Burhill Golf and Leisure Ltd (BGL) has recently had five venues recertified by the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) with the remaining five to follow as a result of continued, progressive works carried out across the operator’s 22 golf courses.
The ten golf venues operated by BGL were first certified in 2014 when the company was crowned as the first ever multi-site operator to have all of their venues GEO Certified. Since then, to maintain this accolade, the group have had to show evidence that they have continued to expand upon their existing sustainability practices over the last three years.
“Golf is in a great position to be a leader in sustainable sport and business and we at BGL have always believed in looking to safeguard the future and benefit local communities by being proactive with our sustainability procedures,” commented Guy Riggott, Operations Director at BGL. “It’s a badge of honour to have received full certification for all of our venues and reassures us that we’re doing our best for the environment and future generations to come.”
GEO Certified is golf’s international sustainability eco-label and an independently verified accreditation that is a trusted symbol of great golf environments worldwide.
The non-profit organisation not only serves as a credible platform for assessing environmental and social standards specifically relevant to golf, but also provides industry-supported programmes to help people on the ground to evaluate and improve contributions to the welfare of nature and communities surrounding their courses.
“BGL have shown incredibly strong leadership and we congratulate their team on reaching this milestone,” said Jonathan Smith, CEO at GEO. “The enthusiasm and engagement in sustainability is evident across the entire organisation. The huge appetite for improvement is still apparent from my discussions with everyone I have met whilst visiting the sites,” added independent GEO Certified Verifier, Tony Hanson.
BGL have been working with the recently upgraded OnCourse guidance and reporting programme for golf facilities, and have made considerable advances at each venue across the UK.
Notable projects that have occurred over the last three years have included the creation of a wildflower meadow at Burhill, the energy efficiencies incorporated into the £5 million health and fitness development at Birchwood Park and Country Club, the rope drainage methodology now in active use at Hoebridge Golf Centre and the community interaction projects at Abbey Hill Golf Centre.
“This is an ongoing commitment on behalf of BGL and we’re looking into ways we can further enhance our venues to incorporate more sustainability projects,” continued Riggott. “A big focus for us is the conservation of water at our venues. Golf’s water footprint is significant, and in a time when water deficits are increasing, we’re putting strategies into place to reduce consumption at our ten venues which will not only benefit the environment, but also provide future financial security as the price of water rises.”