Nedbank Golf Challenge Sets Environmental Exampleon September 17, 2010
Not for the first time, the Sun City Resort has established a new industry benchmark – this time for its efforts in ensuring that the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary, is as environmentally-friendly as possible. This marquee event is well on its way to becoming the first carbon neutral golf tournament on the African continent.
It is well known that the Gary Player Country Club’s golf course was the first to be constructed following USGA specifications. The standards of conditioning seen at this course have also set standards that many other courses have tried to emulate, but very few have managed. More importantly, the management of this resort has been at the forefront of environmental consciousness for some time, and recent work that has been done is likely to see the Nedbank Golf Challenge become carbon neutral.
The drive to become more environmentally friendly is an on-going project that Sun International takes very seriously, and the process of measuring and assessing the Nedbank Golf Challenge began in 2008. With the help of the Heritage Environmental Management Company, contracted to compile a detailed report on the impact of the tournament, a huge amount of data was gathered and evaluated. The information covers every aspect affecting the carbon footprint of the event, from the amount of CO₂ emissions generated by the spectators who travel to the resort, emission on the golf courses and surrounds, total energy consumption and the recycling of waste.
Since this first study was done, a considerable amount of progress has been made in reducing carbon emissions, improving waste separation and saving on energy consumption. Greg McManus of Heritage explains: “One of the biggest gains has been in water consumption, at one time clean water was used to irrigate the golf course, but now only grey water is used,” he says. “Also, the golf course is now completely ‘electrified’, meaning that all diesel generators etc. have been replaced by electrical units, thereby reducing on-course emissions and limited energy-related emissions to the resort as a whole.”
A lot of care has gone into the planning and administration for the 2010 event, and for the first time it is expected that the event will earn full certification as a “green”’ event and that in this anniversary year. This marquee event which attracts thousands of spectators will also achieve carbon neutral status. This may be ambitious, but McManus believes that it is achievable.
“We announced earlier in the year that the bank had achieved carbon neutrality, making the Nedbank Group the first African financial services organisation to achieve effective zero carbon status. In partnering with Sun International to green the Nedbank Golf Challenge we are further cementing the bank’s reputation as one of the country’s and continent’s environmental sustainability leaders,” says Andy Scott, Head of Nedbank Group Sponsorships.
At last year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, more than 60,000 spectators attended the event at Sun City, and it is expected that this year’s event will attract even more golf fans. “This is by far the biggest golfing event on the African continent and we are very conscious of our environmental responsibilities,” says the Director of Golf at the resort, Antonie Els. “On both our golf courses, the Gary Player Country Club and the Lost City, we have made huge strides towards becoming carbon neutral, and we are determined to ensure that the Nedbank Golf Challenge will become the world’s first totally ‘green’ golf event”.
Nedbank Golf Challenge takes place at the Gary Player Golf Course, Sun City Resort from Wednesday, 1 December till Sunday, 5 December and tickets available from Computicket outlets.
• Tickets for the Pro-Am to be played on Wednesday 1 December: R80 for adults and children up to the age of 17 will be admitted without charge.
• Entry to the first 2 rounds to be played on 2 and 3 December: R180 for adults, R90 for children between the ages of 12 and 17, with under-12s allowed in free.
• Prices of the tickets for the final 2 rounds: R200 for adults, R100 for children between the ages of 12 and 17, with children under the age of 12 free of charge.
• Tickets for the Challenge Club: R400 per day and include tournament access, use of a private and exclusive air-conditioned marquee, easy access to and from the golf course as well as private restroom and food and beverage areas.