Le Golf National, the host venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup and 2024 Summer Olympics, has retained GEO certification, once again highlighting its commitment to sustainable business management.
Having completed the new and improved OnCourse® programme, the venue was recently visited by independent verifier Pablo Munoz Vega, who confirmed demonstrable results and continual improvement actions over the previous three-year period.
Paul Armitage, General Manager - Le Golf National, said: “By proudly flying the GEO flag every day we are showing our customers, whether they be local residents, international visitors or corporate groups that we care about the same things that they do. We also want our staff to feel engaged and proud of the fact that Le Golf National provides great golf and much more for our community.
“Thanks to our Environmental Co-ordinator Artur Lecomte and the staff out on the course and in the clubhouse, the work we have done on waste separation, with increased reuse and recycling is particularly rewarding for all involved. All the team have found OnCourse® to be very easy to use and helpful in guiding and tracking the work and GEO Certified® is a tremendous reward.”
Le Golf National continues to show how an approach to fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting the community is part and parcel of running a profitable and highly respected golf facility.
The venues efforts are also contributing to The Ryder Cup Green Drive - the event’s sustainability programme – with partners Ryder Cup Europe and The Ryder Cup Organising Committee in France aiming to deliver the cleanest, greenest and most sustainable Ryder Cup yet.
Ryder Cup Europe Director, Richard Hills, said: “Le Golf National is a world-class golf course and we commend Paul and his team for their commitment to sustainable business management. It is vitally important that along with delivering one of the greatest sporting events in the world, that we also address these important issues and continue to work on maximising the social and environmental contribution of golf in the communities in which we play.”
Alejandro Reyes, Golf Course Superintendent added: “In the last three years sustainability has really become a facility-wide effort – moving from the golf course and maintenance facility into the clubhouse and now into marketing and communications. OnCourse® has helped a lot in that process and gives us a consistent way to make sure our practices are delivered and extended, our key data is in one place and our highlights are communicated and shared.”
Julie Duffus, Olympic Movement Sustainability Manager at the International Olympic Committee added: “Le Golf National is an excellent example of how a sustainable and successful Olympic Venue can be planned, designed, constructed and operated. Our Congratulations to the team for their efforts and success on retaining GEO Certified Status. We look forward to working together in the lead up to the Olympic Games in 2024”.
Richard Allison, Certification Manager at GEO Foundation, said: “We congratulate Le Golf National on this excellent and thoroughly deserved achievement. With the eyes of the sporting world on the course this autumn for The 2018 Ryder Cup, Le Golf National continues to strengthen its position as an ethical leader - fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting the community.”
Munoz Vega added: “It has been tremendous to witness the development of Le Golf National since their initial certification a short time ago. Commitment to sustainability and a desire to improve and keep innovating is deeply embedded in the management culture. With performance already very high I look forward to seeing the new projects and initiatives of the future.”
Key activities and results at Le Golf National include:
• Commissioned 19 hybrid electric Jacobsen Eclipse walking mowers
• Reduction in irrigation consumption by almost 40% as result of new Toro irrigation system
• 16 hectares removed from irrigation (20% of irrigated area)
• Sprinkler heads improved water distribution by 26%
• New storage reservoir and drainage allows recycling of rainwater (44% of total consumption)
• 340 tons of material recycled every year including glass, plastic, paper, cardboard and organics
• Sand from ‘Paris beach’ recycled after every summer for fairway top-dressing
• Trialling of non-chemical pest and disease control with UV lighting unit to reducing fungicide applications
• Partnership with Natural History Museum and French Golf Federation to evaluate, conserve and promote biodiversity
• Interconnected management of 10 EUNIS habitats including forest, wetland, open water, meadows and mineral landscape (three of which are classed as rare including tree species, riparian reeds and willows)
• At least 350 flora and fauna species identified to date, including 70 birds
• 13 species identified as rare including European, French and regional ‘red list’ species
• Eight microhabitats created including hibernaculums for amphibians, rock walls, beehives, bird nests, dead branches and standing tree remnants
• Increase in low-maintenance ecological rough areas
• Significant reduction of maintained turf areas, new no-spray areas and habitat buffers
• New policies and pricing to increase public access to the golf courses
• ‘GoforGolf’ campaign to introduce new players to the game
• Spearhead the development of new affordable short courses around the country
• Increase in social media presence to communicate the benefits of sustainability
• Collaboration with local government to restore the ‘Porte du Merantais’, an historic gate to Versailles Palace