Vidago Palace Achieves Sustainability Recognition
Vidago Palace Golf Course, one of the leading golf facilities in Portugal, is celebrated by IAGTO and GEO for its outstanding commitment to sustainable golf. This year, only the second time of this special discretionary award, Vidago Palace is recognised for an exemplary and ongoing commitment to sustainability. The resort has been selected due to its inspiring work as a minimal impact golf course, in harmony with its natural environment. The commitment and practices to use resources efficiently, enhance the already sensitive landscape and provide positive community value are also highlighted through this award.
2018 also marked the renewal of the resort’s GEO Certified® status, in recognition of the quantity and quality of sustainability initiatives being undertaken throughout the golf facility, alongside its existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications. GEO Certified® is golf’s global ecolabel, achieved by meeting voluntary industry standards across the sustainability themes of nature, resources and community, and following an independent on-site verification.
Paulo Ferreira, Golf Director at Vidago Palace said: “We put consistent effort into being a sustainable golf facility – out on the course and across the clubhouse and hotel. We are very proud of this recognition from both IAGTO and GEO which reflects the commitment, hard work and skill that our staff deliver on a daily basis. Stewardship of nature, resources and the community is almost an obsession for us, and we hope that Vidago Palace can be seen as a role model for others – especially in demonstrating how sustainability and quality go hand in hand.”
Past winner of the IAGTO Sustainability Awards (2015) for its work on community engagement, the facility partners with local suppliers and businesses to multiply sustainability effects in the supply chain; provides local employment, career development and volunteering opportunities for staff; maintains walking and biking trails throughout the site; collaborates with another local club on management ideas and maintenance; strongly encourages junior participation with coaching, open days, holiday camps and free golf; and hosts top amateur tournaments with high international visibility.
In addition, resource efficiency measures have resulted in a further 20% reduction in energy consumption achieved over the past 3 years. This has been thanks to a strong management focus and transition to solar-thermal technology for heating water. Irrigation also receives intense focus with state-of-the-art monitoring techniques and super-efficient equipment.
The facility also prioritises environmental management to ensure its impact on local landscapes and biodiversity is minimal. The course is situated within highly valuable old-growth woodland and native vegetation, and above an important mineral water aquifer.
Jonathan Smith, chief executive of GEO Foundation: ‘We are delighted to see Vidago Palace retain its well deserved GEO Certified® status. The club is a real example of sustainable management where the attention to improving natural environments, adapting to resource pressures, and providing social opportunities is simply part of doing good business. They are protecting the very natural and cultural assets that their guests and golfers value. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Vidago Palace - continuing as a sustainability leader in Portugal and worldwide.’
Miguel Franco de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Golf Federation addressed his congratulations to the venue: We congratulate the team at Vidago Palace. This is exactly the kind of proactive and voluntary leadership in sustainability that golf needs. The PGF looks forward to supporting more clubs and facilities across the country, providing the easy to use OnCourse® Portugal programme, which culminates in the internationally accredited and recognised GEO Certified® label. By working together, we can demonstrate what value golf really does bring to people and the environment, and show how Portugal is the most responsible and sustainable golf destination in the world”.
For more information on Vidago Palace’s awards, achievements and the full GEO Certified® report and independent verification report please click here