A commitment to environmental sustainability was apparent at Dundonald Links Golf Club during the recent Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.
The event took place at a venue that was awarded the GEO Certified ecolabel in 2013 after it exceeded important sustainability standards in nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community. The golf club has since gone on to win a number of sustainability awards.
For all three days of the prestigious Ladies European Tour event, in addition to watching the high quality golf, spectators were able to walk round the well-established nature trail to see if they could spot one of the Small Blue butterflies, which was once thought to be lost to the area, but has been successfully re-introduced as a result of joint working through a business forum now known as the Ayrshire Sustainability Group.
The club works closely with its neighbour, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, who look after the adjacent Gailes Marsh Wildlife Reserve. Staff from the Trust were on hand in the tented village during the event to provide information about the positive relationship it has with Dundonald Links and the way the club works collaboratively with other organisations in the local area including the local schools.
The driving force behind sustainability at Dundonald Links is greenkeeper Amanda Dorans who said: “Sustainability is central to how we go about maintaining a world class golf course. Good agronomic practices create better quality playing surfaces and being mindful of biodiversity not only protects the natural habitat and wildlife, but also enriches the experience of our visitors. We’re pleased that we were able to showcase this through the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.”
Local suppliers and organisations were represented in the ‘Taste Ayshire’ pavilion in the tented village where there was an opportunity to savour the locally sourced food and drink, including ‘The Big Belter’ burger and special relish created by pupils from local schools. There were also opportunities to learn from the series of cooking demonstrations given by the Cook School Scotland, and then check out the items on display from local exhibitors such as handcrafted scarves, body creams and delicious liqueurs.
Clearly, the large crowd that attended the event had the potential to generate a significant amount of waste, which is why, prior to the tournament, the organisers engaged the service of the William Tracey Group to help implement the ‘zero waste to landfill’ policy which is in line with Dundonald Links’ existing waste management plan. This is in addition to the work that was done to ensure ethical purchasing and minimal packaging through the supply chains, which further reduces waste.
Jill Maxwell, Group Head of Sponsorship & Corporate Events at title sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management commented: “Throughout the planning stages of the tournament, we were keen to make sure we applied good sustainability business practices and deliver these in partnership with our partners and suppliers. We thank them for the contributions they made to helping us achieve our sustainability objectives.”
The standard of the golf played on the course was impressive, but so was the massive collaborative effort undertaken to ensure that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open was organised in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way possible.