Gleneagles, host of the 40th Ryder Cup later this year and one of the world’s most famous golf resorts, has achieved GEO Certified™, the golf industry ecolabel that recognises significant contributions in environmentalenhancement, resource efficiency and community engagement.
Set in a stunning glacial landscape rich with biodiversity, the Resort has a long history of dedicated sustainability work. Bernard Murphy, Gleneagles’ General Manager, said:
“The outstanding landscape is central to the quality of the Gleneagles experience, and in recent years we have worked hard on innovative ways to use as many renewable resources as efficiently as possible. In addition, we are always looking for ways to bring as many direct and indirect benefits as possible to the community. We are extremely proud to have attained this accolade, which also motivates us to go on to do even more in the years to come.”
Edward Kitson, Match Director, Ryder Cup Europe, commented:
“We are delighted that the sporting drama of The Ryder Cup will unfold at the venue which places nature, efficiency and community so high amongst its priorities. It matches with our own approach to find ways to minimise the footprint of the event while generating lasting environmental and social legacies – locally, and across golf, sport and business in Scotland and beyond.”
Home to nineteen Sites of Scientific Interest (SSI) and a rich variety of wildlife, the management of the estate and golf courses is supervised by 32-year Gleneagles veteran Scott Fenwick. “ We have long been committed to environmentally-responsible operations. Projects like zero waste to landfill, generating 74% of energy via our own biomass boiler and our significant heathland, scrub, woodland and bracken control work are just a few examples of the efforts we undertake”.
Held this coming September, The 2014 Ryder Cup is set to become a leading showcase of the integration of sustainability into sporting events. In addition to the management of the venue, The Ryder Cup Green Drive initiative addresses the event’s infrastructure, energy, waste, site protection and restoration, accommodation, transportation and procurement. It also features four local sustainability initiatives, backed by the Scottish Government, aimed at creating a green legacy in Scotland from the event. With a communications plan to raise awareness amongst the 40,000 expected daily spectators and many millions that watch on television, the stage is set for the event to help reinforce the importance of these issues in front of the business community and the public.
Carrying out a wide range of activities to enhance the site and to reduce consumption of resources, some of the Resort’s certification highlights include:
- Installation of woodchip powered biomass boiler, providing 74% of hotel heating and hot water.
- Achieving over 70% re-use and re-cycling of materials, with Zero Waste Plan in place.
- Obtaining all residual electricity supply from specified low carbon supply sources.
- Ensuring efficient irrigation, sourced primarily from natural drainage and closely monitored on-site wetlands.
- Carefully planned management of over 30 hectares of heathland, gorse, broom, woodlands, bracken and grassland to maintain optimal conditions for key species (68% of the golf course area is either natural or semi-natural habitat).
- Encouraging natural regeneration of Scots pine woodland plus further regular planting of native trees.
- Protection of the ancient ‘Beeches Brig’ avenue of trees – designated by Historic Scotland.
- Supporting the Local Biodiversity Action Plan to protect and enhance red squirrel habitats.
- Support of Perthshire Big Tree Country, with a discretionary charge of £1 for every room night in the hotel being donated to this charity’s ongoing efforts to conserve Perthshire’s heritage trees and woodlands.
- Providing direct employment for over 800 staff members (with 54 employed on the golf courses and estate).
The Gleneagles® Hotel, just one hour’s drive from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, was built by the Old Caledonian Railway Company in 1924 in the heart of a beautiful Scottish glen. Set in an 850-acre estate with its own railway station, it immediately won fame as one of the world’s finest hotels. Throughout the hotel you will find the finest comfort – from the luxury bedrooms to the calming environment of the spacious destination spa by ESPA. Four restaurants ensure there is plenty of choice, including Scotland’s only two Michelin starred restaurant Andrew Fairlie. Gleneagles is renowned for its three championship golf courses – The PGA Centenary Course – venue for the Ryder Cup 2014 – and the stunning King’s and Queen’s Courses.
About Ryder Cup Green Drive
The Ryder Cup Green Drive is a multi-partner initiative, led by Ryder Cup Europe and supported by the Scottish Government, aiming to integrate sustainability across all aspects of one of the world’s most visible sporting events. A comprehensive agenda of social and environmental issues is being addressed across venue management; temporary staging; outreach and legacy; and communications. To find out more go to: http://www.golfenvironment.org/ryder_cup_2014_greendrive
GEO is a stakeholder funded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the golf community worldwide demonstrate leadership in sustainability. GEO Certified™ is golf’s international assurance for environmental enhancement, resource efficiency and community contribution, recognising commitment, performance and continual improvement.