Field leaders from across the world gathered in Washington DC for the annual ISEAL Global Sustainability Standards Conference in May.
Golf was the only sport represented at the conference. Over 350 national and international businesses, government agencies, NGO’s, academia and consultancies attended the three-day event, now in its seventh year.
Delegates from The R&A and USGA, alongside full ISEAL Member GEO (Golf Environment Organization) spoke at the opening reception alongside Jörg Frieden, Executive Director - Board of the World Bank and Crystal Davis, Director - Global Forest Watch, World Resources Institute.
The opening speeches from golf’s representatives reflected the value and relevance of the sport’s presence and how developments in golf echoed the conference’s focus and theme of innovation and evolution.
All ten host venues for The Open recently achieved golf’s coveted global eco-label GEO Certified®. The certification recognises clubs which have shown a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, resource efficiency and community value.
The certification is administered and assured by GEO. The independently verified and publicly reported standard is internationally recognised as a credible and significant distinction.
Steve Isaac, Director – Golf Course Management, representing The R&A, said: “Sustainability is a key priority for The R&A, and we are fully committed to helping drive evolution and change in and through the sport around the world.
“Positive practical action across the nature, resources and community agendas is good for golf, for the people we serve and for the environment we share.
“It’s a big opportunity and responsibility, and we are delighted to be here, participating, listening and learning, amongst this alliance of inspiring examples of proactive leadership”.
GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement, resource efficiency and community integration and value.
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive – GEO, added: “The timing is perfect – with sustainability now unequivocally a business imperative, the sport invited back into the Olympic Movement, and with a desire from across clubs, developments and tournaments to evolve and innovate.
“We have seen how robust, globally to locally applicable standards, certification and reporting systems can help support and accelerate that positive change.”