Ayrshire, Scotland: For many years the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open has been a leading event in the European Tour’s GreenDrive programme, by showing commitment to providing social and environmental value.
This year, the tournament at Dundonald Links is taking a step further and becoming the first tournament in Europe to achieve the new voluntary sustainability standard for golf tournaments, the GEO Certified Tournament eco-label.
Throughout the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open spectators are being encouraged to use public transport, recycle as much as possible and take an extra moment to appreciate the local wildlife in and around Dundonald Links.
The tournament is also working to provide positive value to the local community through the promotion of local food and businesses across the site. Meanwhile, Gillian’s Saltire Appeal and Maggie’s have been appointed as the event’s official charities.
Spectators will also notice something unusual about the pin flags. As part of the Scottish Government’s Making Maths Count initiative, pupils from North Ayrshire schools will see their own equations replace hole numbers on all 18 flags.
Peter Adams, the European Tour’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Championship Director, said: “Sustainability is central to what we do. Working with our sponsors, the host venue and partners we aim to continually improve our performance. This year we are aiming to send zero waste from the event to landfill, and to become the first tournament in Europe to achieve the new GEO Certified Tournament eco label.”
Bill Donald, General Manager of Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links, said: “We’re thrilled to host both the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open this summer, and to welcome the players and spectators to enjoy our beautiful course. Dundonald Links has held the coveted GEO Certified Facilities mark since 2013 and we are committed to continually improving our operations.
“We have worked closely with the European Tour to ensure that the event not only has a minimal impact on the local environment but also leaves a positive legacy for our wildlife.
“We’re delighted to be working with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and others to run a series of exciting nature engagement experiences during the Scottish Open, including inviting spectators to help us build Bug Hotels around the course which will become an important habitat and increase the course’s bio-diversity.”
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive at non-profit Golf Environment Organisation (GEO), said: “This tremendous initiative highlights Aberdeen Asset Management, the European Tour and Dundonald’s leadership in sustainable events and golf. They have stepped up to show how the footprint of a world leading golf tournament can be minimised, while more social and environmental value can be added.
“We are delighted to have played a part in helping this type of activity tee off on the European Tour, and now to be able to evaluate and recognise performance against the new industry standard for sustainable golf tournaments. We hope many, many more tournaments will follow this lead.”