Common questions

Rio Olympic Golf Course


The most common questions we receive about sustainable golf development, the OnCourse® Developments program and GEO Certified® Developments are answered below. Get in touch to ask us any more.

What stage of the project should we get in touch with GEO Foundation (GEO)?
The earlier the better is the short answer…and depending on the services you were looking for the overall costs would not change as a result. 

For example, early on clients have engaged us to help secure land deals, attract investors and build better relationships with local or national governments. This work is all happening long before construction work begins. Too late to seek certification would be once the site clearance work has been completed. Get in touch to find out more.

How much does it cost to go through the program?
The cost for the certification support role starts from €17,000 up to €35,000 depending on complexity of the projects. Renovations are between €14,000 up to €22,000. These costs do not include for travel and expenses.

If there are services required beyond certification support, such as hosting site walkabouts, liaising with local community groups, cost-benefit studies of decisions on energy or water infrastructure then these would be additional service costs. Get in touch if you would like to discuss how this might fit with your project. 

How is the independent verifier chosen for the project?
This is primarily done on proximity to site and suitable expertise. We have a group of specialist independent verifiers based in over 30 countries, from this group a shortlist is created for the project team to review and confirm a chosen verifier from. 

How much time will it take to go through the program and gain certification?
The certification process will run at the same speed as the project moves, there is no requirement to take longer or to move quicker.

During the process there will be a need to confidentially share the project's information with us and host perhaps up to 5 site visits during the design and construction stages. Time should be set aside by the design team to allow this collaboration to happen.

How long does GEO Certified Development status last?
Gained on opening day of the golf course, the certification is a lifetime achievement. No further costs are required to retain the achievement. 

When do we find out if the project will gain certification?
An initial project appraisal is carried out at no cost. Done at the start of the process, this appraisal will assess the eligibility of the project to seek certification. The report includes the key sustainability opportunities and challenges for the project.

A positive project appraisal does not guarantee certification, but it will spell out the areas that will be important to focus on to ensure a successful certification process. See other projects that have gone through the certification process here.

Can we leave the program at any time?
In short, yes. The working relationship is created on a stage by stage basis. If at anytime either party wishes to end the work then this can be done without any ongoing commitment from anyone. For access to our full Terms and Conditions get in touch with us.

Is it confidential?
Yes, all work handled is 100% confidential. We are working with around 20 golf developments, all at various stages through the process. We do not publicise anything without the owners' permission. Once certified the final reporting is uploaded to our website in the interested of transparency and promotion of good practices. See examples of this publishing on other projects here.