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EGA Embarks on Renewed Sustainability Drive

Building on a longstanding involvement in environmental sustainability, and more recent efforts in 2022 and 2023 focused on pesticide regulation emerging from the European Commission, the European Golf Association is now embarking on a renewed and strengthened sustainability drive.


With 50 member associations, the EGA will look to leverage its unique position in European golf to help align outlook, commitments and pathways from different golf authorities across the continent and help ensure knowledge is appropriately developed and used effectively.

The EGA’s role in sustainability going forwards will be focused on three key action areas:

  • Coordinate - Help bring members and other stakeholders together to share, problem solve, align actions and efforts to help achieve the best collective impact
  • Develop - Help facilitate the further development and promotion of knowledge, best practices, programs and tools to the European golf sector to drive action, track and collate evidence of progress and impacts
  • Advocate - Help represent golf’s commitments, actions and results to the European Union institutions to influence regulation and attract new investment into the sport

To effectively address its mission and bring the knowledge and the expertise available within European golf on sustainability, the EGA is formalising a new collaborative structure which involves the active participation of EGA experts and encourages collaboration with key stakeholders in European golf:


The structure, constituted of four newly formed working groups at its core, will be overseen by the EGA’s Executive Committee.


The four new groups, made up of six to nine experts each, have the following general roles:


  • Strategic Working Group – Consider and guide strategy development, working closely with the other three groups and the EGA’s Executive Committee.
  • Monitoring Working Group – Define how golf in Europe best tracks, analyses and represents its performance, progress and impacts across a broad range of sustainable golf indicators to comply with government requirements.
  • Technical Working Group – Address and coordinate around key priority topics of sustainable golf and responsible course management sur as water management, integrated pest management and biodiversity.
  • Communication Working Group – Explore how best to engage organisations and grass roots practitioners across the European Golf Sector, and how best to represent golf’s efforts and value to government and public.


THE EGA AND GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation: NEW COLLABORATION

Part of the EGA’s renewed drive in sustainability involves increased collaboration with the GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation. The international non-for-profit was founded sixteen years ago to help inspire, support and recognise credible sustainability and climate action in and through golf.


Through the collaboration GEO will support the EGA with expertise in strategy, solutions, data and communications. Foundation staff will also support and contribute to each of the Working Groups.


The EGA was also able to extend its collaboration with the public affairs agency ‘BCW’ who consult with insights and networks in European politics, helping represent Golf in Brussels and give some meaningful strategic advice when it comes to sustainable golf communication.


This has become increasingly important to respond to the ongoing pressures and challenges posed by environmental regulation, increased public sensitivity and the need to develop a harmonized outlook.


BCW recently worked with the EGA in relation to the EU’s proposed Sustainable Use Regulation, which would have prohibited the use of plant protection products in the golf sector.


Earlier this year, the EGA welcomed Alicia Moulin to the staff team in a part-time sustainability position alongside her position with Swiss Golf. The Sustainability Manager has worked with Swiss Golf since 2021 where her tasks include helping move the Swiss Golf sector towards targets such as zero pesticide use and net zero CO2 emissions by 2030, respectively 2035.


Alongside the chairman of the EGA Working Group on Environmental Sustainability (WGES), Gunnar Håkansson, Alicia’s role will with the EGA will involve helping to evolve the association's multi-year strategy in sustainable golf and corresponding action plans in key areas.


Looking forwards, the primary objectives for 2024 will be to establish the new structure and working procedures, bring the working groups together for the first time, further develop the collaboration with newly elected European governing bodies, in particular the commission responsible for EU policy on food safety and health. Finally, the strategic working group will present a more detailed strategy at the EGA’s AGM in November.