Sustainable Golf shortlisted for Sport Industry Award

27 February 2023

The sustainability drive through Scotland’s summer of golf, coordinated by the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf in partnership with VisitScotland, has been recognised by the prestigious FEVO Sport Industry Awards.

This multi stakeholder project, which encompassed six professional events in Scotland last year, has been shortlisted for the Environmental Sustainably Award reflecting the environmental and social impacts delivered across the Home of Golf.

The FEVO Sport Industry Awards celebrates the immense work done around the sector, whether it’s delivering world-leading events, or using sport as a platform to drive social change, to those campaigns that have an ingenious creative spark which reverberates throughout the industry and beyond.

The Environmental Sustainably Award in association with CSM Live acknowledges a programme or campaign focused on driving sustainable practices to deliver environmental benefits through sport. The VisitScotland – Sustainable Golf project has been shortlisted alongside Formula E, Sail GP, Sky Sports, Southampton Football Club and Manchester City Football Club. The award ceremony will take place in April.

Scotland was the centrepiece of sustainable golf in 2022 with two Majors – The 150th Open and AIG Women’s Open – alongside the Genesis Scottish Open, Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, Senior Open presented by Rolex and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The project enabled event organisers across The R&A, European Tour Group, PGA Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, IMG, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and Scottish Golf, to deliver a consistent approach and united efforts across venues, staging, legacies and communications, with activities integrating climate action, circular economy, social value and promotion of nature in their events.

Tournament owners, promoters, venues and media all embraced sustainability – showing how Scotland, the Home of Golf, is driving sustainable golf, set against the backdrop of Scotland’s stunning natural landscapes and ecosystems.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We all recognise the importance of protecting our magnificent courses and landscapes, which are so vital to Scotland’s brand and make Scotland so unique as a destination.

“Our work with GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf in 2022 was about  bringing golf and sustainability together and using our golf events portfolio as a platform to address some of the challenges society and communities face, of advancing lower carbon, sustainable towns, cities and communities. It is a showcase towards responsible tourism and the Glasgow Declaration from COP26. To be shortlisted by the FEVO Sports Industry Awards for this work, in such an important category and against some world-class events and organisations, is a huge honour for VisitScotland.”

Jonathan Smith, Founder and Executive Director of GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, added: “This truly collaborative effort across golf highlighted how, with partners and stakeholders pulling together, significant progress and net positive impacts can be made towards key sustainability priorities.

“Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award for the Sport Industry alongside such leaders in the sustainability movement from other sports is a tremendous honour for all involved and is testament to collective drive and ambition from so many across golf to protect and promote nature, reduce carbon emissions; contribute to the circular economy and increase the range of social value and multipliers generated.”

Highlights from Scotland’s Summer of Golf included:

  • All venues meeting the GEO Certified® standards for sustainable golf. This recognises tangible action to foster nature, conserve resources, strengthen communities and take climate action.
  • 801 hectares of conserved habitats protected across the venues, all of which provide important wildlife corridors lying on or adjacent to SSSI and nature reserves
  • Average of 214 species found at each venue through ecological studies
  • Water refill points saved 250,000 plastic bottles going to waste
  • Single use plastic catering items were eliminated
  • Sustainable Procurement Code reached well over 200 different suppliers and contractors.
  • 70% food sourced from within 150 miles of each venue.
  • £250,000 donated to good causes including nature restoration and carbon reduction
  • 500,000 individual travel, food and plastic reduction actions undertaken by fans
  • More than 85,000 children provided free access to events
  • Greater than 90% reduction on carbon emissions from temporary generators by using sustainable biofuel (HVO).

VisitScotland is the first national tourism body globally to become a strategic partner with GEO Foundation to connect with and support the advancement of their non-profit mission to help accelerate sustainability in and through golf.  The partnership builds on VisitScotland’s responsible tourism goals, including supporting the country’s transition to a low carbon economy.

In particular, the partnerships ensures the establishment of sustainability activities at leading golf tournaments along with a focus on boosting direct support for Scottish golf clubs. Club engagement will be delivered in collaboration with Scottish Golf, helping involve more Scottish clubs in actions that can help strengthen efficiency, sustainability and popularity of clubs across the country.


About GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf
GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf is the international not-for-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through golf. Its goal is to work collaboratively to help the sport embrace environmental and social issues and become widely acclaimed for its role in fostering nature, conserving resources, taking climate action and strengthening communities. In addition to its strategic support through partnerships with associations, GEO assures the OnCourse® programmes for grassroots golf facilities, new developments and tournaments, each of which can lead to the internationally accredited, endorsed and independently verified GEO Certified® label.

About Visit Scotland
VisitScotland is a leader in responsible tourism, making Scotland a better place for people to live and visit. We are proud signatories of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism and Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency. As an employer, we offer a world-class environment for the best talent in Scotland, embracing inclusive, flexible work practices and celebrating the diversity of our people.


Roddy Williams - Director Professional Golf Engagement and Communications
Tel: +44 07899940029