0 Golf business leaders promote 'triple bottom line' sustainability

Sustainability in golf will be on the agenda for a panel of top international experts during a think tank on the economic, environmental and social impacts of golf at the KPMG Golf Business Forum in Italy, September 17-19.

The special debate, titled 'Sustainability: the triple bottom line', will focus on the three cornerstones of sustainability - profit, people and the planet - in relation to golf courses, resorts and residential communities.

The panel will be chaired by Rhett Evans, CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and will include contributions from Olympic golf course architect Gil Hanse, President and Lead Designer of Hanse Golf Course Design, Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of the Golf Environment Organization, Laurent Boissonnas, CEO of Open Golf Club and Mike Parkin, Global Head of Turf and Landscape Business, Syngenta.

The panel will discuss the many aspects of sustainability in relation to the golf industry and why this is so important to the future of golf communities worldwide.

"Syngenta is delighted to be organizing this panel and highlight that we are investing in the future of golf. The implementation of sustainable practices is essential in the broadest sense across all aspects of golf course management to deliver the foundation for a financially viable industry fit for the 21st century. Continued dialogue and exchange of views is essential to create the necessary leadership and inspire innovation to reach this goal," said Mike Parkin, Global Head of Turf and Landscape Syngenta.

Among the topics and questions to be tackled within the debate are:

• How approaching 'sustainability' in its true broadest sense, covers all aspects of management of a golf course from conception through to achieving its day to day commercial viability
• What is the best planning process to assess the long term viability of a golf course development?
• How to develop a sustainable business plan, avoiding the all too often disappointment that the commercial expectations set at the outset of the project are not subsequently fulfilled
• What are the key drivers to ensure a revenue stream of golfers and keep them returning to enjoy that golfing experience?
• How to promote biodiversity as a key element of the development, encouraging wildlife and the natural beauty within the business plan?

"I am very pleased to be involved with the sustainability panel which is a topic of such importance that it has long been championed by GCSAA and its philanthropic arm, the Environmental Institute for Golf. Sustainability is the framework that any forward thinking business needs to embrace to ensure the optimal use of resources and drive revenue for viable operation," said Rhett Evans, CEO Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

The Golf Business Forum, now in its ninth year, brings together over 250 leading players from the golf, real estate, finance and tourism sectors in more than 40 countries and is firmly established as the most important golf industry event to meet and do business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

This year's event will be hosted at the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, in Barga, Italy, September 17-19. The historic hilltop destination, set in the stunning Apennine Mountains, will be the perfect environment to network with golf business professionals and share market intelligence undisturbed, while enjoying the fascinating Tuscan setting.

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