Green Drive

Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive, Golf Environment Organisation (L), Scott Fenwick, Estates Manager Gleneagles Hotel, Richard Lochhead, Environment Secretary ( with Ryder Cup), Edward Kitson, Match Director 2014 Ryder Cup and Robbie Clyde, Ryder Cup Director, Event Scotland

Green Drive to the fore

Ryder Cup tees up environmental benefits

Four sustainability projects in Perthshire are to benefit from nearly a quarter of a million pounds of funding from the Scottish Government as part the green legacy of The 2014 Ryder Cup.

The projects extend the reach of the Ryder Cup ‘Green Drive’, which focuses on integrating sustainability across all aspects of the event’s planning and staging.

The four sustainability projects are:

• Zero Waste Fortnight – an initiative run by Perth and Kinross Council and Zero Waste Scotland to support communities in Perthshire to achieve zero waste to landfill
• Sustainable Golf – led by the Scottish Golf Union, providing practical advice and small grants support for environmental and community projects in golf clubs in Perthshire
• John Muir Trust – engaging people from all walks of life in the conservation of ‘wild’ places and peatlands
• Big Tree Country – conserving Perthshire’s stunning and unique ‘big tree’ landscape

Speaking at the launch at Auchterarder Golf Club, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Hosting The Ryder Cup brings many benefits to Scotland that will last longer than the world class sporting action we will see next September.

“These benefits include business opportunities for Scottish firms winning event contracts, as well as improvements to local infrastructure, such as the work being done at Gleneagles Station.

“Sporting events around the world are embracing sustainability and The Ryder Cup provides Scotland an opportunity, when the eyes of the world will be watching, to emphasise the benefits we all derive from healthy and diverse natural landscapes. It is highly appropriate to drive these projects off in the Year of Natural Scotland. We can utilise The Ryder Cup to inspire communities and businesses, for example through some of the projects announced today, in the drive to a greener and more sustainable future.”

Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of the non-profit Golf Environment Organization, which advises Ryder Cup Europe on sustainability, said:

“The Ryder Cup Green Drive rightly focuses on making the event itself as sustainable as possible. While Gleneagles has already finalised a new sustainability action plan incorporating site protection and restoration plans, this was an opportunity to extend the legacy of the event beyond the boundaries of Gleneagles itself.”

Edward Kitson, Match Director for The 2014 Ryder Cup, said:

“While the attention of the world will focus on Gleneagles in September 2014, we are committed to ensuring that the legacy of The Ryder Cup reaches beyond the host venue. These projects will extend the sustainable legacy of the event and we are delighted by the support offered by the Scottish Government, Perth and Kinross Council, and the Golf Environment Organisation.”

Stuart Brooks, chief executive of the John Muir Trust, said:

“2014 is the centenary of the life of John Muir, the Scots-born founder of the modern conservation movement who was passionate about wild places and pioneered the protection of Yosemite in the United States and other national parks.

“We’re grateful to The Ryder Cup and Scottish Government for demonstrating its commitment to environmental issues and helping to highlight our cause during this special year, here in Scotland and internationally. It’s more important than ever to protect our native woodlands, peatlands and wildlife, and to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to discover, enjoy and connect with nature.”.

Hamish Grey, Scottish Golf Union Chief Executive, said:

“The SGU sees sustainability as a way to strengthen golf – helping clubs to save money; enhance courses and further boost their positions in the community. As an extension of our existing efforts, including a long-standing advisory service to clubs across the country, this focussed initiative in Perthshire will help us unlock more opportunities more quickly and provide a tried and tested model for other regions.”

For further information on the Green Drive - http://www.golfenvironment.org/ryder_cup_2014_greendrive

Auchterarder Golf Club has been a pioneer in sustainability for a number of years, and one of the first in Scotland to attain the international golf ecolabel GEO Certified™.