Green Drive tees up Ryder Cup For Perthshire

Scottish Government to fund local environmental projects as part of green legacy for 2014 event at Gleneagles.

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Greens will be the centre of attention when the Ryder Cup comes to Scotland next year, so it seems a natural extension of the world famous golf tournament to make sure that it helps fund local sustainability initiatives.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead yesterday announced four projects will receive a share of almost £250,000 from the Scottish government as part of the 2014 Ryder Cup’s “green legacy”.

The government said it would fund a new “Zero Waste Fortnight”, an initiative run by Perth and Kinross Council and Zero Waste Scotland to help communities in Perthshire to achieve zero waste to landfill status; increase support for Sustainable Golf, an initiative led by the Scottish Golf Union to provide advice and small grants to help golf clubs in Perthshire cut their environmental impact; and provide fresh funding for local conservation projects run by John Muir and Big Tree Country.

Speaking at Auchterarder Golf Club, close to host venue Gleneagles, Lochhead said the Ryder Cup would showcase the benefits of greener sporting events.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Ryder Cup organisers have also committed to ensuring the event is “world leader in showcasing resource efficiency, environmental stewardship and corporate responsibility”, and have pledged to boost the tournament’s sustainability performance through the so-called Green Drive programme, which has been in place since the Valderrama Ryder Cup in Spain in 1997.

As part of the programme, Ryder Cup Europe (RCE) has developed a sustainable procurement code that places “a high priority on environmental, social and ethical issues” and intends to maximise the use of renewable energy, deliver zero waste to landfill, and minimise water consumption through reuse and recycling at future tournaments.

Jonathan Smith, chief executive of the non-profit Golf Environment Organisation, which advises Ryder Cup Europe on sustainability issues, said the latest outreach work with local clubs forms a key part of the tournament’s overall green strategy.

“The Ryder Cup Green Drive rightly focuses on making the event itself as sustainable as possible,” he added. “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.”

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