New reforestation project at the Open Championship

Making Europe’s largest golf tournament as sustainable as possible – that is the objective of the R&A. The host of the Open Championship, which is taking place this week in Kent, England, has been working on the implementation for a number of years. The projects are varied, also this year.

Water stations all over the place

As in 2019 in Royal Portrush, there will also be water stations throughout Royal St. George’s square this year, which are intended to help avoid plastic waste as part of the Open Water Initiative . Fans can bring their own water bottles and fill them up for free. Bottles will be provided to players and staff on site, and spectators can purchase official Open bottles for less than £5.

And: Part of the sales price goes to the ” Priceless Planet ” campaign, which is being carried out for the first time at the Open Championship. This is about a reforestation campaign by the Open sponsor Mastercard, whose goal is to plant 100 million trees with various campaigns. This is being done in Australia, Brazil and Kenya in collaboration with forest experts from Conservation International and the World Resources Institute. At the Open, chips will be attached to all water filling stations, allowing fans to donate £1.50 each. Mastercard will add the same amount at the end of the tournament, capped at £130,000.

The complete conversion of the car fleet, which is used for players and officials during the tournament, has not yet succeeded this year. However, the German sponsor Mercedes-Benz is at least equipping some of the players with electric vehicles.

Make event equipment as sustainable as possible

At first glance, the efforts of the organizers in the area of event equipment to generate as little waste as possible are much less noticeable to visitors. “Our goal is to recycle as much material as possible each year,” explains Stuart Moffatt, the Open’s Corporate Communications Manager. The signage, for example, is used every year, only the inscriptions are always removed and made new. When signs break, the old Foamex models are replaced with new ones made from the fully recyclable Akyprint material. In 2021, completely PVC-free banner material will be used for the first time in some areas.

In fact, according to Moffatt, the maximum of the measures has certainly not yet been exhausted, but basically “we work very closely with our suppliers here in order to get a little better every year”.

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For comparison: The Open is a good deal ahead of the German tournament Porsche European Open, especially when it comes to avoiding plastic bottles, but the issue of sustainability is also an issue here.

The signage will also be reprocessed at the Porsche European Open, and investments have also been made in fixed cabling for telecommunications at the GreenEagles facility to prevent temporary solutions. Green power is also planned for next year. A new transformer house is being built to meet the demand during the tournament week and for other projects at the Green Eagles facility. The title sponsor Porsche already had an electric fleet in operation this year, which, however, has not yet been fueled with green electricity – as with the Mercedes-Benz vehicles at the Open Championship, this is also a long-term goal that is still being worked on.