Ecological Footprint measured at Lyoness Open


Lyoness GreenfinityThe Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity is a great example of sustainability embedded into a European Tour tournament. In 2012 Lyoness’s Greenfinity Foundation determined the ecological footprint of the European Tour Event held annually at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria. The footprint enabled the tournament organisers to identify the major impact areas and prioritise actions to start making year on year reductions to the Event’s ecological impact.

Ecological Footprinting as a tool

The "ecological footprint" can be used as a comprehensive indicator of the environmental and social impact of an Event. It provide a single unit of measurement for a variety of different ecological and social indicators. The single unit of measurement relates to the biologically productive area that is required to support the level of resource consumption seen during the Event including the absorption and disposal of waste products. The footprint provides a tool to mitigate the ecological impacts of the European Tour’s tournaments in future and to continuously minimise their footprint. Footprinting tools are useful to prioritise actions, track year on year improvements as well as benchmark against other tournaments.

Footprint of the Lyoness Open 2012

Lyoness GreenfinityThe total footprint of the Lyoness Open in 2012 was 332 km². This means we need an area of 332 km² of ecological productive land to support all the resources required to stage the Lyoness Open and to absorb the waste produced from the event. The breakdown of the footprint can be seen in the Figure. The largest contributing factor, 71% relates to ‘mobility’ which includes:

  • Arrival and departure of golfers and supporters
  • Arrival and departure of visitors (about 12.000 people)
  • Arrival and departure of press and TV-teams including broadcast trucks at live-TV-productions

4% of the resources are needed for transport of goods and material consumption. This includes everything necessary for transporting and building the infrastructure (tents, stands, etc.). Also lawn care is taken into consideration.

Putting the scale of the footprint for the Lyoness Open into context, a visitor attending the Lyoness Open has a smaller ecological footprint than if that same visitor were to stay at home and surf the internet for 24 hours.

Sponsor commitment at the Lyoness Open

For the second time the Greenfinity takes on the role of Presenting Sponsor of the Lyoness Open. It does not only take responsibility for the event’s ecological improvement but at the same time represents the importance of environmental protection and sustainability in golf. On the basis of the 2012 footprint, a number of action were put in place to reduce the 2013 footprint. These were:

  • Shuttle busses were provided from rail stations to the Diamond Country Club
  • Local power grid was installed to remove the need for temporary diesel generator sets
  • Use of regional and organic food
  • Cooperations with local companies reducing supplier travel distances
  • Improved waste management through provision of recycling
  • No use of air conditioning systems

Whilst these actions reduce the ecological footprint of the event, the event will always have a footprint. Lyoness Greenfinity recognise this and have put in place a number of programmes to compensation, or offset, this impact. These are as follows:

  • Visitors to the Lyoness Open can determine their personal ecological footprint and can compensate for this by the reforestation project in Nicaragua and Germany
  • All Donations for the Frozen Yogurt benefit the “Generationenwald” (generation’s forest) in Purkersdorf.
  • A contribution of €1 from car parking charges benefits the “Generationenwald” (generation’s forest) in Purkersdorf. 

As part of European Tour Green Drive, GEO is working with Greenfinity to make the Ecological footprinting tool available to other European Tour events.