In search of continuous improvement, the Omega European Masters has given itself a mission that by 2021 it will be GEO certified, an international distinction in the field of sustainability. In 2019, GEO Foundation analysed each area of the tournament, and thereafter produced a sustainability report.
The tournament's commitment is in line with Swiss Golf's ambition and sustainable development vision.
For 2019, the five main areas of sustainability that have been deployed at the event were:
1. Circular economy & waste management
Based on a circular economy, waste management according to the 3Rs [reduction - reuse - recycling] will be set up. As an example, the reuse of furniture from year-to-year is a flagship at the event and dates back to UEFA EURO 2008 in Switzerland.
New for 2019: Selective sorting of waste at four levels for the general public and even more specific for the organization.
Improvements and considerations for 2020-2021: Consider the choice of materials and fabrics so they can be re-used. Processes leading to zero waste.
2. Responsible catering
The event wants to pay attention to the fact that eating is not only a social time and a way to relax but also represents the possibility of doing it responsibly.
Five fundamentals are advocated: a. Provenance (local); b. Production mode (labels) c. Type of products; d. Season; e. Degree of transformation.
New for 2019: Ambitious charter of sustainable catering signed by all caterers. Reusable cups, biodegradable tableware.
Improvements and considerations for 2020-2021: Fully reusable tableware. Food redistribution via Too Good To Go digital app.
3. Energy transition & water conservation
The Omega European Masters has contributed to the installation of the electricity network along the golf course, drastically reducing the use of generators. In addition, the tournament ensures a green energy supply via Energies Sion Region (ESR).
New for 2019: The reversible air-conditioning system consists of a heat pump, a buffer tank (1000L of water), water hoses and air handling unit (CTA). Efficient and autonomous thermostatic installation consuming little electricity.
Improvements and considerations for 2020-2021: Installation of a pellet boiler to replace the heating oil or transition to biofuel. Deployment of water fountains to eliminate PET.
4. Intelligent transportation
The tournament wants to encourage increased use of public transport. Thus, the funicular from Sierre to Crans-Montana sees greater passenger numbers during the event. In Crans-Montana, free shuttles operate every 15 minutes. Upon arrival in Switzerland, the organization transfers players by train to Sierre. Logistics are thought out in the most effective way. All golf carts are also electric.
New for 2019: Communication of transport options on the website and social networks. Porsche Players' Shuttle for transporting the players within the resort.
Improvements and considerations for 2020-2021: Encouraging multimodal transportation. Carbon offset for transporting players to Switzerland.
In order to be inclusive, the event has a price policy that is accessible to as many people as possible and free for under 18s. For persons with reduced mobility (PRM), the implementation of reception measures has been provided for many years. A specific number is planned: +41 (0) 27 565 78 60.
New for 2019: Greater communication of accessibility to PRMs.
Improvements and considerations for 2020-2021: Deployment of even more incentive measures for people with disabilities.
This list is not exhaustive and is ever developing. In parallel, the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf-Club also engaged with GEO Foundation on their 'OnCourse®' program in partnership with Swiss Golf. The focus will be on biodiversity conservation, pesticide reduction, water conservation, among other sustainable golf course and golf course management initiatives.
The Omega European Masters not only wants to progress but also serves as an example for golf and other events in becoming a catalyst for more sustainability.
About GEO Foundation
GEO Foundation is the only non-profit in the world entirely dedicated to the mission of advancing sustainability in and through golf. Working collaboratively with stakeholders across golf, government, civic society, academia and the wider sporting world GEO has developed a suite of custom-built sustainable development programs for golf - for existing courses, new developments and golf tournaments. These ‘OnCourse®’ programs are underpinned by comprehensive sustainability standards that address a wide range of relevant social and environmental issues across Nature, Resources and Community themes. GEO Certified® is the internationally endorsed label for sustainable golf, accredited by the ISEAL Alliance - the global body which represents some of the world’s most recognisable and trusted ecolabels including Fairtrade, Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance. Find out more about sustainability in and through golf, GEO Foundation, OnCourse programs, certification and leadership examples at sustainable.golf.