Coveted award for Coventry
Established in 1887 Coventry Golf Club, UK, celebrated its 125th anniversary this year and also the centenary of the re-location of the course to Finham. To make this year even more special they have been awarded the international ecolabel GEO Certified™ in recognition of outstanding sustainability efforts across their parkland course, clubhouse, and reaching out into the surrounding community.
Many of England’s nearly 2000 golf courses are community based clubs like Coventry making this an important example of how sustainability can be embraced with positive results for the environment, the economic performance of the golf business, and the messages that are then multiplied outward.
Phil Weaver (right), Coventry’s Head PGA Professional & Course Manager and Chairman of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, was part of the driving force behind Coventry Golf Club’s journey through the GEO OnCourse™ programme that led to the GEO Certified™ ecolabel.
Speaking at a presentation that took place at Wentworth during the BMW PGA Championship last week, Weaver said:
“I am delighted that Coventry earned this accolade. We are a typical club that has been proudly serving our community for 125 years, always striving to be a benefit to local people and the local environment”.
“We recognise the pressures on the environment at large and understand that golf clubs have an important responsibility to take their stewardship of the land seriously. In the last few years we have become much more aware and active, making sustainability a consideration in every decision we make”.
“The GEO OnCourse™ programme was easy to follow and made sure we thought about a wide range of practical areas and there were suggestions for improvements as we went along. The on-site verification with Matt Johns was extremely constructive and left us with new ideas and motivation for the future. We will fly the GEO Certified™ flag with a great deal of pride.”
Weaver worked in close conjunction with colleagues Club Captain Keith Lindsay, Club member Professor Ian Foster, and past Captain and President Robin Bussell to drive the project forward and become the first Golf Club in England to achieve this prestigious award.
Matt Johns, of the environmental consultancy Johns Associates and a GEO Sustainability Associate (GEOSA) visited the club as an accredited verifier. Reflecting on the visit:
“What was particularly impressive was the range of environmental aspects covered by the Club’s activities. From use of treated effluent for irrigation, to working with the local river’s geomorphology, to renewables, waste management. A great deal of passion, focus, and pride was evident and they have demonstrated commitment, innovation and real-world results.”
Jonathan Smith, GEO Chief Executive added:
“Community and volunteer involvement is an important aspect of sustainability in golf, and can also help multiply a club’s efforts outward. Coventry is a great example of golf as a social and environmental asset, now confidently and credibly connecting sustainability with younger and older generations alike.”
Paul Keeling, Club Services Manager at England Golf added his support:
“Building on their England Golf Environmental Award, the GEO Certified ecolabel brings well-deserved national and international recognition. We are pleased to promote the commitment and achievements of Coventry Golf Club to all our member clubs, plus the various government and sporting partners, and as part of our work on the new British Association for Sustainability in Sport. We look forward to working more closely with GEO to encourage other clubs to follow this lead”.
Sandy Jones, PGA GB&I Chief Executive also commended the results:
“I am absolutely delighted to congratulate Coventry Golf Club on this recognition from the GEO. I know Phil Weaver, our PGA chairman, is passionate about the subject of the environment and has been very much involved at the forefront of the Coventry project team who achieved this recognition. I would hope that perhaps this becomes an inspiration for many of our golf clubs and also our club professionals who could be at the heart of such an activity.”