Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational achieves world-first recognition
The 2019 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (Dow GLBI) recently was named a GEO Certified® Tournament, designating it as the first-ever professional golf tournament to receive this recognition during its first year of operation and the first event on the LPGA Tour to be fully certified. The certification, awarded by the Scotland-based GEO Foundation (GEO), is an internationally recognized award for sustainability in golf.
To become GEO Certified®, the Dow GLBI – the only team event on the LPGA Tour – executed the first
year of a 5-year sustainability strategy that is designed to balance environmental impacts, conserve
natural resources and benefit the local community. In addition to the thorough review conducted by
GEO, a third-party verification was carried out by the Council for Responsible Sport, the official
verification body for the GEO Certified Tournaments in North America.
To earn certification, the Dow GLBI achieved a total of 45 out of 55 points across six categories –
planning & communications, site protection, procurement, resource management, access & equity and
“The certification process is rigorous and comprehensive, and we are thrilled to achieve this world-first designation for women’s golf during our first year of operating this event,” said Chris Chandler,
executive director of the Dow GLBI. “By working in partnership with GEO Foundation and many local
partners, we will continue to push the boundaries on environmental sustainability and community value
at our future events, with the goal of enriching the Great Lakes Bay Region community and educating
and inspiring others.”
Highlights from the 2019 event include:
- 68 percent of waste generated during the Dow GLBI was recycled or reused, with major efforts to avoid single use materials and to pioneer recycling of bulk materials such as banners and wraps.
- More than 1,000 pounds of unused prepared food was donated to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, a nonprofit organization that distributes food through a network of hunger relief partners in 22 counties.
- 5,500+ students were introduced to the First Tee’s golf and life skills curriculum, and 600+ children attended The First Tee Junior Clinic at the Currie Golf Course.
- More than 1,450 individuals recorded 28,214,989 total steps as part of the #TeamUp and Step Up for Healthy Living Challenge.
- 36 local non-profits received a total of $200,000 as a result of the #TeamUp for the GLBR program, in which non-profits were paired with teams of LPGA players and had the chance to earn additional contributions based on how the LPGA teams finished in competition.
- Scoping and calculating the comprehensive baseline carbon footprint for the event.
The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that sport can be an
important enabler of sustainable development and can contribute to health, education and social
inclusion objectives. Through its partnership with GEO Foundation, Dow, as the tournament sponsor,
seeks to share its experience and inspire other organizers to forge collaborations that will help maximize
the positive environmental, economic and social impacts of their sporting events, according to Dr.
Anastasia Behr, technology & sustainability leader from Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions.
“Our vision has been to host a tournament that benefits and engages the Great Lakes Bay Region locally
and helps set a benchmark in sustainability for other golf tournaments and their commercial partners on
the LPGA Tour,” said Behr, who is the Dow GLBI’s sustainability advisor. “This aligns with one of Dow’s
2025 Sustainability Goals, in which we are collaborating with like-minded partners to develop
sustainable blueprints that will advance the well-being of people and the planet.”
To achieve GEO certification, the organizers must complete a robust, custom-built program for golf
tournaments that includes document and evidence submission, a third-party verification carried out by
the Council for Responsible Sport, a thorough review by GEO, and agreement to Continual Improvement
Points for future tournaments.
“This achievement is the result of a tremendous team effort - led by the golf and sustainability groups in
the Dow Corporation, well supported by Octagon and backed up with active participation from Midland
Country Club,” said Jonathan Smith, executive director of the GEO Foundation. “Together they have put
in place long term vision, strategy and policies, taken immediate action, and delivered meaningful
results in the first year of the event. This is a great example of how, with the right attitude and
approach, all golf tournaments can accelerate their work to reduce resource consumption, waste and
climate impacts, working to ensure the tournament delivers net positive benefits to people and the
environment. We have no doubt this will be a model and catalyst for other golf events on the LPGA and
In addition to the Dow GLBI being named a GEO Certified® Tournament, the Midland Country Club, which
hosts the tournament, achieved the widely endorsed and accredited GEO Certified® eco-label in June
2019 for its own commitment and action in fostering nature, conserving resources and supporting the
View the full Dow GLBI GEO Certified® report
About the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational
The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (Dow GLBI) is an official LPGA Tour event that will be held in
Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region July 13-18, 2020, at the Midland Country Club. The Dow GLBI will
offer a format unlike any other event on the LPGA Tour. The 72-hole, stroke-play tournament will
feature 66 two-player teams competing in both foursomes and four-ball with a $2.3 million purse.
The weeklong event will feature more than golf – it will also include Eat Great, a two-day food festival
featuring restaurants and breweries throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, an official LPGA Tour Pro-
Am Tournament, STEM in Sports youth-related programming and leadership events. The mission of the
Dow GLBI is to accelerate the efforts of the Great Lakes Bay Region and Dow’s strategy by building a
world-class LPGA Tour event that positively impacts people’s lives and enriches the community. Discover
more at www.dowglbi.com
About the Council for Responsible Sport
The Council’s mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and
environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers
who strive to make a difference in their communities. Since 2008, the Council has certified over 100
events, reaching over one million participants and countless spectators. For more information
About the LPGA
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and
headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with
more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 countries. With a vision to inspire, empower,
educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete
across the globe, while the Symetra Tour, the official development and qualifying tour of the LPGA,
consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. Additionally, LPGA Teaching and
Club Professionals directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management.
The LPGA demonstrates its dedication to the development of the game through The LPGA Foundation.
Since 1991, this charitable organization has been committed to empowering and supporting girls and
women through developmental, humanitarian and golf community initiatives, including LPGA*USGA
Girls Golf, the LPGA Women’s Network and the LPGA Amateur Golf Association. Visit www.lpga.com for more information.