With only two weeks to go until The European Ryder Cup team seek to reclaim the Ryder Cup from the United States, final preparations are under way to ensure the event delivers both sporting drama and environmental performance.
The focus of the organisers has been to deliver a world class sporting event, whilst protecting the site and carrying the smallest possible environmental footprint.
As the tented village is constructed, and contractors and suppliers start to bring products and services from across Wales, the UK and beyond, innovative measures are being implemented across energy, transport, catering and waste, bringing resource efficiencies and cleaner fuels are to the fore.
Commenting on the Green Drive initiative, Ryder Cup Europe Director Richard Hills said: "We are delighted to see this work coming to fruition. These are issue that have been on our radar for some time, and whilst our staging team has taken action at previous events, this is the first time it has come together in such a significant package of activities. We'd like to thank all the sponsors and suppliers who have contributed, and to the Golf Environment Organization for coordinating the initiative."
In response, Jane Davison, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing said: "The 2010 Ryder Cup will spotlight many aspects of the Welsh landscape and culture in front of a global audience. We are delighted that the event will also contribute to our world leading policies on sustainable development, as set out in our One Wales, One Planet strategy. We are proud that one of the legacies of the event will be heightened awareness and action in sustainable sport and sustainable events around the world in the future."
Jonathan Smith, CEO of the Golf Environment Organization added: "Greening The 2010 Ryder Cup has been a rewarding project - not just for the meaningful resource reductions that have been secured for this year's event, but also as a flagship for the many sustainability initiatives that are taking place in the golf sector.
"It's been a real team effort by a number of very supportive project partners. From the Welsh Assembly Government, to Ryder Cup Wales, the Wales Event Recycling Project, Celtic Manor Resort and multiple suppliers and contractors. All have contributed with ideas and resources to piece together what is a very complex jigsaw of ideas and actions.
"GEO is looking forward to continuing our partnerships with Ryder Cup Europe and the European Tour in order to roll out this model across other golf events internationally."
In a bid to reduce car use, spectators are being encouraged to travel by train and car-share wherever possible. Additional capacity Ryder Cup trains will shuttle spectators between London Paddington and Newport to coincide with the start and the end of the action every day. This is supported by the provision of shuttle buses from Newport railway station and the park and ride facilities into the venue. With bus drivers operating to a no-idling policy, and only running buses whilst at full capacity, total vehicle journeys and total engine running time will be minimised. In a significant measure to reduce food miles, caterers have selected local producers and suppliers, and have combined their deliveries - reducing all food related transport by around 30%.
An official carbon offsetting mechanism , delivered in partnership with The Carbon Neutral Company and Greenstone Carbon Management is being promoted to all ticket holders, contractors and suppliers, through which unavoidable travel emissions can be mitigated. Both Ryder Cup teams have already committed to offset emissions arising from their travel to and from South Wales.
The waste management programme is one of the most comprehensive seen at any golfing event. With a procurement and materials policy directing all suppliers to 'de-package' and reduce the amount of non-essential materials brought onto site, waste contractors will be able to ensure that over 90% of all materials arriving at the site will be reused and recycled - further supporting green jobs in the local economy. Spectators are being encouraged to play their part through clearly signposted waste separation points in the tented village and at car parks.
Across hospitality and catering, a number of steps have been taken to reduce environmental impact. All food and beverage packaging will be made from recycled and recyclable material. The disposal of tens of thousands of plastic cups is to be eliminated by the introduction of a commemorative Ryder Eco Cup, which is manufactured from recycled and recyclable material. Spectators are being encouraged to buy it once, use it often and take it home. The Taste of Wales menu places an emphasis on local and organic produce, which is complimented with the use of Fairtrade products. FSC Certified paper is being used as standard.
Significant steps have also been made to de-carbonise the energy supply to the event, including Celtic Manor Resort's full transition to a wind, water and solar derived 'green tariff'. Alongside this, the Tented Village will be powered entirely by recycled vegetable oil.
The venue's installation of a voltage optimiser unit has delivered an immediate saving of around 12% in the 2010 Clubhouse, supplemented by the installation of over 6000 low energy light fitments.
Greenstone Carbon Management estimate that all of this should make a significant difference to the event's carbon footprint, with a target of a 15% reduction being set against the 'business as usual' baseline.
Accompanied by creative on-site communications, the players and spectators at the 2010 Ryder Cup will be aware that this premier sporting spectacle is striving to do all that it can to lighten its impact.
The Golf Environment Organization is an international non-profit NGO working to enhance the social, economic and environmental benefits of golf.
Committed to partnering throughout global golf in raising standards, providing productive solutions and objectively appraising and recognizing performance, GEO is supported by a global network of partners, patrons, scientists, thought leaders, industry representatives and major organisations such as The European Tour, European Golf Association, WWF, UNEP, the Club Managers Associations of Europe and America, and The R&A.
For further information contact Benjamin Warren at The Golf Environment Organization on firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 7985 722995 or Sarah Gwynn at Ryder Cup Europe on email@example.com / +44 7980 305538.