July 2017’s Champions of the Green are the Sustainability Committee of Edese Golf Club Papendal, The Netherlands. They have been highlighted due to their success in integrating sustainable management across the club.
The club’s slogan, “If you have a green course you should act as a green club”, is fulfilled through their actions in all areas of club and course management. First becoming GEO Certified® in 2011, and achieving successful recertification in 2016, the club have shown their ongoing commitment to nature protection, resource efficiency, and community value. Central to their success has been the development of a core Sustainability Committee; the driving force behind enhancing, recognizing, and promoting the positive value of the club.
“Our Sustainability Team is made up of members of committees and staff from across the club” explained Jaap van Dorp, chairman of the Sustainability Committee: “Annet ten Doeschate is a member of the Course Committee and Laurens Hageraats represents the Clubhouse Committee of Edese GC Papendal. The greenkeeping team (A.H.A. de Man) contributes keenly to increasing the sustainability, and so do the catering staff (De Hofmeester). Last but not least a number of nature specialists and enthusiasts constituting the clubs Nature Team take a substantial share in the activities. Our sustainability initiatives are not just developed and implemented by the Sustainability Committee, the whole staff is involved in initiating, driving and improving our performance. The role of the committee is not only to support and encourage this work, but also to ensure the work that is being done is recognized and celebrated. The social and environmental value the club provides is uncovered, improved where possible, and promoted – that is our role.”
Becoming a GEO Certified® club is one of the ways in which the club gains recognition for their sustainability work. The independently assessed international eco-label signifies the club’s work on nature protection, resource efficiency, and community value. Edese GC Papendal also works with local newspapers to share information about actions around the course. Stories shared in the local media have included a partnership project through which nest boxes provided for Starlings were monitored using video cameras, and the introduction of sheep to graze the rough. The club shares their work, and encourages players to learn about the wildlife around the course, by displaying posters in the clubhouse and putting information on the local species in their Birdie Booklet.
Further information on Edese GC Papendal’s work to enhance and share their sustainability work can be found on their website www.edesegcpapendal.nl/. Golf faculties can follow Edese GC Papendal’s leadership and sign up to the recently upgraded OnCourse programme for sustainable golf at www.getoncourse.golf