Where is the EIGCA action plan & recommendations to tackle climate change?

By: July 14, 2022

In recent years, the efforts of Sentosa Golf Club have impressed me the most as they try to make their operations environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The 2022 EIGCA Annual Meeting was held from Monday 27th to Wednesday 29th June in Reykjavik, Iceland. The organizers wanted to provide a better understanding of the risks of climate change to the delegates.

It is questionable why to organize such an event when it could have been carried out via Zoom or other digital conference platforms.

Although Iceland is well-known as one of the most forward-thinking countries on climate change.

Virtual events, as well as hybrid events that mix virtual and in-person components, tend to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than in-person events. They can also give planners the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

EIGCA AM2022 - Jason Straka ASGCA, Tim Lobb, EIGCA

100 delegates from 25 locations in 19 countries across four continents gathered to hear experts explore the main trends in climate change, the impacts on golf, and the practical implications for golf course design and development.

The program pulled together speakers from

  • the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA),
  • GEO Foundation (GEO), 
  • The R&A,
  • American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA),
  • Society of Australian Golf Course Architects (SAGCA),
  • EIGCA Gold Partners, Rain BirdToro, and EIGCA members.
  • Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, the Icelandic Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Climate, gave the welcoming address.

The focus was on the practicalities of the challenges for golf to be net zero, and delegates left with a greater understanding of what stepping forward as leaders in climate action entail.

The Conference closed with the Presidents of EIGCA, ASGCA, and SAGCA signing a pledge to strengthen their commitment toward climate action, on behalf of their respective members.

More than that would be needed. I think the representatives of the GEO Foundation drew attention to this.

The organizers & EIGCA deserve kudos for these:

  • Tee Amnesty – for every one plastic tee surrendered, four (4) sustainable bamboo tees were given in exchange to participants in the EIGCA President’s Cup at Brautarholt and Keilir Golf Clubs (Keilir Golf Club has been GEO Certified© for 8 years)
  • Ground Transportation – coaches for transporting delegates between venues and golf courses were provided by the first bus company to carbon balance the driving of their fleet.
  • Delegate Name Badges – made from 100% recycled board and are 100% recyclable.
  • Lanyards – made from RPET (recycled plastic bottles) and are recyclable.
  • Offsetting – GEO established highly credible and impactful international offsetting, covering the flights taken by the delegates, their accommodation, meals, and ground transportation. The price chosen for offsetting was set at a high level (UK and EU recommended carbon price), with the cost financed by a joint sponsorship between EIGCA and Gold Partners, Rain Bird and Toro.