European Tour become first golf Tour to commit to net zero
By Community | October 10, 2022
The European Tour group has become the first professional golf Tour to announce its commitment towards net zero carbon emissions, by becoming a signatory to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework, and the Framework’s Race to Zero pledge.
The Sports for Climate Action Framework was created by the United Nations and made for sports organisations and their stakeholders to tackle climate change through a set of five principles:
- Undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental sustainability
- Reducing overall climate impact
- Educating for climate action
- Promoting sustainable and responsible consumption
- Advocating for climate action through communication
The Race to Zero pledge requires all signatories to commit to reduce direct emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2040.
It will be a key focus of Golf for Good, the European Tour group’s commitment to Driving Golf Further in an environmentally and socially sustainable way, ensuring the Tour has a positive long-term impact on the courses, countries and the communities it visits.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said: “The group’s DP World Tour is a global brand with millions of followers, so we have a clear responsibility and opportunity to use our platforms in the right way. Our net zero commitment shows that through Golf for Good we are serious about environmental responsibility and the role we can play.
“Our staff and leadership, under the guidance of our Head of Sustainability, are determined to ensure we fully meet all our pledges, and we appreciate the support of our expert partners and advisers in helping us do so. Of course, we also invite our partners and stakeholders to join us in making effective change.”
Becoming a signatory to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework is the logical next step in the Tour’s Green Drive initiative, which has grown in scale and impact over several years and was re-launched on World Environment Day last year. The most recent Sustainability Strategy, available here, further aligns Green Drive with the Tour’s wider Golf for Good programme to create a new, holistic approach to sustainable development – on and through the Tour.
It strengthens the breadth and depth of delivery towards a vision for the Tour to: Lead by Example – by integrating best practices into core operations, owned events and procurement, establishing Tour wide policies and tools, and activating new partnerships; to Support and Share – by providing guidance and examples of best practice, fostering a growing community of collective action and results; and to Promote and Inspire by raising awareness, inspiring others and establishing a credible leadership position in sport.
Detailed implementation plans are already underway spanning governance, operations, tournaments, venues, media and technology, communications and partnerships. Sustainability performance indicators and carbon emissions are being tracked across all aspects of the Tour’s operations through new internal mechanisms, and tools provided by the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf.
Lindita Xhaferi Salihu, UN Sports for Climate Action Lead, added her support: “The Sports for Climate Action Framework is about driving sports to net zero emissions no later than 2040 in line with keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. It is no small or easy undertaking, but to safeguard the future of sport, we all must all join hands and efforts to win the race against climate change. We look forward to working with the Tour alongside other signatories to set the pace for climate action and achieve the ambitious goals we have set for the Sports for Climate Action community.”
Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of the non-profit GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, the delivery partner to the European Tour group’s Green Drive programme, added: “Over the last 12 months there has been a significant upscaling of commitment, resourcing and action across the European Tour group – led by the Board. We are delighted to help guide the ongoing development of the Tour’s emissions reduction strategy; support effective delivery; and track progress through externally accredited programmes and tools developed over many years for this specific purpose.”