Golf’s Ecolabel Recognized by ISEAL

GEO FlagIn a significant milestone for the golf industry, the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) has been accepted as an ISEAL Alliance associate member, following a rigorous formal evaluation by ISEAL, the global leader in defining credibility in sustainability standards systems. GEO Certified™, the international ecolabel for golf, is the only sustainability standard in the sports industry to achieve this distinction.GEO joins a group of just less than two dozen global standards organizations that address a variety of critical sustainability issues such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, living wage, and business resilience through standards and certification systems that promote sustainable practices.
“While golf may not seem an obvious fit amongst the rest of the ISEAL Alliance, the hundreds of thousands of people responsible for managing the land and the businesses that provide for the game have long understood their connection with nature and communities. Golf is a prime example of a managed landscape that can have a net positive impact for people and wildlife,” explains Gordon Shepherd, GEO Board Member and Policy Advisor to WWF International.In a statement, ISEAL remarked on the importance of shaping the social and environmental impact of recreation and tourism and the strong leadership role that standards can play:  “GEO’s focus is on continuous improvement and industry-wide impact in golf, at the intersection of sport and business. Through a third-party assurance system designed to address the environmental and social issues relevant to golf, it intends to see the sport become a preeminent leader in sustainability.”Speaking about the decision, ISEAL’s Executive Director, Karin Kreider, added, “The work GEO is doing to foster progress in the golf industry is impressive and a sign that sustainability standards can be applied in many sectors to help improve and recognize environmental and social performance.”

ISEAL Alliance associate membership facilitates a transition to full membership and compliance with ISEAL’s internationally recognized Codes of Good Practice. ISEAL members are brought together by their commitment to delivering positive impact, embracing credible practices and improving with like-minded peers.

Jonathan Smith, GEO Chief Executive, shares his thoughts: “We are extremely proud to become an associate member of the ISEAL Alliance alongside such important and respected organizations. GEO Certified™ and the OnCourse™ programme that leads to the ecolabel grew out of a desire six years ago to provide a clearer, more practical and beneficial path to sustainability for golf.

“This milestone is reward to many partners, supporters, and friends who, as part of a growing community dedicated to sustainable golf, have contributed so much knowledge, with such dedication and enthusiasm.

“We hope this platform of credibility, along with a ready made pathway will help springboard golf’s efforts – seeing more clubs in villages, towns and cities around the world continually improving, and more confidently sharing the stories behind their great golf environments.”

Further Information

About Associate Membership in ISEAL Alliance

Membership in the ISEAL Alliance is open to any sustainability standards system or accreditation body that has a multi-stakeholder approach and is committed to the ISEAL Credibility Principles. Members learn and improve together within ISEAL’s global network, while also committing to improve and scale up their impacts.

Standards systems first become associate members upon meeting entry-level criteria within the ISEAL Codes, and later transition to full members upon passing an independent evaluation and meeting additional criteria.

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About GEO Certified™ and GEO

GEO Certified™ is awarded to golf clubs who demonstrate a level of sustainability action and considerations across a comprehensive modern sustainability agenda of nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community. OnCourse™ is a free web-based programme that helps clubs to record and report their sustainability work, improve where needed, and leads to becoming GEO Certified™.

GEO is an international, stakeholder led, not-for-profit, entirely dedicated to the promotion of sustainability in and through golf. GEO takes a practical, positive, and open approach, working together with golf organizations, environmental experts, golf industry professionals and sponsors to provide programmes that guide and reward comprehensive, credible action in golf management, development and tournaments.

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