The Heritage Classic Foundation recently announced that it has taken steps, in partnership with the Golf Environment Organization and The Sea Pines Resort, to attain a sustainability certification for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing to become a GEO-Certified Tournament.
In 2016, the foundation and its partners decided to highlight sustainability initiatives in place at South Carolina’s only PGA Tour golf tournament while simultaneously establishing a baseline to support improvement moving forward.
As a result, the Sustainability Review, produced by GEO, an international not-for-profit dedicated to sustainability in golf, summarizes the sustainability initiatives and carbon emissions associated with the 2016 RBC Heritage. The review is a significant step in advancing the RBC Heritage toward becoming a GEO Certified Tournament — a credible eco-label for golf tournaments that is currently under development.
“This tournament has always taken tremendous pride in its host setting and the positive impact it delivers to the region,” said Morgan Hyde, the RBC Heritage’s vice president of operations. “Pursuing a more sustainable event is a natural fit given the history surrounding this great tournament.”
Highlights of the review include:
- The Sea Pines Resort, the tournament's host venue, holds the GEO-Certified Facility eco-label recognizing the club's work to protect nature, use resource efficiently and provide community value.
- 18.8 tons of waste was diverted and recycled. Recycling that waste saves carbon emissions equivalent to removing one car from the road for one year.
- 22,682 people travelled locally via the park-and-ride shuttle services.
- The 4,000 people who cycled 25,000 miles to and from the event saved 7.5 tCO2e, or the equivalent of powering one home in the U.S. for nearly an entire year.
- By working with Palmetto Electric and Santee Cooper, 100 percent of the electricity they provided to the tournament was from renewable energy sources, which reduced the total operational carbon footprint by 11 percent. Solar and wind power saved 23 tons of CO2e.
The review applauded the RBC Heritage’s 20 precent reduction in waste but recommended it work toward more ambitious waste reduction targets in 2017.
“RBC Heritage and The Sea Pines Resort have demonstrated a commitment to lowering the environmental footprint of the tournament as made evident through the 'Keeping it Green' initiatives and data collection efforts of the 2016 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing,” said Jonathan Smith, GEO’s CEO. “Due to these efforts, the RBC Heritage now has a strong baseline report, best practices, and a leadership pathway to make the tournament more sustainable in future years, and we look forward to continuing to support them on this journey.”
The 49th annual RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing will take place April 10-16 at the famed Harbour Town Golf Links. Tournament tickets are on sale at www.rbcheritage.com.