress and achieve continued improvement in our commitment to being an environmentally sustainable business. We are custodians of the Links here at Royal Portrush and take great pride in the flora and fauna within its sand dune grassland while also managing all departments of the business in a sustainable manner.”
Hosting The Open for the second time in its history this year, Royal Portrush will be home to several sustainability initiatives including a focus on Fairtrade, local and ethically sourced produce, waste management efforts and The Open Water Initiative, which will see free purified, chilled local water delivered directly to fans, players, staff and officials through the use of on-site water stations and special edition refillable stainless steel bottles. The initiative will shine a light on the impact of global marine plastic pollution, while helping to drive behaviour change away from the single-use mindset that has led to an epidemic of ocean pollution. The initiative has been developed by The R&A in collaboration with Bluewater and is supported by UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign.
Steve Isaac, Director of Sustainability – at The R&A, said, “It is important that all venues which stage The Open set the standard in sustainability and we are delighted that Royal Portrush is demonstrating its continuing commitment to addressing issues concerning the local environment, use of resources and the local communities.
“Our commitment to only host The Open at certified venues has been very well received and is a good match with The Open GreenLinks initiative across the staging of the Championship related to nature, communities and resources.”
The Open GreenLinks initiative was set up with the assistance of GEO Foundation’s OnCourse® Tournaments programme, utilising many of the guidelines and resources that are designed to help golf tournaments around the world accelerate their own commitments, actions and results.
Other recently GEO Certified venues include Portmarnock and The Island, which co-hosted the The Amateur Championship in 2019. These distinctions further demonstrate The R&A’s commitment to sustainability at all levels of the sport.