Le Golf National, host venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup and a European Tour Destination, has been recognised for its role in advancing sustainable business practices within the golf industry by earning the GEO Certified® mark.
The international symbol signifies Le Golf National’s excellent value to nature and its communities as well as its efficient use of natural resources. The certification was awarded by GEO, the not-for-profit group dedicated to supporting credible sustainability action in world golf.
Le Golf National, located near Versailles on the outskirts of the French capital, Paris, has a long history of dedication to sustainable practices, regularly collaborating with organisations such as the Natural History Museum of Paris and French Ministry of Environment in order to advance the priorities of environmental stewardship and preservation of their land’s historical significance.
Part of the respected European Tour Properties Network, Le Golf National and its revered Albatros Golf Course, designed in 1990 by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge, was developed primarily from recycled construction materials and effectively revitalized the degraded ecosystem of a previous agricultural site.
Today Le Golf National is home to the French Golf Federation (FFG) and includes three diverse courses serving a wide range of playing abilities: The Albatros, the famous 18-hole Championship course which is home to the Alstom Open de France, the 18-hole Aigle and the nine-hole Oiselet.
Christophe Muniesa, the FFG General Secretary, welcomed the announcement of Le Golf National’s recent accolade highlighting it as a milestone.
“For many years the FFG has worked in close cooperation with a wide range of partners to advance the sustainability of golf in France, and across Europe,” he said.
“The efficient use of resources and the development of community legacies across France were key sustainability commitments included in our successful bid to host The 2018 Ryder Cup. Becoming GEO Certified® represents one of a number of actions and milestones on that journey. We congratulate all the staff at Le Golf National for taking this important work forward.”
Some of the key sustainability practices implemented by Le Golf National are:
40 hectares – 30% of the site – has been dedicated to grassland habitat and the area of unmaintained rough has increased to improve habitat connection.
There has been significant reduction in maintained turf grass areas in order to enhance shrubs, wetlands, and other natural areas critical to wildlife protection.
More than 50 beehives have been added, surrounded by planted wildflower areas.
Biological pest control and compost teas have been used on fairways.
Investment in water efficiency with new storage reservoir, irrigation system and sustainable drainage installation is planned over the next two years.
Strong, mutually beneficial community links including long-term local business relationships have been established.
A free practice facility for school students have been made available during parts of the day.
Winners of the first Generali Trophees du Sport Responsible in the golf category for 2012.
Inclusive golf atmosphere that promotes golf for a wide range of players through a diverse offering of golf courses.
Pablo Munoz Vega, the independent verifier, commented on the practices and policies observed. He said: “Beyond being a public facility that offers golf to a variety of players and hosts major golf tournaments, Le Golf National continues to enhance its commitment to sustainability.”
The achievement of European Tour Destination Le Golf National keeps in line with The European Tour’s strong commitment to sustainability throughout their operations, properties, and tournaments.
Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Director, added: “The sustainability effort at The 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland brought excellent results and with Le Golf National already GEO Certified® we can be focused on an even more sustainable tournament delivery in France. We’re also very pleased with this leadership step by a member of the European Tour Properties network.”
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive at GEO said: “We are delighted to welcome Le Golf National, 2018 Ryder Cup host, into the GEO Certified® community. Le Golf National’s story of taking a degraded brownfield site and restoring it into an unofficial nature reserve is a showcase example of the positive impact golf can have on preserving and even revitalizing natural systems within our environment.”
Please click here to view the full GEO Certified® Report that provides detailed information on the environmental and social performance at Le Golf National.
European Tour Properties www.europeantourproperties.com
Le Golf National www.golf-national.com