Sentosa Golf Club declares climate neutrality
Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore has declared that it is the first carbon-neutral golf club in the world. The announcement was made during the HSBC Women’s World Championship, held at the golf club in early March. Those responsible in Sentosa had already announced their intention to work towards this goal in 2021.
How exactly does the path to climate neutrality break down?
In 2020, the golf facility with 36 holes and approximately 1,600 members, had two independent CO₂ emissions calculations performed. CarbonCare Asia carried one out, GEO Foundation the other. While CarbonCare Asia calculated based on the GHG Protocol and considered Scope 1, 2 and parts of Scope 3 emissions, the GEO Foundation calculated only Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The club considered the higher of the two calculations for its future work on decarbonization. Which one it was, is not disclosed. Detailed reporting, where the data can be viewed in detail, is not published publicly.
Mobility of members remains outside
The baseline at the start of work on reducing CO₂ ratings was thus 4000 metric tons of CO₂ emissions per year. This did not take into account the mobility of the members. This is relevant because member mobility is usually considered the most significant factor in CO₂ calculations in golf clubs. However, analysing this factor within Scope 3 based on the GHG Protocol is voluntary. “Nevertheless, the club is trying to develop strategies for installing e-charging stations and promoting the use of e-vehicles, as well as improving driving behaviour,” management notes in this regard.
Numerous actions have been taken to improve the sustainability of the golf facility and, in the process, to reduce CO₂ emissions. This included the installation of a modern irrigation system, a significant improvement in equipment and the introduction of Biochar in greenkeeping. Composting facilities on the site ensure that garden and food waste can subsequently be used as fertilizer. Lithium-ion batteries also power the facility’s entire cart fleet.
It is unclear how significant the reduction in CO₂ emissions actually is in the meantime, and what the exact CO₂ balance will be in 2022. The calculation for the year 2021 is currently underway.
Climate neutrality is achieved through offset certificates
The claim to be the world’s first carbon-neutral golf club is now based on the fact that certificates for 5,000 tons of CO₂ emissions were purchased, reducing the 2020 balance to zero. This was partly achieved by charging one dollar for every round of golf since April 2021, which was used for the Katinga Mentaya project in Indonesia and the Cordillera Azul National Park project in Peru. The projects are active in the reforestation and protection of swamp forests.
Sentosa Golf Club was also the first golf club to join the UN Sports for Climate Action Race to Zero. Alongside this, they are part of the Sentosa Carbon Neutral Network, which works to reduce CO₂ emissions across Sentosa Island.