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Place Category: Sport & Leisure

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Social Impact Declaration
Social Impact Statements
  • GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement, resource efficiency and community integration and value.

    GEO works with the international golf industry to provide strategic guidance and support, practical guidance and tools, credible standards and certification and effective communications services. Amongst this support GEO manages OnCourse®, a free web-based tool available to golf facilities worldwide, guiding them around the priorities and resources for sustainability in golf, helping them easily and credibly share their efforts and value, and leading to GEO Certified®. GEO Certified®, administered by GEO and independently verified, is golf’s internationally accredited and widely supported eco-label and is a member of ISEAL Alliance, the global assurance body for standards in sustainability.

    For more information about GEO and sustainable golf, please visit www.golfenvironment.org

  • Address: 2 Quality Street,
    North Berwick
    East Lothian
    EH39 4HJ
    United Kingdom
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  • Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_GEO.pdf
  • Social Impact Statements:

    Social Impact Statements

    The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.

    In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.


    Updated April 2016

    1) Driving sustainability in and through golf

    GEO aims to drive sustainability in and through golf. We do this through a number of inputs:

    • The OnCourse® programme designed to help golf facilities integrate stronger sustainability activities across:
      • Nature – promoting biodiversity, land management, pollution control
      • Resource management - effective and efficient use of water, energy and chemicals
      • Community - involvement and positive impacts to health and well being, job creation, community space, economic impact
    • Certification and recertification of golf facilities leading to GEO Certified® status, which is used to communicate their continued commitment to sustainability and enable communication and education on sustainability to local communities
    • Programmatic support to Golf's federations, governing bodies and interested stakeholders – through advocacy, communications support and programmatic activities

    The beneficiaries and benefits across our programmes include the golf facilities themselves, the local communities and local suppliers and employees.

    In 2015 GEO became full members of ISEAL. This was following reorganisation of governance, processes and stakeholder outreach - all of which were strongly developed last year. GEO Certified® is now recognised as being developed and managed in line with the ISEAL codes of best practice in Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS).

    Programmatic support was given to a number of new golf developments to improve sustainability impacts, including the new Olympic course in Brazil, St Kitts and a new VSS for New Golf Developments was launched in 2016.

    Recognising the potential impacts and education-reach, a new VSS consultation for golf tournaments began to be developed in Q42015. This was in addition to practical support given to a number of events including The Open in St Andrews, The Ryder Cup 2014 (legacy and communications work continued into 2015),
    Advocacy & Stakeholder platforms in EU, China, South Africa, Kenya, the Netherlands and US & Canada helped drive understanding of sustainability in and through golf in these regions. This includes strengthening our work with key golf governing bodies and federations to help fully integrate sustainability into their programmes. A key reason for multi-stakeholder collaboration is to ensure that understanding, measurement and impact analysis over time and geographies can be consistent and agreed upon. This should lead to a catalyst for greater, faster and measureable change.

    GEO continued to support golf facilities increase sustainability in their operations through the OnCourse® programme and GEO Certified®.

    We also strengthened our working relationships with a number of iNGOs and multilateral parties – e.g.WWF, Birdlife International, Alliance for Water Stewardship, UN.


    2) Measures of activities

    In 2015, 202 golf facilities registered for the OnCourse® programme and 29 were certified, with 13 re-certified. This means there are 1,123 facilities OnCourse® and 160 certified in total. This equates to approximately 67,380 hectares under GEO standards management.

    We have not quantified the number of direct and indirect beneficiaries of this work, but each golf facility that is OnCourse® adheres to a number of criteria of creating a positive impact on employees, golfers, visitors and the local community (through local sourcing of products, resource management, pollution control and community outreach). This is through best environmental management practices (resource use, sourcing and disposal; health and wellbeing of golfers and the community and employment, business and local supply chain benefits). A number of examples can be found on our website.

    On an industry level the outreach, practical support, advocacy and communications GEO is involved in, has acted as a positive catalyst to gather input and give access to a wide variety of materially affected and interested stakeholders.


    3) Increasing public awareness of sustainability in golf

    One key aim of GEO is to increase the public's awareness of sustainability in and through golf. As a sport, which creates passion through participation and spectators, there is a big opportunity to inspire and educate people on sustainability issues.

    GEO had over 116k twitter impressions of positive sustainability and golf messages and 40 online publications of more in-depth stories about sustainability and golf across consumer, golf, sporting and business media, worldwide.