Le Golf National Born to Sustainability Management
As one Ryder Cup has passed, the journey to another begins with a great example. Le Golf National, near Paris, host of the 2018 Ryder Cup, has been recognised for its role in advancing sustainable business practices within the golf industry by earning the GEO Certified® mark. The international symbol signifies Le Golf National’s excellent value to nature and communities and efficient use of natural resources.
This acclaim follows a long history of dedication to sustainable practices, Le Golf National regularly collaborates with organizations such as the Natural History Museum of Paris and French Ministry of Environment in order to advance priorities of environmental stewardship and preservation of their land’s historical significance. And going back to the very beginning, the Albatros Golf Course, designed in 1990 by Hubert Chesneau and Von Hagge, was developed primarily with recycled construction materials and effectively revitalized a degraded ecosystem of a previous agricultural site.
Le Golf National includes three diverse courses to serve a wide range of playing abilities: The Albatros (18 holes championship), the Aigle (18 holes) and the Oiselet, (9 holes). The facility is home for the French Golf Federation, and FFG General Secretary, Christophe Muneisa commented on the recent accolade: “For many years the FFG has worked in close cooperation with a wide range of partners to advance the sustainability of golf in France, and across Europe. The efficient use of resources and the development of community legacies across France were key sustainability commitments included in our successful bid to host The Ryder Cup in 2018. Becoming GEO Certified® represents one of a number of actions and milestones on that journey. We congratulate all the staff at Le Golf National for taking this important work forward.”
GEO, the not-for-profit group dedicated to supporting credible sustainability action in world golf awarded the certification. The independent verifier, Pablo Munoz Vega commented on the practices and policies observed, “Beyond being a public facility that offers golf to a variety of players and hosts major golf tournaments, Le Golf National continues to enhance its commitment to sustainability.” A few highlights of contributions for nature and people:
- 40 hectares – 30% of the site – are dedicated to grassland habitat and the area of unmaintained rough has increased to improve habitat connection.
- Significant reduction in maintained turfgrass areas to enhance shrubs, wetlands, and other natural areas critical to wildlife protection
- More than 50 beehives surrounded by planted wildflower areas
- Biological pest control and compost teas used on fairways
- Investment in water efficiency with new storage reservoir, irrigation system and sustainable drainage installation over the next two years
- Strong, mutually beneficial community links including long-term local business relationships
- A free practice facility for school students available during parts of the day
- Winners of the first Generali Trophees du Sport Responsable in the golf category of 2012
- Inclusive golf atmosphere that promotes golf for a wide range of players through a diverse offering of golf courses
Le Golf National is also a European Tour Property, and this achievement is in line with The European Tour’s strong commitment to sustainability throughout their operations, properties, and tournaments. Richard Hills Ryder Cup Director at the PGA European Tour added: “The sustainability effort at the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland brought excellent results and with Le Golf National already GEO Certified® we can be focused on an even more sustainable tournament delivery in France. We’re also very pleased with this leadership step by a member of the European Tour Properties network.”
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive at GEO said: “We are delighted to welcome Le Golf National, 2018 Ryder Cup host, into the GEO Certified® community. Le Golf National’s story of taking a degraded brownfield site and restoring it into an unofficial nature reserve is a showcase example of the positive impact golf can have on preserving and even revitalizing natural systems within our environment.”
About GEO - GEO is the international not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the golf community worldwide improve and credibly demonstrate leadership in sustainability. GEO Certified® is golf's assurance for environmental enhancement and community contribution, recognizing commitment, performance and continual improvement.
Please click here to view the full GEO Certified® Report that provides detailed information on the environmental and social performance at Le Golf National.