COP26: Scottish golf clubs urged to reduce carbon emissions

Scottish golf clubs are being encouraged to use the COP 26 UN Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow as a call to action to do their bit to reduce carbon emissions while continuing to be profitable.

Mike Gray is GreenClub's general manager, working alongside another ex-PGA man, Liam Greasley. Picture: Ten Foot Tall Photography.
Mike Gray is GreenClub's general manager, working alongside another ex-PGA man, Liam Greasley. Picture: Ten Foot Tall Photography.

The plea has been made by GreenClub, a consultancy established to help the golf business develop their own net zero route maps through the development of a sustainability strategy to enhance their existing environmental stewardship.

“As a business, Net Zero is achieved by balancing your carbon emissions with techniques that remove CO2 from the atmosphere, such as carbon offsetting,” said GreenClub general manager Mike Gray.

“The first step to achieving this is by reducing your CO2 emissions. Or, where possible, cutting CO2 emissions altogether.

“However, to completely remove all emissions is hugely difficult, especially given the short timeframe in which industries need to decarbonise to avert the worst impact of climate change.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“GreenClub will assist the golf sector take a leadership position within the sports industry enabling facilities to embark on their own Net Zero journeys and enhancing their existing reputations as environmental custodians.”

What benefits can venues expect in embarking on this journey?

“Feedback from various stakeholders in the golf industry indicates that an increasing number of companies will only do business with others who share their environmental values,” added Gray, who is working alongside Liam Greasley, the pair having extensive experience in the golf industry, primarily with the PGA.

“This means that before committing to a contract that companies will vet venues for corporate events or indeed sponsorship to ensure they are aligned with philosophies on the environment.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“Golf businesses making positive strides towards introducing environmental and green energy strategies that will have a competitive advantage.

“As well as making a positive contribution to the climate, being more environmentally sustainable, like minded businesses will benefit financially too. Putting net zero objectives in place can also cut costs for businesses.

“A key example is energy audits. This offers the opportunity to assess your energy usage, determine where energy may be wasted, consider what energy requirements might be in the future and implement measures to drive energy efficiencies.

“This can allow you to reduce a facility’s carbon emissions, especially if a club’s energy does not come from renewable sources. It could also reduce a club’s energy bill.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Clubs can generate their own green energy on site in a number of ways, including the utilisation of existing roof space on a clubhouse, greenkeeping compound or driving range.

Spare land could also be used to generate green electrical power while clubs could also look at the opportunity of installing photovoltaic solar panels, wind or water turbines

“There are a number solutions on offer for venues to fund their installation in green energy efficient solutions,” continued former assistant Ryder Cup director Gray, who was the PGA’s commercial director before Greasley filled the same position for a spell.

“The cost of energy efficient technologies has come down greatly in recent years but will still be a significant investment for golf clubs and venues, which can often be the barrier to committing to installing efficient energy solutions.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“GreenClub’s approach is consultative and collaborative to enable golf & leisure facilities to realise their sustainability goals providing services through four key pillars: sustainability; innovation; generation and accreditation.”

A message from the Editor:

Get a year of unlimited access to all of The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis, exclusive interviews, live blogs, and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.