Written and published by GEO Foundation
The 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has achieved GEO Certified® Tournament status, the internationally recognized certification for sustainability in golf, administered by Scotland-based GEO Foundation (GEO).
The award comes after strong commitments and efforts from all the tournament organizers to minimise negative impacts, while helping to foster nature, conserve resources, take climate action and strengthen communities. To achieve this, a comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan was put into place, outlining goals and implementation responsibilities, and allowing a coordinated effort across all tournament operations.
As a mainstay of the PGA Tour, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a major sporting event, attracting top golfers, celebrities, and thousands of fans to California’s beautiful Monterey Peninsula each year. With such significant reach and influence, the tournament’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility demonstrates valuable leadership in advancing sustainability in and through golf.
Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation, commented on the award: “Building on a strong track record of responsible management of the Pebble Beach Resort and the Monterey Peninsula, we commend the partners for taking such determined steps to make the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am a leader in sustainable golf tournaments, sport and events.”
Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport and lead verifier for the event, Shelley Villalobos, said: “For years now, this tournament's key partners have taken initiative to exemplify industry best practices in responsible tournament management. It's terrific to see this hard-earned certificate give testament to the intentional planning and leadership demonstrated consistently by this special event.”
Some of the sustainability highlights from the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am include:
All tournament proceeds are donated to local charitable organisations. In 2018, donations amounted to $15.6 million, with a similar figure expected for 2019
88% of waste diverted from landfill through sustainable procurement policies, composting, recycling, reuse and donation.
Irrigation water comes from the Monterey Peninsula Waste Water Reclamation Project, which has saved over 6.4 billion gallons of potable water for the local community
Community engagement: The Chevron STEM Zone provided an educational experience for local school children, and 4,000 complimentary tickets were donated to military personnel and veterans.
Looking forward, the tournament organisers are committed to building on this first certification and improving sustainability efforts across tournament operations year-on-year. Tim Heitmann, Operations Manager of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, said: “Our Sustainability Action Plan lay at the heart of everything we did in 2019, and from lessons learned, is evolving for the 2020 and other future editions of the event. We covered all aspects of sustainable event management, focusing on practical actions and real outcomes.”
To achieve GEO Certification, the organizers completed a robust, custom-built program for golf tournaments that includes document and evidence submission, a third-party verification carried out by the Council for Responsible Sport, a thorough review by GEO, and agreement to Continual Improvement Points for future tournaments.
The 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am achieved 46 of 49 credits attempted (from a maximum of 55), across six categories - planning & communications, site protection, procurement, resource management, access & equity and community legacy.
View the full 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am GEO Certified® Report.
About the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
The AT&T Pebble Beach is one of the most exciting and popular events on the PGA Tour. Each year, thousands of spectators and millions of television viewers enjoy watching the world’s top golfers and other big-name celebrities in action, to the stunning backdrop of central California’s Monterey Peninsula.
This year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will be held from February 6th to 9th 2020.
About the Council for Responsible Sport
The Council’s mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and
environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. Since 2008, the Council has certified over 100 events, reaching over one million participants and countless spectators. .