Greater sustainability in and through golf worldwide


GEO works with a wide range of stakeholders, within and outside of golf, to help define what sustainability in golf can and should involve.  The 'Theory of Change' sets out long-term goals and then maps the supporting strategies toward the expected short-term outputs, medium-term outcomes and the long-term desired impacts: 

An international golf community and industry that is:   GEOF Quote

  • Protecting and fostering biodiversity and natural landscapes
  • Using natural resources responsibly
  • Generating positive social and economic value
  • Earning recognition and trust as a sustainable sport and leader
  • Using its reach to raise awareness for sustainability in wider world

A credible sustainability system must also enable Monitoring and Evaluation.  After collaborating to develop a suite of Voluntary Standards for Sustainable Golf (Facilities, Developments, Tournaments), available to golf worldwide, GEO then developed OnCourse®, a widely-accessible programme to tie together the Standards with a method to measure and report the progress being made.  

OnCourse® captures best practices, key data, and examples and can be used by golf facilities annually. Every three years, verified information is also reported by facilities who have taken the additional step to become GEO Certified®, after an independent verification. With this system for reliable, up-to-date information directly connected to the Voluntary Standard, the sport can individually and collectively measure and represent golf’s progress and value at all levels.  Used by more and more people over time , this system will have the power to:

  • Identify priorities for improving performance
  • Bring a new era of transparency to the sport
  • Earn confidence from public and government groups
  • Improve golf’s image at local and global levels
  • Become an inspirational, community-engaged and high profile champion of sustainability

Additionally, GEO measures the reach of the sustainability system and strategies through monthly internal monitoring activities and each time a significant participation level is achieved in a country or region, more detailed reporting and analysis is possible.  Real-world examples around sustainability topics, successes and improvements from facilities who are OnCourse® or GEO Certified® are also collected and shared.  

If you would like to find out more, or share thoughts, questions or concerns, please contact Mona Karraoui, Credibility Manager at GEO,  During 2018, a Standards revision for golf facility operations and review of accompanying metrics will take place through extensive outreach with stakeholders. If you or your organization are interested, please also get in touch.

Theory of Change


Theory of Change



Supplemental Material 

GEO M&E Summary document 

Appendix 1: Theory of Change (as per above diagram)

App 2 M E KPIs studies plans