Royal Portrush, site of British Open, a leader in sustainability

Royal Portrush Golf Club, which will host the British Open this weekend, is putting its best foot forward as a leader in sustainability. The club recently renewed its GEO Certified status and has several initiatives in place for the weekend. 

GEO Certified is a widely regarded sustainability distinction run by GEO Foundation. The Club first became GEO Certified in 2015 and has continued to strengthen its commitment to sustainability and protecting the natural links habitat. Examples of this include grassland and scrub improvementand maintaining a thriving habitat for native bee species

“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,” said Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation. “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.”

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.

“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,” said Graeme Beatt, Course Manager, Royal Portrush Golf Club. “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.”

The Open GreenLinks initiative was set up with the assistance of GEO Foundation’s OnCourse Tournaments program, utilizing 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. 

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