In 2019, the inaugural Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational earned several "firsts" in the world of the LPGA. In addition to becoming the first LPGA Tour event in an inaugural year to earn the Gold Driver Award for the overall best tournament, the event became the first-ever GEO Certified LPGA event.
Ahead of the 2019 Dow GLBI, the team at Dow, Eiger Marketing Group, and several sustainability and community partners worked with GEO Foundation to outline a five-year sustainability plan, starting off year one with a variety of sustainability initiatives, helping the event become the first women’s event worldwide to be GEO Certified.
Initial activities were centered around developing a foundation for best practice to build upon and innovate year after year. Actions included the distribution of the Sustainable Procurement Code and best practices to all tendering vendors. The code spans waste and recycling, transportation, water resource management, energy and power, and catering.
Northwood University students were engaged as part of their sustainable management classroom projects, with a number implemented into the event. There was also a strong emphasis on STEM education and learning across on-site spectator experiences with more than 2000 children experiencing STEM activities.
More than 5,500 students were introduced to First Tee’s golf and life skills curriculum, with more than 600 children attending the First Tee Junior Clinic at Currie Golf Course.
A strong commitment to tracking, reducing, mitigating and external reporting of the tournament carbon, water and waste footprints ensured 68% of waste generated was recycled or reused. 80% of signage was reusable and 26% of Dow GLBI shirts were made from recycled PET plastic.
Creation of an event app to enhance guest experience helped streamline communication and reduce paper waste.
A Green Team of volunteers, as well as a video and materials, also helped to educate and encourage GLBI participants to recycle and minimize waste.
More than 1000lbs of prepared and unused food was donated to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and 36 local non-profits received over $200,000 as a result of the Team Up for GLBI charitable giving programme.
In total, more than 250 community partners and sponsors are involved with the Dow GLBI.
Learn more about the event's commitment to sustainability or download the GEO Certification report below.