Golf Showcased at Global Sustainability Standards Conference

Friday 12 June 2015

Global Sustainability Standards Conference 2015 (Photo courtesy of ISEAL Alliance)

Golf Environment Organization (GEO) were invited to be a part of the 2015 Global Sustainable Standards Conference, "A Roadmap to Change" held in Berlin, Germany, in May, putting golf’s sustainability certification amongst the top in the world today

The conference, which brought together over 300 sustainability leaders and experts, was co-hosted by the ISEAL Alliance, the global assurance body for sustainability standards, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Commencing with a Keynote Address from Jason Clay, WWF’s Senior Vice President, Foods and Markets, the conference saw a day full of sessions in which the world's most influential and established standards, emerging standards and key standards users, including members of the GEO team, discussed the top issues and challenges facing the standards movement and explored real solutions to improve positive impacts from sustainability standards. A Community Day for members of the ISEAL Alliance followed the conference with engaging session speakers including GEO’s Credibility Manager, Mona Karraoui.

ISEAL Alliance is a membership organisation that works to strengthen sustainability standards systems for the benefit of people and the environment. A ‘standard for standards’ ISEAL members adhere to strict codes of good practice, which assure the impact and credibility of their standards and claims.

The ISEAL Alliance was founded in 2002 with the belief that credible standard systems can and do have positive impacts on society and the environment. Founding members including: Fairtrade; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) have since been joined by other standard setters such as: Better Cotton Initiative (BCI); Rainforest Alliance; and GEO. GEO earned a position as an ISEAL Associate Member in 2013, becoming the first sport in the world to do so, and are currently waiting for a vote on full ISEAL Membership.

As a member, the GEO administered ecolabel for golf courses adheres to ISEAL's core criteria of the three Codes of Good Practice around Standard Setting, Impact Evaluation and Assurance. GEO Certified® is golf’s international mark of responsible golf course operations, created through multi-stakeholder consultation and assured by GEO. The standard recognises golf businesses that demonstrate a commitment to providing increasing value to people and nature at the facilities they manage. Through GEO, the industry also provides OnCourse®, a free online programme available to all golf facilities to guide them in achieving the standard and onto a path of continual improvement.

Mona Karraoui, GEO’s Credibility Manager said: “Credibility is central to GEO’s work and being an ISEAL Associate Member has been critical to help us show that the standard and certification for golf upholds the best practices, credibility and assurance that a sustainability standard must in today’s world. The 2015 Global Sustainability Standards Conference has been a fascinating opportunity to share and hear from our peers..  We look forward to bringing what we’ve learned into our continuing work with ISEAL and its members and to continue to provide the golf industry with a trustworthy, robust and impactful voluntary sustainability standard.”

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